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Separate School Room - Pros/Cons?


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Tell me your Pros/Cons for having a separate school room in your house.  We currently do school on the dining room table.  Our downstairs is open - the Living Room, Dining Room and Kitchen are all one big room.  The Family Room is attached to the kitchen by a half-wall.  The Family Room could be made into a school room, but it's sort of small.

 

We could make it happen upstairs in a bedroom.  But I don't really want to be upstairs all day - I'm always trying to do things in addition to school - laundry, dinner, etc.

 

So tell me about why you have decided to have a separate school room or not.  Does it help everyone to stay more focused?  I feel that by being at the DR table, it's too easy for everyone to get up and do something else because everything is just all right there.

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I three times had a school room.  In each case, it became both messy and a place to warehouse books, but not actually do school. 

 

I have had much better results with a family room that had a table for doing school and a lot of books, but also toys for the youngest and a place to fold laundry.  Or what we have now, which is a table near the kitchen.  This lets me supervise school, while also doing things like prepping a meal or doing dishes.

 

I don't think I would ever again choose to have a specific school room.  I really just haven't found that I'm able to utilize it in a way that is worth the loss of living space.

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Of course the pros/cons will vary wildly depending on each person's unique situation, but here are the pros and cons based on my own situation and some things I see as pretty common factors.

 

Pros:

 

-Your school stuff has a home, you can put maps on the walls and charts, have a large blackboard, etc. This is something I wouldn't do if school was in the dining room, I would want everything hidden to blend in with the rest of the decor.

 

-More space for educational displays. I always drool over people's nature study tables, or their science centers, or their reading corners. I wish I had more space to implement similiar spaces.

 

- It can help certain personality types focus more when they have a specific place set aside for learning. On the flip side, it can also help certain personality types focus their teaching more.

 

- It can help the rest of the house stay organized, and save time for you if all the materials you need for school are in one space.

 

Cons:

 

- For large families, it may be easier for the parent to have school in the main part of the house. Last year, I had two toddlers and an infant. I had the smaller children's toys in the library, my son's work being done in the dining room, and in this way I could continue to supervise everyone if I was in the kitchen making lunch. It was a bit hectic, but for that season in our lives it worked. This wouldn't have been possible if school was in a seperate room on the 2nd floor.

 

- For my particular personality, having an entire room for school would be a temptation to fill it with stuff we really didn't need. Having school in the main part of the house forces me to be more organized and limit the amount of stuff we have. It also forces me to tidy up more. Of course, this is a factor that won't apply to everyone, just lazy horders like myself :).

 

- One more reason why people don't have a seperate room is simply a lack of space and a lack of funds to furnish the space. Obviously, this also won't apply to everyone.

 

 

As of now we are still doing school at the dining room table, and my son also has a desk in his bedroom if the chaos from the toddlers gets to be too disruptive. My hope is that when my youngest starts Kindergarten we will convert our library/den into a schoolroom.

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We have had both. Multiple times, multiple houses. The BEST school room I had was an actual bedroom (doors closed, with closet) that had double doors that opened up into the large family/kitchen area. That was cool. It was slightly on the smaller side, though. We currently do not have a school room. We have the whole great room area concept in this house and I didn't like that I was always leaving my son (because it was always him ;) ) in the other room to finish work while I went and made lunch and did whatever else. What I eventually would end up doing was having him drag everything into the kitchen and that kind of defeated having the school room for us. We do a ton of reading, and there wasn't room for a couch in the room we last had, so we just ended up hardly ever being in there. I think it would be great to have a homeschool resource room. Unfortunately, the room we were using as a school room didn't have a closet and wasn't appropriate (in location) for that. It is now "the library". Ideally, I would have all my stuff in one room - from books to paper to manipulatives, but then school in an open, centralized area. My kids are needy and need to be around me, so that's why that works for us.

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Tell me your Pros/Cons for having a separate school room in your house.  We currently do school on the dining room table.  Our downstairs is open - the Living Room, Dining Room and Kitchen are all one big room.  The Family Room is attached to the kitchen by a half-wall.  The Family Room could be made into a school room, but it's sort of small.

 

We could make it happen upstairs in a bedroom.  But I don't really want to be upstairs all day - I'm always trying to do things in addition to school - laundry, dinner, etc.

 

So tell me about why you have decided to have a separate school room or not.  Does it help everyone to stay more focused?  I feel that by being at the DR table, it's too easy for everyone to get up and do something else because everything is just all right there.

 

I don't have a list of pros and cons, but what is in bold above is the reason I decided to no longer have a school room...We had one upstairs, and it was difficult to always have to be upstairs...I needed everyone downstairs with me so I can also do other things when needed...This will be the first time we will not have a school room, but I think it will be fine...I have one of those Ikea Trofast systems in the living room now with bins that I will keep the books we are currently in...The upstairs room is becoming a family room with a bookcase that will serve as the library for some books...Other books will go in totes in the basement until it is their turn to come upstairs, either to the library or part of our school books that year...And some other books that I am no longer fond of will be donated...

 

If I had a room on the first floor, right by the kitchen, I would use that...But as it is, the room on the first floor by the kitchen is the dining room, so that is what we are using...A basement room or upstairs room doesn't work for us...

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I schooled without a separate room for 5 years.  It meant clearing the dining room table 3 times a day.  Or it meant setting up the living room with folding tables and hauling in crates every morning and tearing it down.

