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WHERE in your house do you homeschool?


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Where do YOU do homeschool with your kids? Does it matter whether there's a dedicated spot in the house like a separate "school room", or if it's just on the kitchen table?

 

We're going to start our homeschooling adventure this year for my ds7 and dd5! I'm very excited, but wondering where to set up shop. My DH thinks our large dining table is the best place to homeschool since it's the biggest table in the house and the room is bright with lots of natural light, and has bookshelves that can be used for hs'ing. But I'm worried that since we eat all our meals at this table, we'd be alternating clearing books and dishes from the table ALL day long. And mentally, wouldn't the kids focus on school better if they're in a space fully dedicated to being the school spot? However, it would be a lot of work to try to turn another area of our small house into school (options are to turn half our small bedrom into school, or entirely redo a dark spare room, however we do have family stay with us several weeks a year so it would sometimes need to be converted back to being a spare room, and then we'd have to find another spot for school anyway).

 

What has worked for you? Where in the house do you homeschool? :bigear:

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We've schooled in many places:

 

Dining Room Table

Living Room Floor

Outside on the deck

at the park

library

dedicated school room upstairs

dedicated school room downstairs

 

 

Funny thing is no matter where we school we always return to the kitchen table. It is the biggest table and brightest room. It is in the center of most of our living space as we have an open plan living area.

 

So, in order to avoid the whole "clearing this for that" issue we have bookcases in our dining area. We also have baskets. I've made it quick and simple for people to get what they need and clear it up.

 

For instance, the notebooks all go in one place and you put it away before moving onto your next item on the list. You put away colored pencils and manipulatives before moving on to the next thing. This way, come lunch there's very little if anything on the table.

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We have a "School room" it was our playroom that we transformed into a school room. We have all our school supplies and books etc in there and at first we used it :) Now, even though we have this room, we have school at the dining room table :) For some reason it just works better for us there. Maybe at a different season in our lives the school room will get more use, but for now the table works best.

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We have a "classroom" which is great for holding our curriculum and supplies but, naturally, we do most of our work at the dining room table. It is a big area with great natural light - rather like you stated about yours.

 

We move things to a nearby shelf at mealtimes and the kids' stuff ultimately is stored in the classroom when we are not "doing school." I have them trained to clean up the table after every meal.

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We use the our formal dinning. It is only used for eating during holiday's when we have family over so I don't have worry about clearing off daily. At the end of our school week I put everything away on the bottom shelf of the hutch and vacuum and it's a dinning room again. On nice days we will go out on the deck or throw a blanket on the front lawn.

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We move things to a nearby shelf at mealtimes and the kids' stuff ultimately is stored in the classroom when we are not "doing school." I have them trained to clean up the table after every meal.

 

LOVE love love this! Mental note to self to get on that with dc. :lol:

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We live in 650 sq ft. Yikes! Older son uses his daddy's desk (I move the computer off). Younger son is at the kitchen table with me.

 

I get rid of all STUFF (obviously, or I would be swimming in it).

 

Ruth in NZ

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Living room, kitchen, outside... anywhere!

 

Hmm, you may be onto something there! Have you heard about the recent study that showed that people retain information better when they change up their environment? I grew up elementary through adulthood studying at a desk in my room, but maybe I would've been a lot smarter if I'd moved my location around! :lol:

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Everyday we move from the front to the back of the house since the front room is brightest in the morning and the back sunroom gets all the afternoon sun. It's tedious moving the desk/chair but I'm not willing to buy another set when that money could go into another curriculum :D. We homeschool for short periods of time so rather than getting everything done in the morning, we break up the studying to go out.

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I have tried the kitchen, dining area, over the years, but i find having the school room set up and organised with everything we need and a lot of bookshelves, and drawers of stationary and a couch for reading together - works best for us. The kids love the room and play in it when not doing school too! Lego table, computer station, wall charts etc all in one room! It is winter for us now - so we sometimes read in bed in the early morning before moving to the study room. In summer we sit out at the verandah table and sometimes take a book to study at a relevant place - like the animal farm.

