Homeschooling without a school room

When I had first heard from some friends that they had an actual school room in their homes–I will be honest, I was a little jealous.  To think of having ONE room in the home that would hold all of our homeschool items.  One room where all the learning games with their little pieces would stay put and not get all over my home.  A place where the craft projects lined the walls along with learning posters just as I had in school…ahhhhhh the jealousy.

But then I had babies.  Lots of babies and most of my school time was done sitting on a couch nursing the little one.  Sometimes I did school from my bed because it was the only place to get it done that day.  Sometimes my children did their schooling on the countertops as I was preparing dinner–because it was the only time I could have to help them.

My dreams for a school room have since faded, do I miss them??  No, not at all.

Why not??  Wouldn’t you appreciate a room where everything was contained?

By homeschooling over the past 20 years, I realized that I NEED to do this:

  • I need to create a learning environment for my children in our home.  I want them to view LIFE as a learning experience.  I want them to know that learning does not just come from a classroom it comes when you interact with people and learn things in uncommon ways.
  • I need to be able to multitask.  I don’t believe in the last 20 years of homeschooling that I have EVER got to sit and complete school straight for 2 hours.  It just does not happen.  I am usually in between preparing meals, flipping a load of laundry, or tending to screaming toddlers.  I need to be able to move about the home and having the children in a centralized location works best for me.
  • I need to be FREE from the temptation to collect stuff.  I am not a hoarder by nature, but if I had a room that could be filled with LOTS of school items, I might not think twice about accumulating things I don’t really need.

So what is one to do who does not have a designated school room?  You use what you got.  In our current home, we use the dining room table most of the time.  In our old home, we did most all of it in the living room.  It is just based on the location of the room in our home.

You find a shelving unit to hold your books and supplies.  I like to use a bookshelf to hold books.  I prefer my filing cabinet to hold all of our crafts, and folder games.  I have a shelf in the kitchen that I hold all of the school supplies.  It is up out of the reach of little ones vying for a new box of crayons.  I keep a small container available for them to use and refill as needed.

I like plastic dish pans to hold the games and puzzles that we store inside of plastic freezer bags.  As soon as we get a new puzzle or new game, I empty the contents into a bag.  I don’t even mess with a box, it will just get ruined.  For all of the individual learning sets like lacing cards, and wooden beads, those go into a plastic shoe bin, labeled on the edge.

So instead of feeling guilty or a little jealous because your friend has a school room, use the rooms that the Lord has given to you.  Think of education in an uncommon way.  Be grateful for less clean up and enjoy these moments because they go fast.


5 responses to “Homeschooling without a school room

  1. Oh Amy! I have been enjoying your blog for about a year now and have never commented before but as I started reading this one I just had to stop in the middle of it and write! I have spent 7 years feeling like I SHOULD be using our extra room as a schoolroom, feeling guilty when I was moving about doing laundry or preparing meals etc, instead of always being parked with my girls “doing” school—-you just single-handedly gave me my life back! You spoke the exact words my heart needed to hear. I didn’t realize how much pressure I was putting on myself until I was reading this and I could actually feel relief run through my blood!!! Of course I know it all came from God but I just had to thank you for your obedience to Him! I can relax and let God guide my days as He has been because in reality we’ve been doing the best thing for my girls.

  2. Great post! We, too, school at our dining table.
    When I was a kid, I remember being jealous of those classmates who had a “playroom” when we just played at the feet of our Mother. As I grew older, I realized that the playroom actually interfered with family togetherness (I have adult friends who are very open about using the playroom to avoid the company of their children). I am so glad, in retrospect, that we all were together as a family growing up, rather than being sent away to play.

  3. Most of our formal schooling takes place on the couch or at the kitchen table and I’ve come to appreciate how that fits with our life. My toddlers and preschoolers are right there with us and I can get up and do household tasks when the need comes up.

  4. Thank you for this post. I needed it today.

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