 

We made it work and I was rather proud of myself that we could do it.  Who needs a school room, I thought?  I am She-Ra!! I will perform a miracle every morning and set this house up as a school. And tear it down at 5pm.  

 

And then this year after my in-laws moved out, we used the room that they had for a school room (which before they moved in with us had been a bedroom for some kiddos).

 

IT IS AMAZINGLY, AWESOMELY, SO INCREDIBLY MUCH BETTER.  

 

For us, I would rather pile up kids in bedrooms and have the extra room left over for a school.  But I have 6 kids to school, so maybe that is the difference maker for me.  

 

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I schooled without a separate room for 5 years.  It meant clearing the dining room table 3 times a day.  Or it meant setting up the living room with folding tables and hauling in crates every morning and tearing it down.

 

We made it work and I was rather proud of myself that we could do it.  Who needs a school room, I thought?  I am She-Ra!! I will perform a miracle every morning and set this house up as a school. And tear it down at 5pm.  

 

And then this year after my in-laws moved out, we used the room that they had for a school room (which before they moved in with us had been a bedroom for some kiddos).

 

IT IS AMAZINGLY, AWESOMELY, SO INCREDIBLY MUCH BETTER.  

 

For us, I would rather pile up kids in bedrooms and have the extra room left over for a school.  But I have 6 kids to school, so maybe that is the difference maker for me.  

 

Well, and my issue with the bedrooms is that my kids literally only sleep in their rooms.  They do nothing else in there at all.  So it's almost wasted space.  Lots of it.

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We have a schoolhouse with floor to ceiling bookcases on most walls, large maps and posters (Periodic Table) down the halls, personal desks in bedrooms, and an additional working table, separate from the dining table, in the living room. We are a family of 10 in 1800 sq ft but had the same set up in 900 sq ft for nearly a decade. Sometimes we want personal space; sometimes we want to sit in the same room. 

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We made our dining room into a school room. We only incidentally eat in there. Not ideal, but it is near the kitchen and the laundry area and I can do other things while DS is working on math problems. We only have one kid, so it might be different with more.

 

We are also house hunting. Whatever house we buy absolutely has to have room for a homeschool room on the main floor. I really do think it helps us focus better.

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PROS to a school room- It contains the mess, so your house can look like a house, not like a school.

                                       You can leave out projects all day, or even for several days.

                                       You get to plan and decorate a school room :)

                                       You may have more space, and therefor the ability to have more stuff.

 

CONS to a school room- You can't multitask as well (do dishes AND keep an eye on the child doing math, teach spelling AND watch the baby play)

                                        A bedroom is often cramped and doesn't have great lighting (if you're using a family room or dining room this doesn't apply)

                                        You have one less room for other uses.

                                        You may have more space, and therefor the ability to have more stuff...that's not always a good thing.

 

For my kids ages 5, 6, 2, I really prefer NOT having a school room.  They need me at their elbow, even during "independent" work and whoever is not working needs me keeping an eye on them.  So we'd be ALL FOUR stuck either in a bedroom (which would be so cramped I think they'd be even MORE distracted by each other) or the basement (where I'd go crazy from lack of natural light in 3 seconds).  And I would just have to sit there bored staring at them while they finish the math sheet instead of doing those dishes while calling out "keep working" every 2 minutes.  I'll take my sunny kitchen and livingroom any day.  

 

But I'll admit when they are older, and more likely to sit and do their studies without me hawking over them, I'd love to have an Official School Room.  Someplace where we could store things, have 1 on 1 lessons, and where they can go to read/write/study away from the hustle of the rest of the house.  In this dream it is a spacious sunroom/library type area :)   Since right now the hustle and bustle has to come with me, and there is no such space in my home, it remains a dream.

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I like having a school room. I don't want to multitask while doing lessons. By being upstairs it reminds me that I have a job to do and that is teaching/helping my kids with lessons. The house can wait. I want my kids to get the message through my undivided attention (as in house work vs lessons) that I take their education seriously and they should too. So I treat our lessons as if I worked outside the house....as best I can. I do house chores before lessons, during lunch, and after lessons. 

 

There are times I go downstairs to start lunch and my kids are still working. Yes, they usually goof off and don't get done. However, they are learning how to use their time and to focus even while I'm not there. They are kids and it's a tough thing to learn, but they are getting there. 

 

Anyway, I like not having to clear the table to eat meals. There are times when I still do such as when we do a messy art or science project. Those take place on the dining table. 

 

My kids love having their own desk and portion of wall to use and decorate. 

 

Also, another huge bonus, is that the floor in the school room is much cleaner than downstairs because the dog is not allowed upstairs.  :lol:

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I think everyone has covered most everything I would have said, except for my daughter's request.  She asked that the school stuff be in a separate room so that we can close the door and walk away when we are done with formal schooling for the day.  DS gets distracted so a separate room helps him focus but he is perfectly happy with school stuff scattered about.  DD wants a mental break.  She wants a door and four walls to shut it up somewhere else.  That way if she is struggling with something, having a bad day, we can just shut the door and say o.k. things aren't going well but we can walk away for a while, take a break, start again later after we've had a bit of a break.  It helps her mentally be able to come back later and tackle things again.

 

Best wishes.

