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Your dream homeschool classroom

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If you could design your classroom what physical features would you want?


We are having a house built and I'm giddy with the thought of designing the perfect room but I need ideas. My oldest kids are only 6 but I have visions of Bunson burners, exhaust hoods, domed skylights and telescopes.... then there is reality.


I need to figure out what I need the builder to do i.e. plumbing for a sink and what I can do later i.e. built-ins.





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After homeschooling for two years I am happy that I do not have a school room. I only have two children so that might make a difference. We do school at the kitchen table and each child has their own "project area" in the living room which is a desk or table with baskets of storage for their "stuff" underneath. They use this when they want to work by themselves either during school or after. For example, my dd likes to write in her skiing and riding journal there. I can also send my ds there when he complains that he cannot concentrate while I'm explaining something to my dd.


We have a couple of bookshelves (OK, it's really 4 bookshelves) for my books and for the children's school stuff (and library books, encyclopedia, etc.). What would be really nice would be custom storage along a nearby wall that would make really efficient use of the space, rather than an actual room.


I think I would feel claustrophobic in a room that was separated from the rest of the house. I like the feel of doing school in our HOUSE and not in a separate area. Besides that would be one more area to keep neat and clean. I also like being able to prep for lunch or snack while school is going on. . .


That being said, I do love my kitchen. The kitchen area is simple with no overhead cabinets, just a few open shelves. I went for windows instead of cabinets. It's more like a kitchen/dining room because there's also room to have an overstuffed chair, a lounger, and a small desk without it being overcrowded with us and three dogs. There's also plenty of natural light. So FWIW I would spend my money on the living areas of the house and have smaller bedrooms, no school room and a reasonably sized play/rec room (very simply finished--don't spend too much money there) in a walkout basement (I really like natural light).

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For me right now (only one homeschooler, seventh grade):


a long section of lab bench, part under a hood

a deep sink with plenty of room on either side

a large table (that would seat 6-8) so that we could sit either side-by-side or across from each other

a large magnetic whiteboard

oodles of storage-----bookshelves, other shelves, drawers

comfy chairs

lots of windows


I think that would transition nicely to a all-purpose craft room where I could sew, transplant seedlings, read, and dh could paint :)

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How fun, enjoy the planning process! We actually bought our home because the previous owners added a loft above our garage that I knew instantly would make my dream homeschooling space. It has a counter/sink/mini fridge that we use for watercoloring and other art/craft projects. It has a media area with a small couch that we use for nature/science videos occasionally. There is an area for our large table, with a wall of glass doors and a view. It has an office niche with French glass pocket doors and a wall of bookshelves and a glider for a quiet reading space.


More than anything I wanted a beautiful space that wasn't carpeted. This loft has architectural details and hardwood floors and lots of windows/natural light. The room feels so good in the mornings during our lesson time. I love being in there. So, I would go for aesthetics even more than special "school" add-ons.


It's a major reason we homeschool- the air quality/fluorescent lights/general ugliness of a traditional public school classroom really bothers me. I'm grateful our children work every morning in a beautiful space.

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This room, add a few really cool desks, a huge area rug with pillows for lounging, killer surround sound and big tv for videos.




Yes, but I'd replace the bulbs with some artistic chandeliers (maybe even Tiffany ones to add a splash of color). And I'd replace the couch on the side with a chaise lounge. Like this one:


Yeah, I think I could live with that.

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We school in the kitchen and I don't want to change that. I would however, like to add more space to the kitchen. More cupboards, more wall space. I couldn't deal with a seperate room. There is too much to do and having them in the heart of it all makes homeschooling possible for us.

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I wouldn't want something "far away" from the families hub. I do like having a room - and one with counter space and a sink is great. Industrial lab type counters would rock. Durable floors are a must, I liked the laminate we had in CA (carpet here). But stained concrete would work for me too.


I would want it something that could transition into another space - craft/hobby room. Lots of windows, but room under for cabinets. I love the rooms that have french doors separating them from the rest of the house, open yet defined space. Something that opened into a patio area that we could do outside stuff if needed.... basically a room that the whole family wants to hang out in all the time - because it is the fun room!

