Homeschooling Without a Schoolroom
by Charlotte Siems
As a jumbo-sized family living in a regular-sized house, our school at home has always happened here, there and almost everywhere.
We’ve never been much for gathering around the kitchen table for anything besides meals, so we’ve seldom done lessons at the table together. Usually someone chooses the kitchen table as “their spot” to do their written work, and the others move on to claim their own corner somewhere else. The kitchen is the place for science experiments and messy crafts, though, since it has a hard floor.
The older children’s bedrooms each have a desk, and they do much of their work in that spot.
The real hub of our homeschool is the den. That’s where we gather for Morning Time, our morning opening of memorization, discussion and reading aloud. Afterwards the younger girls stay in the den with me. There’s a little school desk right next to my chair for their written work. I’m pretty good at reading and writing upside down after years of practice.
We keep books on shelves throughout the house, but the den bookshelf contains the current school year’s history and literature books, along with math books in magazine holders for those who aren’t keeping their books in their bedroom.
Then there’s the notebook shelf, which also holds math manipulatives and other goodies.
Peel-and-stick, dry erase maps are mounted in the hallway.
The crown jewel is the long countertop desk along the wall. It holds an extra computer, drawers for papers, all the office supplies, art supplies and the globe. Many a card has been created, glued, stapled and colored in this spot.
Nearly all of my teaching happens in the same rocker recliner where I rocked the last six babies. We move to the couch for reading aloud to the two youngest girls, but everything else happens in Mom’s Chair.
When I had babies and toddlers, I kept a cabinet or basket within reach, containing diapers, wipers and teacher’s manuals. Some years there was a plastic box with a lid that scooted under the coffee table. Anything to prevent having to get up out of my chair!
Reading, writing and learning are such a part of our lives after twenty-six years of homeschooling that it seems fitting that school is done in the midst of our home. But that doesn’t mean that our home is given over to constant mess. Sure, books, papers and notebooks get piled on the coffee table and every other surface in sight, but school isn’t over until it’s all put away.
It’s possible to homeschool and still live in orderly, pleasant surroundings. The homeschool stuff doesn’t have to take over your house. Find attractive storage solutions, do a daily pickup and integrate the necessities into your décor.
Don’t fret if you don’t have a special room dedicated to your homeschool. Cheerfully work with your circumstances and adapt for your surroundings. Clear out the clutter and make the view pleasant.
Then enjoy school at home…..in your home.
Where does your family do their schoolwork, homeschool or other? Please leave a comment below….