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We have an open floor plan (kitchen/dining/living room all in one space) that is gloriously lit and open. That's where we do school, have toys, display maps and miscellaneous building projects or shell collections or whatever else is being made or discovered. Our house basically looks like a preschool or elementary school classroom. I'm OK with it because it works very well for us.

 

We also have a master bedroom on same floor. This room we've turned into a family room/office. Still no real decor to speak of, but it's where our extra supplies, computer, television, etc. are. 

 

At some point, when the kids are more capable of independent work and will need a more quiet space for reading and writing, I imagine we'll flip our living space and our office space, so that we'll have a real living room and a close-the-door school room.

 

I see that our kids are almost the same ages, and I know that my 4 year old would NOT want to be left out of the school room, even if it were to play with his toys. He'd see that as a punishment or abandonment. Having school in our open space means more distractions, but everyone is included.

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Of course the pros/cons will vary wildly depending on each person's unique situation, but here are the pros and cons based on my own situation and some things I see as pretty common factors.

 

Pros:

 

-Your school stuff has a home, you can put maps on the walls and charts, have a large blackboard, etc. This is something I wouldn't do if school was in the dining room, I would want everything hidden to blend in with the rest of the decor.

 

-More space for educational displays. I always drool over people's nature study tables, or their science centers, or their reading corners. I wish I had more space to implement similiar spaces.

 

- It can help certain personality types focus more when they have a specific place set aside for learning. On the flip side, it can also help certain personality types focus their teaching more.

 

- It can help the rest of the house stay organized, and save time for you if all the materials you need for school are in one space.

 

Cons:

 

- For large families, it may be easier for the parent to have school in the main part of the house. Last year, I had two toddlers and an infant. I had the smaller children's toys in the library, my son's work being done in the dining room, and in this way I could continue to supervise everyone if I was in the kitchen making lunch. It was a bit hectic, but for that season in our lives it worked. This wouldn't have been possible if school was in a seperate room on the 2nd floor.

 

- For my particular personality, having an entire room for school would be a temptation to fill it with stuff we really didn't need. Having school in the main part of the house forces me to be more organized and limit the amount of stuff we have. It also forces me to tidy up more. Of course, this is a factor that won't apply to everyone, just lazy horders like myself :).

 

- One more reason why people don't have a seperate room is simply a lack of space and a lack of funds to furnish the space. Obviously, this also won't apply to everyone.

 

 

As of now we are still doing school at the dining room table, and my son also has a desk in his bedroom if the chaos from the toddlers gets to be too disruptive. My hope is that when my youngest starts Kindergarten we will convert our library/den into a schoolroom.

All the Pros apply to me and none of the Cons.  When considering our school room I can only think of one Con, no big comfy couch.  I hope to remedy that soon, then it will be perfect.  I went years trying to fit school into our regular living space, I am so much happier with the school room which doubles as my office.  All my books are here, I have 5 maps, drawings, a periodic poster, a dart board, a 3x4 whiteboard, timeline, and a bunch of bird pictures on the walls.  Yes, the place gets messy but my living room stays clean.

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I don't home school so I don't need a school room.

 

Having said that our lounge looks a lot like a preschool I guess - but if you have kids surely it is a bit strange not to have toys etc in the lounge and I really don't see why people have a problem with maps on the walls.

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We have a dining room and a dining nook, so I put our dining table in the nook and made the dining room into our school room, it's centrally located but we can walk away from it and feel done. We do about 70% of our work in there and move to the living room for reading. Most of the pros and cons are covered in previous posts, but to me it's most important to just have a place for everything, I'd have to really pare down in order to not have a school room.

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We have a separate school room which is quite large & has a formal sitting area as well. 

 

The pros are that if we make our messes in there we can just close the door & walk out keeping it all closed off when someone pops in or we've had an exceptionally long day.

Projects have a place to be & aren't in fear of getting ruined.

Books all have a place & aren't as easily lost. 

It's quick & simple for me to know where all the curriculum I'm using, plan to use, & so forth is. 

I love that it doesn't really matter what I hang on the walls it all looks like it belongs there. Mind you school stuff is strewn through the house on walls too, but..

Distractions are less because we don't need to leave the room to get things done.

If the kids are suppose to be working on their own I can stay away {this is sooo imperative so that I don't pester them} & leave them to it.

 

 

 

While these are not downers for our current school rooms they have been cons in the past:

 

Too Cold in the winter & too hot in the summer -- this room doesn't have that problem, but a former one did.

Too isolated. We had one room that was upstairs & off the back of the home. It was a tiny room with little space to spread out. It also meant that when a child was hungry I couldn't just quickly grab something but had to make a big dash before another child needed me again.

Not light enough -- natural light really makes a HUGE difference in performances & being awake. 

Not enough shelving Space. If you pick a room make sure you have enough space to put all the school stuff you need RIGHT there. It's not the end of the world, but it can get old running around looking for everything because it doesn't fit in the space allotted.

Not Enough Room in general. If you're going to bump into someone or something when you move you're going to be irritated & it's not worth it. It might also mean that if kids want to spread out a bit to have their own area to work quietly it's going to be more difficult & cause flared tempers.