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We built our house before my dd started K5. I posted on several boards asking for feedback and encorporated those things into our room. Yeah, some people have a sink in their room, but really an adjacent bathroom is just as good. My SIL's awesome advice was not to fix anything down, to make it so I could reconfigure as my needs changed. Have to tell you that was KILLER advice, as that's what we've done. Now we're just people of variety, hehe, but your needs really do change. Some years I had the futon in. Some years I put a couple tables together to make an island. Some years we used our adjustable table low, some up high. Just lots of variety.


And you want the kicker? Right now we don't even school in that room. :lol: Turns out another spot in the house has much better LIGHT. I had planned for my computer to be in my office area, and there wasn't money to go buying multiple computers. So dd ends up doing her computer-driven work in my personal office area. We set up our together time tables by a window this year so our pictures would be better. The school room turned fully into crafts, sewing, and book storage. The books don't all fit either.


-more storage than you think you'll need

-more bookshelves than you can fathom you'll need (say for 7K books)

-light so your pictures will be pretty

-movable furniture set-up cuz life changes, you realize your kids need separation, teens want to work elsewhere, etc.

-a place where littles can be noisy with music or videos and teens have it quiet and you be in the middle, supervising both


As far as science, well my plan from the beginning had been to use the basement kitchen area for science labs. That's how it's turning out. I have a long (I forget, 12'?) stainless steel restaurant prep table that made an island for the space, and it's fabulous, fabulous for labs. For our physical science labs we've needed to set up ramps to roll things, ring stands, blah blah, and it all works great. Because there's a stove in the kitchen area we can use that instead of a bunsen burner. The hood over the stove becomes the chem hood. So I wouldn't bother trying to make your one homeschool room do EVERYTHING. You probably won't want to have them all together like that anyway, because at some point those teens doing science want their projects undisturbed by the sling-wielding 4 yos, lol. So think long-term, high school, and how those spaces might work. And having the basement kitchen is fun if you're watching football, etc. We mainly make popcorn, ice cream, put out a sundae line, that type of thing. It's really not a problem to do your school science as long as you clean up afterward.


We did make a big island from cabinets, but we use it for our crafting and sewing, not for school stuff. When we have school projects that take up a lot of space (like the big global puzzles), I'll put out one or two folding tables, sometimes pushing them together to create an island. Movable, like my SIL said. :)

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Oh yes, moveable is a must!!!


I picture a big open area....


Although, I have an adjacent bathroom in ours and it sorta works. I wouldn't suggest one so small - I think it was the laundry area of the garage before the some prior owner converted it (our schoolroom here is the old garage in the house, so 20x20ish). Really, I can sit sideways on the toilet and wash my hands.... it's isn't great! (but it is a sink!) :p


I also would want my office area in the same area as the kids were working. That is what isn't working here right now - it has just taken me months to sort it out. We are in a transition time though, and it will sort itself out.

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a fireplace


Oh yeah, that's just what I need, my 4 yo in the fireplace, lol. Actually one consolation with all my ds's busyness is that the basement is relatively SAFE. He can do or get into almost anything in there when my back is turned and I'm not worried. Can't say that about the main floor.


But yes, I'm with you, a fireplace would be lovely. :)


And just for the op's trivia, I ended up with stuff in our basement no one mentioned and I never considered when I started, like a trampoline, 5 large bins of homeschool-only toys (they take up a lot of space!), a large single line swing that hangs from the ceiling, etc. Some people keep even more extensive toy/play areas indoors. I'm all in favor of that. It can be adjacent, not necessarily right beside where your (someday) teens are working. I keep the trampoline and swing and open play area near my ds's work table. That way when we go kinesthetic for something I have space and options.

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Lots of bookshelves! Comfy seating. Definitely a sink! Have fun!




This...but built-in bookshelves with comfy beanbags scattered beneath - like a cozy reading corner. Then, maybe in another corner with windows (for natural light), a built-in banquette w/table where you could do science experiments, building projects, arts and crafts. The benches of the banquette could have lift-tops where you store your arts/crafts supplies and science equipment. Also a nice wall area to hang a large whiteboard with maybe a flat-screen TV above to watch documentaries (at least 2 to 3 outlets along each wall).