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Our last house had an extra room that we used for homeschooling. This house doesn't, but it does have a big dining room with plenty of space for books, computers, etc. We also bring schoolwork outside (on rare occasions that the weather is nice) and into the living room.

 

It is a bit of a pain to clear everything away for dinner, but it's not the end of the world. For lunch, we either squeeze around a little table in the kitchen or push school books to the side of the dining room table.

 

Given a choice between a small, dark spare room and the dining room, I'd choose the dining room. I do recommend that you keep one shelf clear in that room so that you can move any unfinished projects or books you're still in the middle of using for a meal without having to actually put them away. In other words, it's easier to put the whole stack of books on Charlemagne on one shelf until tomorrow than it is to reshelve each book in its proper place, only to have to pull each one out again.

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I suppose in a "normal" setout house we would be counted as doing it in both the loungeroom and kitchen.

 

Our loungeroom is my hubbys relax room, so its more where the fire is, a big telly, his lazyboy, and a shag rug...oh and the cats play area at the other end of it.

 

Where we "school" is in the kitchen area, we have a big open kitchen, so the area next to the benches is where we have our dining table, we use this for textbook work/crafts/messy things, theres also a big alcove off this area thats supposed to be a 2nd dining room, we just used a mesh long baby gate to "seperate" it from the kitchen (mental more then physical), put a rug down (as theres floorboards, we want a soft surface) some book and low shelves, a big coffee table at the end, and a old vintage couch with foot rests at one side. We use this area for reading, collecting & sorting/games/more informal play, it also has a cupboard that we keep all current supplies on hand.

 

So to sum it up, we just need a couch for snuggling/reading together (and a blanket :) ) a soft floor to play on , and a work surface (dining table). If we're counting me as well, I have a desk in the corner of the kitchen that I keep all my stuff on, this is because I may be working on planning or my own work, and I need a safe place, as if I left it on the "communal" table by accident when hubby came home, he'd likely just plop spaghetti bolognese or something else helpful on it LOL.

 

I'd say for the younger years, you'd be fine with communal items, for the later years, its best to have a desk of some sort for the child to work on, as they may be upto a certain point and not ready to close / pack everything away.

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We have a school room that we use...It was the school room/play room but now we are only using it for school and have moved the toys to their bedroom...

 

I find it easier to have at least one spot to keep all of my stuff...It makes it easier to use things during the day...

 

If I did not have a seperate room available, I would use my kitchen/dining room table and store my stuff in movable crates and such unless I could have shelves nearby the table...

ETA: We also have a couch in our schoolroom and that is where we snuggle and read...

Edited by TheAutumnOak
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We have a small schoolroom with our desks, computer, books, etc. Most of our day is spent in there. However, reading is done wherever they feel like it and our read alouds, history readings, and science reading are done on the couch. Oh, and Spelling is usually done on the family room floor because we use large whiteboards instead of paper (we use Sequential Spelling. For some reason the kids think spelling is much more fun this way:)

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We were using the kitchen table when we started. It worked ok, but I knew it would be a problem when I added more kids to schooling. There just wasn't enough room to get me AND 2 or 3 kids there.

 

Last week, I got some school desks and chairs from the public school's castoffs (they're in good condition!). They were $5 per piece, and the guy threw in a brand new 16" globe (without a stand) for free. :D So now we school at a school desk in the living room. I have all 3 desks set up, so if my 4 year old wants to do math, he can. My almost-2 year old can sit at his desk to play cars or color or whatever. I'm finding that the boys really do well having their own space and a place to keep their stuff. I'm loving the school desks.

 

We do spelling (and 4 year old's reading lesson) in my bedroom, since the white board with the letter tiles is kept in there behind a dresser (we keep the door closed to little ones can't come play with things in there). We sit on the floor for spelling.