 

Too Close to distractions. I know it sounds absurd that it can be too far away & also too close. It might depend on how easily distracted you or your children are.. Our current room is by an exterior door should we receive a package, it has a phone in it all though it's set very very quietly & I only grab it if the caller ID is a number I know or need to talk to. It has plenty of electrical outlets because we seem to need them lately. It does not have a computer in it unless we take a laptop in, which is generally only for watching MUS videos. We do use the computer for research at times. Electives are done in the other room so as not to disturb people doing necessaries. It does have docking stations for i-devices which we use for the purpose of listening to audio books & other lectures. It does not have a tv of any kind in it.

 

 

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we have a school room - it's a large room right at the front of the house, opens onto the deck, right off the dinging / kitchen / living.  Eventually it'll be a second living area / family room I imagine.  It's awesome.  It's right within the main living of the house - I can do all those little jobs and look right in to where they are, come and go, and work with them as needed.  It is GLORIOUS to have a space to confine the "stuff" and be able to leave things out.  We have large open shelves for games and maths gear, etc.  I am very lucky to have this space (We purpose built it). 

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I have a schoolroom and prefer it. Our stuff has a home, and we don't have to clear stuff away in order to eat lunch, and I can set stuff out the night before and not have to move it for breakfast. We have maps on the walls and a comfy rocking chair and a big desk for my stuff and the computer and a cabinet for art supplies and several tables in the middle of the room, pushed into one big table.

 

However, we don't necessarily stay in there, but it's very convenient. People take work to different rooms or outside for quiet, or they follow me to the kitchen to get help with math while I'm doing dishes or laundry. I wander in and out of the room frequently to switch laundry or prep meals. We made our schoolroom the baby-safe room, so baby and toddler toys live in it, and we have it gated. Kids who can get over the gates are able to go to another room, and the trains and other toys live in the playroom next to the schoolroom. I do not think we would be happy if we were confined, six of us, to one room for several hours, not with several littles; flexibility is the key for us. I'd opt for dining room table over an upstairs schoolroom, personally.

 

I lent my schoolroom tables to a friend for a few days, so this week we are doing schoolwork at the dining room table. (Actually, it's the kitchen table. Our kitchen is a huge country kitchen type of room, more than just an eat in kitchen but not actually a separate dining room and kitchen. So we have an island in the kitchen part and a big table in the dining part.). The kids say they don't like it, because we keep having to lug stuff back and forth from the schoolroom. I liked having it all right there too.

 

Also, our schoolroom is open and large and pretty sunny, so it's a very pleasant room. Our old farmhouse is kind of strange in its layout. The kitchen/dining room, the bathroom, and the laundry room (and the back steps, which open into the kitchen) make up the entire back half of the first floor. Of the front half, the schoolroom is the right half (if you're looking at it from the front), and the left half is divided into the small living room (in the front) and the small playroom (in the middle, sandwiched between the living room and the back steps). The schoolroom has open doorways to the living room, playroom, and the dining part of the kitchen, plus the front steps open to it. So it's kind of a busy place anyway, and it works well for a schoolroom.

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I lent my schoolroom tables to a friend for a few days, so this week we are doing schoolwork at the dining room table. (Actually, it's the kitchen table. Our kitchen is a huge country kitchen type of room, more than just an eat in kitchen but not actually a separate dining room and kitchen. So we have an island in the kitchen part and a big table in the dining part.). The kids say they don't like it, because we keep having to lug stuff back and forth from the schoolroom. I liked having it all right there too.

 

 

I know this is not the point, but I have never heard of anyone borrowing someone's schoolroom tables :tongue_smilie:

 

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I warehouse books in a room turned into a study off of the kitchen.  That has a long desk with two computer stations, a huge expedit, paper storage, maps, printer, etc.  We rarely work in there though, and I'm totally okay with that.

 

I think sometimes about a bonus room arrangement and whether if we had a large space we'd want to all be in there.  I'm not sure.  Where I currently live, bonus rooms aren't common, but when we lived in the south, they were a pretty common thing.  In my current arrangement, i can throw wash in (first floor laundry room), prep food, etc. while the kids are working nearby.  But, that also means more distractions and sometimes a feeling of, "I just need to get this one other thing done..."

 

If we had a bonus room or walk out basement schoolroom arrangement, it would be less tempting I think to do other tasks in between the kids needing me.  Our study has a door off of the kitchen, but the other entrance to it is off of the foyer, and there's no door on that entry.  Our room is usually fairly neat, but there's only so much I can do to make it attractive with what we have. I would kind of like to have it all out of sight and tucked away on a different floor.  But then I worry about accessibility when I need to prep food or throw in laundry.

So, all of that to say, I don't know!  Pros and cons either way.

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I"ve never had one and never wanted one. And I've seen here and on other homeschooling boards that people don't tend to stay only in the school room.

 

The reason I've never wanted one is that I never wanted homeschooling to try to duplicate school. I want more "home" than "school" in my homeschool. Another reason is that with 4 kids, I frequently needed separate rooms, especially as they got older. I could leave older more independent student at dining room table doing his work while I read to the younger ones from Story of the World. Eventually, older kids might read A Separate Peace in their nice cozy beds. The kitchen is where most science demonstrations took place.

 

Yeah, my dining room has posters of the periodic table and the family room has a timeline that runs around the room. So what. We live here. This is how we live.