OOOhhh...wait.....I'm getting carried away! This dreaming is way too much fun...lol..

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We don't have a homeschooling room, so this would be a luxury.


BIG table (wide as well as long), overlooking the yard through a big window. Blinds if it got too hot through that window. Magazine holders on the big table to hold current curriculum. 3 office chairs with rollers and arm rests for schoolwork. Carpet in this area.


Secondary table for art projects. Non-carpet floor in this area for easy clean up.


Big, dual basin sink for clean-up. Room is situated off a full bathroom (because some stuff doesn't go down the sink, and some projects need a bathtub). A full bath could also sell the house as "nanny quarters, grandparent apartment, or mini-apartment for your college-aged student."




Storage closet (for brooms, vacuum, stash of rags).


Extra closets for bins of unused curriculum.


Shelving unit for dd2's toys (the ones only used at school time). Enough play area for her tent or her little kitchen or whatever.




Adequate shelving.


Exterior door to mini porch that has steps down into the yard. A few lawn chairs or a picnic table (for outdoor messy projects) on the porch for reading outside when it is nice. (Nanny quarters with an exterior door is also a win). Make sure there is an exterior hose spigot nearby for easy cleanup of the picnic table. Get one of those roll-down awnings for that side of the house, too.


Three computer desks. One for me, and one for each of the girls to work at.


Big comfy couch, with pillows.


As long as we're dreaming, how about a clawfoot bathtub filled with pillows? I've always wanted one. (My sister had a 6th grade teacher who had one in her classroom for a reading nook. Banned now because lice could be spread.)


Ample electrical outlets.


A piano.


Programmable thermostat for zoned for just that room.

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If your area is in a hub of the house, (which is what I personally prefer), storage that allows you to hide the "stuff" of homeschooling. I wish I could replace my shelving with custom built cabinetry that would allow me to hide from my evening half finished projects, baskets that are organized chaos, and six million notebooks and binders. I would invest in good seating where you can curl up with a book and in desks that can be configured multiple ways. Above all make sure your lighting is excellent; even if the natural light to the room should be good, have more artificial lighting put in then you think you need. Nothing is worse than trying to get everyone to focus on a dreary February day when the light in the room is putting you in the mood for a nap.

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Comfy, well lit with a variety of places to sit and work. Some areas would feel a bit more secluded, some would be ideal for group work (me with one or two kids).


There would have to be places for dogs to hang out without getting underfoot. Enclosed storage would be a priority so it would look less cluttered. I'm not big on covering walls with visual aids, so maybe a nicer globe in place of wall maps etc.

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When we were looking for a house to buy, we came across this house in the country that the owners wanted to sell but they were not terribly "sure" what they were going to do. They invited us out to look at it, and I fell in love, but sadly enough they decided not to leave. Oh well. I knew it wasn't a sure thing.


But this house had a huge, long, heated and central air cooled mud room. As you walked in there was nice tile on the first part and a deep mud sink with cabinetry and shelves around it (perfect for science and art experiments!!!) and the back part of the room was carpeted with the two perpendicular walls floor to ceiling shelves and cabinets and the owners had cushy chairs and tables out there. It had big windows with plenty of light.


It was the perfect homeschooling project room. The kitchen was huge as well. Long counter tops, plenty of cabinets, island. Plenty of space to homeschool in there as well.


I still think a long, cozy mud room. (preferably getting Southern sun and light in winter) a mud room you would want to hang out in with lots and lots of shelves and cabinets would be great.