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The Swann family's mother, Joyce, would give each kid a box and when they were done with that subject they would put it in the box. By the end of school, all their stuff would be in the box and the box would be put in their bedroom closets. If you're worried about clearing off the table every time you eat, that might solve it.

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Sometimes we work at the kitchen table.

Sometimes we work flopped on the floor or couch.

Sometimes we go outside and sit at the patio table.

Sometimes we sit at the computer desk in the den.

Sometimes we accomplish a few things in the car while traveling somewhere.

Sometimes we just say "forget this" and go outside or to do something fun. :)

 

We're flexible!

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We to have a designated area with tables and supplies, and sometimes you will actually see us using it.;) But you will also find us on the couch, floor, kitchen, outside, bedroom, etc. But for me, it is good to have a central location, because that is where I like to work, and keep files.:001_smile:

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We schooled in the basement for a good while, doing read alouds and some projects upstairs. There was room for both kiddos. The last year of high school, ds was more on his own and dd was in public school. He still chose his big desk most of the time, b/c he likes having everything in one space and organized. The next year, when it was just dd (fourth grade), she chose to mostly do her work on the dining room table, but we kept the school room set up so we could keep things together.

 

I don't know what we'll do for 7th grade, when she comes home again.

Edited by Chris in VA
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We've done both. We use to have a dedicated room for schooling and had an extra dining room table in it to do our school work. But we moved and there was not an extra room, so now we use the kitchen.

 

I like it much better doing it in the kitchen now because I can do my chores without having to leave the room while the dc are doing their school work. Before, if I left the room to go throw a load in the washer or do dishes from the night before, the kids wouldn't do any work while I was gone. ;)

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We use our dining room/living room combination area for what I have planned for each day. We are fortunate to have a nice eat in area for meals in our kitchen so I only have to turn my dining room back into a place to eat on holidays. We have a bookshelf in our dining room that was not my first choice but it has worked so well for us. Our biggest messes come from the art supplies and I'm searching for a cabinet that will better organize the supplies but for now we have bins. I've found that when I set up areas for other learning that I don't plan, they will use them during free time. For example, we have a comfy chair next to a CD player and a bin of audio books. This gets used all of the time. I also used to have our games upstairs in our spare bedroom. I've since found a corner in our living room for a game shelf and now we play games a lot more.

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We have converted a bedroom on the main floor into a school room. For us it was very important in the beginning to have a spot that was away from as many distractions as possible. Not so much now but I like having all my books right here where they are easily reached.

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We have a small house. We've got an open area that serves as our dining room, living room, and office. We homeschool at the dining table or on the couch, depending on what we're doing.

 

I'm not sure if I'd want a separate room, at this point, even if we had the space. I've got a 1yo, and by schooling in the main room, she's got access to all her toys, to the TV/DVD player if needed, and to her high chair if she needs a snack. Once the kids are all older, I might feel differently about that and feel like a separate space for school would make sense, but right now it's much easier to keep DD happy and supervised by doing school in the living area.

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So, I guess I'm the only one who does a lot of "bedschooling"? :lol: Most read-alouds happen in my bed, snuggled under the covers, and my dd does a lot of her reading assignments or free reading in bed. After my bed is made, she likes to lie across it to do her math & spread out her notebook, text, and answer booklet across my bedspread. Our house is very small, and my husband and I both work at home, and I also have a five year old son, so a lot of times during the day, my bedroom is the only sunny, bright, spacious room in the house that isn't already full of adults working or a five year old being noisy!!! :lol:

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Well, we haven't actually started HS yet (I feel like that makes my opinion pretty worthless at this point....)

 

We're in the process of putting together a dedicated school room. It was one of DH's HS "demands". I am <ahem> organizationally challenged and he was concerned (rightly so) that school stuff would end up everywhere and get lost/broken/bent/destroyed/eaten/flushed. Our plan (ha!) is to use this room for school, but at least to keep all our stuff in there and somewhat organized. My DS is easily distracted and I think that having a special spot will really help him focus. Right now he does his homework at the kitchen table and it takes a lot to keep him on task. We'll see how it goes. The idea of bedschool sounds really good....not sure how much I would get done, but I sure love my bed!