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We have a specific "schoolroom" now, and for the most part I love it.  Our is the Florida room right off the kitchen, so it isn't totally contained in the sense that we have open walls to the kitchen, but the school "stuff" stays pretty well contained in it.   Pros for us - most everything is in one place.  The rest of the house stays relatively school-clutter free.  We have a white board that we use A LOT on the wall.  We have a long, low set of bookshelves to hold everything the kids need, and I have a giant metal desk to hold all my stuff.  

 

Because it is open to the kitchen I can still do laundry, meal prep, etc. while the kids keep working.  We also just added an enclosed deck off the Florida room and we are using that a lot when the kids want a change of scenery.  We do go to the couch when we want somewhere comfy to sit, but honestly 99% of our school is done in the school room.  Even though the room is mostly windows, I think it helps the kids not to feel so closed in, although we have the periodic distraction factor once in awhile.  

 

The main "con" for me was the loss of my Florida room.  Pre-school room, it had the most comfy chaise where I would sit and read books.  Sigh...  

 

I'm not sure we would ever homeschool without a "schoolroom" mainly because my husband does not like clutter or a lot of "stuff" in a room.  So even if we used a dining room table, and had neatly stacked crates or bookshelves with our supplies on it, it might bother him.  He is Captain Minimalist.  Our room is not so centrally located or often used by him enough to make a difference.  

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We were using our dining room as a school room but when it was time to sel the house we turned the room back into a dining room. I packed up everything but the essentials and movedwhat we kept into some shelves in our family room and we started doing most of our school work in the kitchen and family room. Turns out I loved it that way. There was much less clutter/junk etc for one thing.

I thought I was going to insist on having a school room in our new house but decided I did not need one after all. I again set up a few bookcases and we just do school work wherever. Often on the couch or kitchen table. Our new house is much bigger than the old one and even has a loft that would make a great school room but that is not how we are using the space. I doubt I will ever go back to a designated school space and frankly, if it weren't for all the homeschool blogs displaying their fancy rooms I probably never would have felt the need for one in the first place. But what do you know? You can successfully teach your children at home without a school room. :-p

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We have a dining room and a dining nook, so I put our dining table in the nook and made the dining room into our school room, it's centrally located but we can walk away from it and feel done. We do about 70% of our work in there and move to the living room for reading. Most of the pros and cons are covered in previous posts, but to me it's most important to just have a place for everything, I'd have to really pare down in order to not have a school room.

This is the same for my family, but we probably do all of our work but reading in the school room.

 

Last year we had it in an upstairs loft area. It worked well but it literally drove me crazy to not be able to get a few other things done (laundry, dinner, lunch prep, etc) while the kids were doing their more independent work. So I tried moving some things down to the kitchen table and that just didn't work at all. I had stuff everywhere all the time and I spent more time moving things and trying to clean up than anything else. So we made the formal dining room into the school room and its amazing. I put an old kitchen table in the middle of the room; a kid sits on each end I'm in the middle and able to see what both are doing and help when needed. I love that everything has its own place and I think it helps all of us to stay more focused.

 

Like others have said, its all about personal preference and how you and your family work. What works for some may be counterproductive to others. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but what if you just moved everything into that area and gave it a try? You may love it and use it all the time. Or you may just like the storage but still school elsewhere. Or you may hate the whole thing and end up moving it all back to where you had it had been before. As I said, could end up being a waste of time/energy and you may not have that but I'm one who has to try something out before I know if I will use it.

 

Good luck :)

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My DD loves decorating our school room each year. It effectively is more a big closet/craft project space than a school room, because most of the schooling happens outside of it (we do a lot on the big screened porch when weather is decent, DD types many assignments at the computer, which is upstairs, DD does her reading and independent work in her bedroom, sprawled on her bed, etc), but she really likes having it.

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I know this is not the point, but I have never heard of anyone borrowing someone's schoolroom tables :tongue_smilie:

 

 

Hahahaha! There's a good reason. My three schoolroom tables are the type with folding legs, the sturdy plastic kind (like this: http://www.amazon.com/Lifetime-80160-Commercial-Adjustable-Tabletop/dp/B003DYZQKY/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1409060840&sr=8-4&keywords=Folding+table), so they're easy to transport, and I have a 12 seater van that holds them easily. We have a back to school party for our homeschool group coming up, at my friend's house, and she needed some tables. It was easy enough to pack mine up to lend to her, and I'll get them back after the party.

 

In an ideal world, I'd have a big wooden table, about 4'x4' because wood is pretty, but the plastic ones are pretty functional, and they fit the bill. It IS nice to be able to move them apart into three separate tables if needed too.

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I"ve never had one and never wanted one. And I've seen here and on other homeschooling boards that people don't tend to stay only in the school room.

 

The reason I've never wanted one is that I never wanted homeschooling to try to duplicate school. I want more "home" than "school" in my homeschool. Another reason is that with 4 kids, I frequently needed separate rooms, especially as they got older. I could leave older more independent student at dining room table doing his work while I read to the younger ones from Story of the World. Eventually, older kids might read A Separate Peace in their nice cozy beds. The kitchen is where most science demonstrations took place.

 

Yeah, my dining room has posters of the periodic table and the family room has a timeline that runs around the room. So what. We live here. This is how we live.

Lol, there are generally kids working everywhere in my house! Upstairs, downstairs, in their nightgowns (oh, wait, I do make them dress for school except on days when they get dressed right before we leave for martial arts). . . They're not generally all sitting around the table at the same time, but they each have a "home space" at the tables.