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I have tried making a homeschool room in my house but it didnt work. We still migrate to the table/ front room. Our biggest problem was lighting, and centrality. We felt disconnected from the rest of the house. My front room and dining room really work well. BUT I wish there was even something like a walk in closet off of one of them that had gobs of storage for books and supplies. So for me it would be in the main hub of the house but have a walk in closet for storing supplies. Maybe even a big enough closet to put a table in to keep larger projects away from little hands. With lots of shelves for storage and books. Even though my house gets messy during our homeschool day I like the idea that the kids can go where they are comfortable. We aren't confined to one place or the same place every day. I am also busy doing other things with other kids. Between cooking, cleaning, and tending to younger kiddos it is important I have a place to separate everyone but keep an eye on them at the same time. I think that is why an ideal closet would be awesome. That said a little reading nook with a nice open bay window with a comfy couch or something similar next to it, but also some great lighting for night would be a dream as well. Dh and I dream of a tower at the top of the house with windows all around it letting light in from everywhere and comfy seating. Just a cozy place for reading or a quiet talk with the kids. A haven of sorts from the craziness of the rest of the house. (we do have a family of soon to be 9 so...)



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I have a homeschool room, well sort off. The loft is pretty much where I keep the bulk of our stuff but have run our of space, so also have a bookcase in the downstairs living room and some stuff we do on the dining room table. I wish, I had a huge room to keep everything in and we could do all the homeschooling in that room. The loft would probably be enough for us had it not been that my daughters also keep a Guinea pig and a bunny in there and they built them mansions for houses. So they take up a lot of our homeschool space. If I could have a homeschool room, I imagine a huge room with some nice lighting and plenty of wall space to hang up posters and kids projects. I would need an entire wall contributed to book shelves. The science area would need to be an island with a sink, this way if multiple children are learning together, they can view the experiment clearly from around any part of the island and tile the area around the island for spills. I would have space for individualized desk areas for each child with computers and a full spectrum light. I would need space for a table with chairs for hands on projects and games. A reading area with a nice view out a window would be great as well. A wall area with a large white board and a built in cabinet next to the while board and some comfy chairs to sit on facing the white board. I think that about sums up what my needs would be for a homeschool room. Oh also forgot one last thing, I would include a TV area with DVD player, so we can use it for netflix learning programs and curriculum that requires a DVD. Ok now, I think that is all I would need.

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There are moments when I have wanted to have a room that looks like this:




just every now and then...



Lol! I told my DH I wanted a stainless steal kitchen and dining room complete with a power washer and central floor drain with built-in disposal!


Thanks for the ideas everyone!

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I haven't read the replies, but I wanted to share this:


The placement of the room is MUCH more important than the physical features.


We stumbled on A Good Thing with this house. A tiled area (not enclosed room but open to the rest of the space) off the kitchen is our school room. It is near the kitchen, dining room, laundry room, and a bathroom. It is in the area of the house we live in the most. It totally rocks. There is even a built in "teacher's desk" across from it.


If this room were not so central to the workings of the house, we would probably only use it for storage and do school on the dining room table like we did for years (in other houses). When we had to do that, I did dislike having to have big bookcases crowded into our dining room. It made for cramped and cluttered surroundings when we had someone over for dinner.


But, no more! I bought a separate table for the schoolroom and four large bookshelves with doors on the bottom couple of shelves. When we are not doing school, the table can serve as a "kid's table" when people come over. On weekends it doubles as a rocket-building space. The piano is in the schoolroom, also. We have big windows for lots of natural light, and the back patio is a couple of steps away.


Children who have reading to do for a subject can retreat to the nearby living room (couch) or library (big chair with ottoman) and then come back to the table for seat work. And we have a gas fire place in the living room too. Today, we gathered in the living room to start Dante's Inferno--we put the fireplace on, we each had our books, and we played the audio book and followed along. Then it's back to the table for seat work.


The whole thing really is ideal for homeschooling, down to the long hallway nearby that leads to the bathroom and laundry room where we have our timeline hung. The only thing I don't have is wall space to hang maps or charts, because the area is so open.


I actually can't believe that this house was designed and owned before us by two families who did not homeschool--the setup is that ideal. Those families used the area for a TV room, which I think is a lousy use for it, but hey, their loss is my gain!


So, the moral of this story is, plan your schoolroom for an area central to where you live, and then it will get used!

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As for building and such I would make sure there was plenty of electrical outlets so you can rearrange the room without worrying too much. You will likely want to be able to plug in different items (computers, small fridge?, tv, lamps, science supplies, etc) I love rearranging but hate when things do not work only because of plugs.

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