Welcome to Build Your Library’s Homeschool Tidbits: Episode 57 – You Do NOT Need a Dedicated Homeschool Space. In this weekly video series, I will briefly delve into a homeschooling topic. I will share some of my knowledge and expertise as a long-time homeschooling mother of 4 children. Three of whom have graduated high school, and one who is a college graduate!
This will likely be a shorter tidbit than usual, but it’s a topic near and dear to my heart, so I just wanted to share my thoughts, particularly as we are getting into a new homeschool year.
This is potentially a controversial statement, but you do not need a dedicated homeschooling space in your home. Do you live in a spacious home with an extra room that isn’t being used? That’s wonderful! I love that for you. Set up a beautiful homeschooling space and have fun decorating. But this video is not aimed at you.
Pinterest and Instagram are filled with pictures of pristine, cozy, beautifully decorated homeschool spaces. It can make you feel like a failure if you don’t have a dedicated homeschool space in your home. Unfortunately, not everyone has the space to create the perfect schoolroom.
If you, like me, live in a small home and don’t have any extra space, do not feel that you are missing out or not providing your child with a good learning environment.
I spent a good decade lamenting that my house didn’t have the space I felt we needed to homeschool properly. I wasted so much time and effort trying to figure out the perfect arrangement and setup. I tried everything. I even attempted to turn our dark, dank basement into a learning space. I mean, we weren’t using it for anything else, so why not? Unsurprisingly, it did not go well.
Sometimes, even against our best intentions, we maintain a traditional schooling mindset. We need to keep all our schooling materials and books in one space, and THAT is where the learning happens. But learning happens everywhere! I know it’s cliché at this point, but the world is your school. And in this case, your whole home is your child’s school!
Once I stopped fighting it, I realized that the best place to homeschool is where we are the most comfortable. For us, that’s the couch. I lovingly call it “couchschooling.” We snuggle, read together, and review the day’s assignments from the couch.
Now that my daughter is older, she does a lot of her work independently in her bedroom at her desk. It’s a lovely sunny spot, and she enjoys being able to do her work there.
Something I had to learn to live with is that because our home is our school, it will reflect that. My house is going to be comfortably messy. There are projects in various stages of completion in the kitchen, living room, and bedroom. We’ve hung up art prints for art study in our living room, large world maps in our kitchen, and timelines and magnetic whiteboards on our doors. And, of course, wall-to-wall books. There will come a day when my home will no longer be a school, and I can decorate it however I like. But we aren’t there yet.
You don’t need to be constrained to one space when you homeschool. Do what makes the most sense for your family. Work at the kitchen table, couch, backyard, local library, or favorite coffee shop!
I hope you found this Tidbit helpful! Come back next week for more homeschooling inspiration!
Until then, happy reading!
Emily Cook is the author and creator of the secular homeschool curriculum Build Your Library, a literature-based K-12 program infused with the teachings of Charlotte Mason. She writes full-year lesson plans as well as shorter topical unit studies. Emily has been homeschooling her four children in Southern NH for 21 years. She is passionate about reading aloud to children of all ages and loves sharing her love of literature. She and her family also make incredibly dorky videos about homeschooling, books, and more on YouTube at ARRRGH! Schooling. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. You can also check out her author page on Amazon.