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We have a upstairs gameroom that I use to warehouse books. It is also the location of my big 7' farm table and the desk top that we use for online schoolwork. However, ds sort of wanders the house while studying. He isn't super young- 11yo. If he needs to research online or wants to work on Khan Academy, Big History, or something, he is fine going to the gameroom without me. At this point, I don't sit with him or monitor him much, but he does usually hang out near me. Currently, he has a couch downstairs where he prefers to sit and work. Anyway, we keep whatever he is currently using in a bag. This makes it not only easy to carry up, down, and around the house, but it is also easy to toss in the vehicle.

 

Positives-

A warehouse, a designated spot, for everything makes for easier clean-up and storage. Even if it is a bookshelf in a room that primarily has a title other than school room, a designated area for everything just makes for easier organization.

 

A bag, backpack or tote, where your child places the primary books, folders, etc. that he is using that week will allow him to school wherever it is convenient. When he is finished, it goes back in the bag, and, at the end of the day, it goes back where everything is stored. This is efficient. Time is not spent gathering at the beginning or end of the day, and, when the student finishes one thing, he doesn't need to get up, put stuff up, and gather the next thing (thus breaking momentum) in order to move on.

 

As I am now only schooling one child who is moving toward more independent learning, a warehousing area and a book bag help him keep everything more organized.

 

I have never been concerned about where my children work. If they are comfortable at the table in the gameroom, on one of the couches, or on their bed, that's great. I just want them working on whatever they are working on. I only have cared about location when a child was having difficulty completing tasks. Sometimes, this meant the child needed to be where I could see him, or to work at a flat surface, or to go to his room where it was quiet, or to be separated from his sibling. Anyway, I can't imagine saying that everyday we must sit in a single, particular location for a certain portion of our day that I will refer to as school time. It just isn't how I operate. I don't sit still in one spot, and I never expected the kids to do so either. I am also not very good at compartmentalizing my day so that there is a certain time to do school where that school looks like a classroom and when the child is finished with it, school is done. Although I love books, including textbooks and workbooks, and I like having a dedicated place to store those things, I also know that learning happens everywhere and all the time. ;)

 

HTH-

Mandy

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Tell me your Pros/Cons for having a separate school room in your house.  We currently do school on the dining room table.  Our downstairs is open - the Living Room, Dining Room and Kitchen are all one big room.  The Family Room is attached to the kitchen by a half-wall.  The Family Room could be made into a school room, but it's sort of small.

 

We could make it happen upstairs in a bedroom.  But I don't really want to be upstairs all day - I'm always trying to do things in addition to school - laundry, dinner, etc.

 

So tell me about why you have decided to have a separate school room or not.  Does it help everyone to stay more focused?  I feel that by being at the DR table, it's too easy for everyone to get up and do something else because everything is just all right there.

 

I never had the option of having a separate room, but I would not have wanted one that was completely separate from the rest of our household life. :-) I would have liked a room to store stuff, like a big walk-in pantry, and a table other than the kitchen/dining room table to work on. I would have been happy with an actual family room. :-)

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We love our homeschool room. Personally with growing boys, I want to be as far away from the kitchen and food as possible or they will ask to eat all day long, lol.

 

I also like the separation of spaces. It helps me to get into school mindset. While I do laundry, dishes, & chores in the morning and at lunch, I don't like multi-tasking in between subjects and when we are working on school, we are up in the school room away from all the rest of it. It helps that I love our school room with big windows & window benches, a fireplace, and a wet bar. :D

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I have one and love one. We have a basement living room space large enough for four desks, a table for me, a wall of bookcases, comfy chairs, my filing cabinets and printers. A nook is a play area for the toddler. One wall has a large dry erase board. A bathroom is close by. It's great because we can leave our mess out, and everything is easily accessible.

 

We break for meals, and I dash up and down to switch laundry machines.

 

We have attention issues in the family; it's too easy to get distracted when we have schooled at the dining table.

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I'm thinking about this now as we're going to lose our school room when we move this month. It's currently a bonus room over the garage. Along one wall is a long counter top we repurposed so we can work there. There's a couch and on the other side all the toys.

 

While I love having all things kid in one spot, out of three of them at least one desperately needs to go downstairs for something. Toddler whining for food or change of scenery, I've got to make lunch, or answer the door, potty breaks etc and only one of three can do downstairs alone. So it's a constant up and down all day. In our previous house we had a playroom on the main level and it just ended up with them dragging things around the house to be near us so that didn't really help.

 

So our next house seems perfect in my head. There's a small breakfast nook in the kitchen that can seat 2 on barstools. I'll teach there if need be, using the wall space for map/calendar etc, but the dining/living is just next to it as apart of an open floor plan. This way everyone is together. As they get older they can go to their rooms for quiet reading. I hate having toys strewn all over my living room, but such is life and I've no one to impress! I'll figure out a storage solution but I think not having an actual room will be fine.

