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3 Ways to Simplify Your Homeschool Room Ideas
Over the last year or so I’ve noticed on the many homeschool social media groups I’m part of, more and more parents asking about the need for some homeschool room ideas.
My initial reaction is to comment so I can rescue that soul who is struggling because she thinks she absolutely needs a room but doesn’t have space or money to do so. She’s about to go all out on a shopping spree buying top of the line everything because you know how it is, we’ll go to the moon and back for our kids even when we don’t need to. Many times I started writing my answer on their comment section to then realize I didn’t write a comment but more of a miniature blog, and who wants that as a comment? 😊
Great Homeschool Rooms come to those Who Wait…
When I started homeschooling my first born we had no office space and our school days happened at the kitchen table. I had absolutely no homeschool room ideas. I had a very compact dry erase board easel with fabric storage bin (below is a link for a great one) underneath where I would store our curriculum at the end of the day. That small dry erase board and kitchen table was all we needed for our Kindergarten and 1st-grade years, and honestly that’s all anyone needs. When you first start homeschooling everything is new, you are trying to figure out your child’s learning style, does the curriculum you just invested in works for him, is this something you can or want to do for the long run. So is your homeschool room idea to go furniture shopping and remodel a room you don’t even know you will need in the long run? Well, lets put the wallets away for a minute and talk about it. 🤔
If you are only homeschooling one child during the early elementary years I would wait and put the kitchen or dining room table to good use. During at least the first 2-3 years of elementary (K-1st) you will be side by side with your child during the whole school day. Alphabet teaching, letter sounds, blending, learning how to read together with letter formation, numbers and beginning math facts, all require hand holding and your constant presence and assistance. Even if in 2nd grade they are able to read, they still are not independent readers and need assistance understanding directions their workbooks are giving them to complete their assignments. So why not take advantage of the convenience of having your little one right there in the kitchen while washing the dishes, preparing a meal or even some laundry? Kitchen and Family rooms are usually positioned in the middle of a home and make it much easier if you need to go and put that laundry in while still demonstrating the sound of the “O” vowel sound for example.
Being able to multitask between chores and school is a big help in making the rest of the day run smoothly. If getting house chores done is not an issue for you because you have extra hands to help, another good reason to wait on your next furniture investment is that they Grow So Fast. 😢👨🎓 They don’t just grow in size and outgrow the furniture you might have bought at a younger age but their workload grows, the amount of books multiplies, the type of work they do changes, and what you thought you needed during the first few years will most likely not fit the needs later on. Now that we have established when is a good time for your kids to have their own homeschool room let’s talk about what’s needed.
Keep it simple.
My very first advice and maybe the most important is to keep your homeschool room simple. Simple doesn’t have to mean boring or that it can’t look nice and colorful. By simple I mean you don’t need to hang on the walls every chart that is included with your curriculum. It is my personal experience that over time kids get used to the same charts being out and they became just background Décor, while completely losing its effectiveness. They are so used to the charts being out, they even forget to look at them when in need.
During my first couple of years of homeschooling as I was coming across charts, I would hang them on my sliding glass doors and windows right by our kitchen/school table. I believed that while my child was sitting there during the day or just passing by, he would casually look at them and over time those chart’s listed rules would become 2nd nature to him. 🤨 I had them all. I had a cute alphabet banner, a Dr. Seuss’ clock, short/long vowel charts, K & C rules, and more spelling rules and so on, just collecting dust.
What I found out to be much more effective is to only keep one to two charts out at a time. I pin it on the board and once the concept is mastered I take it right down making room for the next one. It keeps it fresh, it keeps it new, they know exactly where to look when they need to refer back to it, without having to go navigate the overcrowded chart wall.
2. Keep it Budget Friendly.
Making a school room doesn’t need to break the bank. I’ve seen so many nice kids desk for sale on Facebook Marketplace at very reasonable prices. If you are looking to buy office furniture for only one child (or maybe 2 if you are lucky to find matching ones), I would highly recommend exploring the used market. As I said before, kids grow fast and their desks pop up often. I noticed mid spring was when kids desk were a very popular item on Facebook Marketplace, it could be that as the school year is near, people are trying to clean house. Keep your eye out and chances are you’ll find a great bargain!
Unfortunately for me, it was hard to find 3 used matching desks with bookcases and I had to adventure furniture shopping which I dislike just as much as car shopping.😭 After many failed trips to furniture stores and realizing how expensive this could end up being, I finally decided to stop resisting and make the trip to Ikea. And may I say: Thank you Dear God for Ikea? What a God sent that store has been! If you are not familiar with Ikea it might be a very overwhelming experience and my best advice is: Get a hold of a sales associate and never let him go!😉By the end of that trip, we had found all we needed, I had puzzled all the pieces perfectly together and voila’! With some good old muscle work from the husband to build it, and my brains to make sure it wasn’t going to be built upside down (because you know, men don’t need to read instructions🙄), our schoolroom for 3 was done with less than $1,000! Check out my pictures and see!
3. Don’t buy based upon today, think about tomorrow.
What I mean by this, is buy furniture your child can grow into. If you buy furniture based upon the book load your 3rd grader has this year, most likely he will outgrow it by the time he finishes 5th grade. With each grade, there will be more books and they also get bigger and thicker. Think about it like if you were buying them shoes. Don’t you always want to buy them a little bigger so they don’t grow out of them too fast? Well, use the same logic when shopping for desks and bookcases and plan to get them with extra shelves, drawers, and cabinets to be filled in the years to come so you don’t have to do this all over again in the near future.
I posted on here some pictures of our own schoolroom to give you a visual of my Simple, Budget Friendly and Room to grow advice. Our kids are still young and our schoolroom has a dual function of also a playroom and as you can see, we are still proud owners of a toy chest 😏 which in years to come will be heading over to Goodwill making room for more bookshelves. The furniture you see is all from Ikea and we built it ourselves. Building the furniture it is not hard in any shape or form as long as you have 2 people, a drill, and someone who can follow step by step direction. The 2 end desks are called MICKE Desk, the middle desk is the MICKE WORKSTATION (corner desk paired with ALRIK swivel chairs. The bookshelf hung high on the wall is the HEMNES WALL BRIDGE, and on the wall on the right, you see the KALLAX cube bookshelf together with the TROFAST unit where we store our endless Legos collection. A great perk of buying this furniture used is that someone has already done all the building for you, so put those search engines to work! 😉
**Here are links to some of our homeschool room pieces. Keep in mind buying directly from the Ikea store is cheaper. Since Ikea is not near everyone and charges a hefty shipping fee, Amazon is a great second option. We are very happy with the quality of this furniture, and if you are in a pinch for space these desks are really a great option. Happy Shopping!
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.
Wishing you many Blessings during your homeschool room making,
Juno. 🌊 💗