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Our Official School Stuff was usually at the kitchen table, and yes, there was lots of shuffling between Official School Stuff and meals. :001_smile:

 

Truly, it isn't necessary for your dc to have a specific place for Official School Stuff. They aren't going to learn any better or more efficiently. And they're just little. You want them to enjoy learning, not to think that they're Doing School Now.

 

Although there is the hassle of cleaning off the table for meals, I think that's a good thing. I wish I had made more of an effort to do that. :-(

 

If you can have an area to let art projects dry or science projects to percolate other than the dining room table, that would be a good thing. Papers and whatnot can be picked up and put away when they're not being used.

 

IOW, your dh is right.:D

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We do school all over the place: bedrooms (for reading,) living room coffee table (dd does her work there,) living room floor (we do grammar and writing there with the white board,) kitchen table and outside on the trampoline.

 

We do have a designated schoolroom in the basement but it was just too dark down there and it depressed me. So we have moved upstairs and it is much more cozier. :001_smile: I use the schoolroom to store our longterm books and supplies. We have a shelf in the livingroom that we keep our daily books and supplies. I much prefer schooling all over the place, it fits our lifestyle better.

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This is our 3rd year of homeschooling and the 4th house we've lived in since then. For the first time, we don't have a dedicated school room. We do school at the dining room table. Whenever someone needs to read quietly, they move to the living room (which is the same area as the dining room). I have 2 totes where they store their school books (2 kids per tote). Our manipulatives and teacher's books are stored on 2 Expedit bookshelves (the 1x4 size) downstairs in the computer room. All of our other books are stored on bookshelves upstairs.

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I have a hall linen closet where I store all of our binders, resource books, supplies, etc. I keep the teacher manuals and student books in a rectangular bucket. All I have to do is pull the bucket, out and we have everything we need right there. I could literally grab it and go, if I wanted to. My other son is starting 1st, and I'll do the same thing for all his books. It makes it so easy for us.

 

We do school at the kitchen table, living room, island in the kitchen, patio table, etc. My older ds11 has a desk in his room, and sometimes he goes in there. When we are done, our stuff goes in the closet.

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We have a family room/school room in our basement (desk, toys, games, TV, couch, indoor swing, books, art supplies, computer all in one handy spot). It's nice to have a space dedicated to school. Plus, since I'm a control freak, the main level of my house can always be super clean and uncluttered and "grownup" while the family room is all fun, bright colors, indoor swings, solar system models, and my DD's artwork everywhere. Keeps me from feeling stressed.

 

Plus, my basement is huge and gives me TONS of storage space nearby for everything we need. Works perfectly for us.

Edited by mamatohaleybug
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We started out using the bonus room over our garage, although my older son periodically moved elsewhere, such as to the dining room for a year, and to mostly his own room the last couple of years he was home.

 

Last year, I decided that both boys needed larger rooms and we needed to start culling school books, so I switched our school room to the smallest bedroom, which is light filled. I do think that a bright place is probably best (and bookshelves certainly help).

 

I know it might be a hassle for you to move things on and off the table, but if you have a spot to move them to, then everyone should get used to doing that and should be able to pitch in and make quick work of it. We periodically school at our regular dining table, too - on on the couch in the den....

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Everywhere. Flopped on couches, outside, by the pool, on the front porch, on beds....everywhere. As long as work is being done, it's all good. Now, I DO have one room I keep school books in, but that's for my own sanity of having everything where I need it/know what's next.