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My newest experiment is a "one-on-one" room. Generally we have worked in the living room and kitchen (which are only separated by a half wall). But recently I was getting frazzled running from child to child, teaching bits of different subjects in snips, before someone else shouted "Mooooom! Can you come help me with this?" Then each child would complain that I never had time for them, and I was always helping (fill-in-the-blank) instead of them, that their sibling was too noisy, etc. In desperation, I set up in our little used, out of the way, but attached-to-the-kitchen dining room. I put up a whiteboard (since I always found myself scrambling for scrap paper and a pencil to show someone how to do something) and a few necessary posters (Latin verbs, calendar time). Now each child has an assigned time slot when I am in the dining room just for him and can do all the one-on-one stuff, and then send him off the do independent work while I move on to the next child. We occasionally use the room for any art or history projects which we do together, although science tends to stay in the kitchen despite the smaller table.

Maybe not what you need, but it has really saved the day at my house.

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I like having a school room. I don't want to multitask while doing lessons. By being upstairs it reminds me that I have a job to do and that is teaching/helping my kids with lessons. The house can wait. I want my kids to get the message through my undivided attention (as in house work vs lessons) that I take their education seriously and they should too. So I treat our lessons as if I worked outside the house....as best I can. I do house chores before lessons, during lunch, and after lessons.

 

There are times I go downstairs to start lunch and my kids are still working. Yes, they usually goof off and don't get done. However, they are learning how to use their time and to focus even while I'm not there. They are kids and it's a tough thing to learn, but they are getting there.

 

Anyway, I like not having to clear the table to eat meals. There are times when I still do such as when we do a messy art or science project. Those take place on the dining table.

 

My kids love having their own desk and portion of wall to use and decorate.

 

Also, another huge bonus, is that the floor in the school room is much cleaner than downstairs because the dog is not allowed upstairs. :lol:

This comment is making me rethink giving up my schoolroom upstairs...I have been thinking about this since I read it yesterday...

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Our house has both an eat-in kitchen area which is the size of a dining room and then another formal dining room right off the kitchen.  I turned the formal dining room into the school room because it was a room used a few times a year.  

 

Pros:

 

-School things are all in one place (or mostly).

-It's right off the kitchen, so I can still do a few chores while kids are working independently.  I'm right there to remind them to stay on task or available for a question/help.

-The light is great, and it's the warmest room during the winter.

-The room has only school type things or the kids work on the walls.

-Plenty of room for everyone (I use a dining room table)

 

 

Cons:

-It can sometimes be distracting for all the kids to be in the same room at once. (I have two early elementary age and a toddler)

-I can't actually close off the room so the toddler is able to get into things quite a bit.  The bookshelves have things piled on the very top to keep out of his hands.

-The room can get very messy, very quickly, especially with little bits of paper.

 

Overall I love having a place dedicated to school even if we actually "do" school somewhere else.  Everything has a place and stays organized(for the most part), and everyone knows where to go to get books, supplies, paper, crayons, etc.

 

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I don't have a dedicated homeschooling room, and don't particularly want one. There are many other things I'd do with a spare room first - dedicated playroom (which would probably also serve as the homeschooling room), library/guest room, and another kid bedroom (we have 4 kids and 2 kid bedrooms). Maybe even a storage room.

 

Cons:

-It can sometimes be distracting for all the kids to be in the same room at once. (I have two early elementary age and a toddler)

 

This is my primary reason I don't have a lot of interest in a homeschool room - I can't see them spending all that much time working in the same room. I mean, they do now, because we don't have separate rooms except for the bedrooms. But I suspect that, if we had the space to have a dedicated homeschooling room, they'd either annoy eachother or spread out all over the house anyways.

 

So the only real benefit I can see is having a nice sterile living room that isn't full of bookshelves and stuff. And what's the fun of that?

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You have a crazy shedding dog too that you go upstairs to escape?  :D

 

:lol:   No, no dogs...I do have a crazy shedding cat though :tongue_smilie:

 

I have been thinking about my wanting to be downstairs so it would be easier for me to do other things and multitask while teaching...I have not done the best job in the past of totally devoting myself to my boys education, so maybe trying to do other things is not the best option...

 

I want my boys to see that I take their education seriously...I want to take their education more seriously...

 

I think I am staying upstairs...

 

Thanks Mom-ninja...

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We had one and we abolished it. Here's the thing. My son needs supervision and instruction during the day. My younger son generally wanted to be in the same room. It makes no sense for the three of us to spend the day wedged into the smallest room in our home. It also makes no sense to locate far from the other stuff I need to be doing/checking during the day. Even before we axed the school room we migrated naturally to the dining table which was open to the living room and the kitchen.

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Our study/library is a treasure to us! When we lived in a small house for a bit, we even went without a living room to have a study. Our current home has a floor plan with a designated office in a perfect place, so the choice was easy!

 

We are a small family - just three of us. My daughter is a teen, which makes a difference as well.

 

We have organized routines for meals and other household tasks, so there is no need to multitask to do them during the hours we have set aside for studies. That doesn't mean we don't talk about anything educational while doing household tasks - we do! But that is above and beyond our time devoted to studies.

 

Half of our room has our desks and shelves for books we use for our daily work. We are both at our desks in the morning. We are usually doing math, writing on paper, or typing on a laptop. We have comfortable desk chairs and our desks are positioned near windows for fresh air and a view for when our eyes need a break.

 

The second half of our day is spent more on the other side of the room. The wall is lined with bookshelves.  Club chairs are positioned in front of the books. This is where we spend our afternoons reading and discussing. We are usually reading books, referring to back to them, marking them, etc. There is also a side table for hot tea or cider and a tea-time delicacy. 

 

When we first moved here, we tried briefly to make do with the kitchen table while we set up the rest of the house. That plan was ditched within a week. The study became priority.

 

By the time we moved here we had already had two houses with dedicated school rooms, so I knew it would be well used and well worth the effort. Honestly, for us, there are no cons.

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I guess we've always had what you would call a "school room".  We've used the guest bedroom upstairs and the dining room downstairs.

 

In general, we much prefer to school downstairs.  While it was nice to have it upstairs where we have walls and a closet and can close the door on school, it does feel remote day after day.  Then making multiple trips to go downstairs for snack, for a break, for lunch, to watch a video...it just got old.  The room is standard bedroom size, but long hours in there does feel cramped to us.

 

Downstairs took away those multiple trips up and down the stairs.  The kitchen was right there for snacks and water, the TV just in the other room for a video, the computer up the hall, plus couches to read on.  Yes, it makes the downstairs messier.  I don't have the wall space for posters, nor would I want them hanging all over the place.  But this is also what we do.  I don't do formal parties and any people that come over are family or friends that know we homeschool.

 

I have tried to use storage pieces to either conceal the clutter or made what we do keep out looking nice.  We keep the craft supplies in a buffet table and our school books in an expedit with bins.  Our pencils, etc are in mason jars in a basket so it looks cute but is accesible.  I do still focus on school during school time, even while being downstairs.  I only do chores during breaks or after school.

 

Ideally, we would use the office that we have in our downstairs for a schoolroom.  It's warm, has a fireplace, has walls, and is close to everything.  But my DH has claimed that room for his own :)

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I"ve never had one and never wanted one. And I've seen here and on other homeschooling boards that people don't tend to stay only in the school room.

 

The reason I've never wanted one is that I never wanted homeschooling to try to duplicate school. I want more "home" than "school" in my homeschool. Another reason is that with 4 kids, I frequently needed separate rooms, especially as they got older. I could leave older more independent student at dining room table doing his work while I read to the younger ones from Story of the World. Eventually, older kids might read A Separate Peace in their nice cozy beds. The kitchen is where most science demonstrations took place.

 

Yeah, my dining room has posters of the periodic table and the family room has a timeline that runs around the room. So what. We live here. This is how we live.

Yes, this!

 

 

Education takes place everywhere in our house (and outside of it) and I'm actually quite proud that we have a periodic table and timeline in our lounge, brain hats and experiments on our windowsills, posters in our hallway, plant cuttings and bottle top-crafts in the kitchen, kids pictures and musical instruments hanging in our dining room and LEGO models on the bath. Our whole house says 'we're learning'. I'm sure it would drive most normal people demented, but if we were 'normal' by most people's standards, then my kids would be in school.  :laugh:

 

There have been a few times when I've fantasized about having a more grown-up looking house, with minimal clutter   :drool5:  and I've wondered  what life might be like if we had a separate room to dump all the educational stuff in school room. I've drooled over those beautiful soft-focus pictures of school rooms on blogs, but I know they wouldn't work for us (for some of the reasons already mentioned). 

 

 

It's not really an option, anyway. Very few home educators in the UK have a house large enough to dedicate one room entirely to education - we can barely fit two people at the same time into our kitchen as it is and some of those school rooms I've drooled over are the size of my ground floor! 

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We have a huge, sunlit basement that is both school area and play room. We have always used it well for school, but sometimes we migrate up to the kitchen table so I can do other mom stuff while the kids work. I like the focused time that we have down in the basement and the white board is there. I think it depends on the family, but also you have to be very realistic about the lifestyle in your house. Our basement worked well because it was kind of like a second family room. We have the kids' computer, the tv, the toys the books and the school area. I can work with one kid while the other is playing. My main complaint is that my kitchen seems to stay a mess on school days because I am downstairs, but we deal with it. If i didn't have this, I would use the family room as school room, because it is attached to the kitchen in one of those open floor-plan / great room concepts. 

 

This is our school room, as it was in 2011, with some minor changes here and there. It is essentially the same, though.

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We have a huge, sunlit basement that is both school area and play room. We have always used it well for school, but sometimes we migrate up to the kitchen table so I can do other mom stuff while the kids work. I like the focused time that we have down in the basement and the white board is there. I think it depends on the family, but also you have to be very realistic about the lifestyle in your house. Our basement worked well because it was kind of like a second family room. We have the kids' computer, the tv, the toys the books and the school area. I can work with one kid while the other is playing. My main complaint is that my kitchen seems to stay a mess on school days because I am downstairs, but we deal with it. If i didn't have this, I would use the family room as school room, because it is attached to the kitchen in one of those open floor-plan / great room concepts. 

 

This is our school room, as it was in 2011, with some minor changes here and there. It is essentially the same, though.

Ok, it's official. Your schoolroom is bigger than my house  :lol:

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I three times had a school room. In each case, it became both messy and a place to warehouse books, but not actually do school.

 

I have had much better results with a family room that had a table for doing school and a lot of books, but also toys for the youngest and a place to fold laundry. Or what we have now, which is a table near the kitchen. This lets me supervise school, while also doing things like prepping a meal or doing dishes.

 

I don't think I would ever again choose to have a specific school room. I really just haven't found that I'm able to utilize it in a way that is worth the loss of living space.

Completely agree!!

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