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The kitchen table was too big for our boys when we started (feet dangling), plus the whole clearing-off-sticky issue - so I bought this:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Kidkraft-Avalon-Table-Chair-Set/dp/B00264FB8O

 

We love it!!! It's been just the right size for the boys to sit across from each other and do their work. They've used it for three years, and just now are approaching being too big for it (they're 9 and 10, almost 11). Even my husband and I sit on the chairs once in a while, and we are NOT small people! :D

 

We keep the table and chairs pushed off to the side in the entryway hall when we're not doing school, and pull it out to the middle of the living room when we need to. Many days, the table doesn't get pulled out at all, and the boys just take clipboards to the couch and do their work there.

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Our kitchen table is where we do most of our homeschooling. But sometimes we go into the living room as well, especially when the kids are watching supplemental videos. I separate the kids during tests to minimize distractions, and my oldest will stay at the kitchen table, and DD 1 will transfer to the coffee table. I try to keep DD 2 in the living room, but that's not always possible, lol.

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We've been using our living room. We use the sofa and I have a coffee table that has a shelf underneath to store stuff away (though, honestly, it takes over the top of the table). I had a small kitchen table that I added to one end of the room where they do their seatwork. I haven't really liked this because it does take over the room.

 

We're moving next month and I am so excited because our new house has a den off the kitchen. Yay! It's gonna be set up with all the school things plus the kids' toys. I'll be putting our old sofa in there for read alouds. My dad brought home 3 desks and chairs from the school where he works. I will be very happy to not listen to the arguments over kicking one another!! I will have one whole wall of bookshelves! :D

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My story is the exact say as the joyfulhomeschooler! We have a lovely schoolroom/playroom. We keep all of our school stuff in there and occasionally do some work there. We do most of our book work at the kitchen table. I now read with my youngest on my chaise lounger in my room because it's special. Yesterday, we did an outdoor classroom and read on a picnic blanket in the sun. It was DELIGHTFUL!

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We do most of our homeschooling in the basement. The kids have desks in the family room which are really just storage for their books. We do a lot on the family room couch and have a table for science experiments and art (with supply shelves right beside it). However, we like to break free whenever possible. My kids read in their rooms quite a bit. In nice weather, we can be found in the tree house, or at a nearby lake we can bike to. In the winter, we move a couch in front of the fireplace (upstairs) and have "fireplace school".

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We have a school room that doubles as a guest room (we have a sleeper sofa in there). We school in there most of the time--it allows us all to focus better. In Spring, though, we tend to migrate to the main level because the boys are often outside and they'd rather work on the main level than go to the basement after playing. On hot days in Summer, we move back to the basement because it's cooler (no A/C).

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I thought I wanted a dedicated school room. But it turns out that homeschooling is so much a part of our life that it is hard to separate it from the dining room table. Of course, there is always school stuff on the table, but I recently read an idea that I think will help. Each kid gets a file crate with hanging files in it. All of their school stuff gets put in that crate--even the toddler. So clearing the table is just a matter of dropping papers and books in folders and putting the crates on the shelf. No more opening and closing binders every time I want to put stuff away.

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We mainly do school on the kitchen table (we don't have a formal dining room). Sometimes when my 3 year old is distracting, my 8 year old will go to her room and work quietly (this is for work that can be done independently). We do read-alouds in the bed all snuggled together. We also listen to audio tapes in the car.

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I used to have a school room but never used it :D. I just prefer the dining room table. It's a very central room and kind of open. We also have bookshelves in the dining room. The good thing too about this is that it forces us to reach a stopping point where things can be put away, a firm breaking point. I like the complete feeling I get when we have reached that point and put everything away for the day.

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I thought I wanted a dedicated school room. But it turns out that homeschooling is so much a part of our life that it is hard to separate it from the dining room table. Of course, there is always school stuff on the table, but I recently read an idea that I think will help. Each kid gets a file crate with hanging files in it. All of their school stuff gets put in that crate--even the toddler. So clearing the table is just a matter of dropping papers and books in folders and putting the crates on the shelf. No more opening and closing binders every time I want to put stuff away.

 

 

Wow, I am amazed you can get your toddler to stay in the crate. :lol:

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