Not every year have I had a school room. I know I mentioned it before, but if I was told once I was told numerous times that I would never use a room. That was far from true.
What I have learned is that opinions and advice come from “perspective”. Don’t they all? :o) Look at some school room tips!
Homeschooling from the beginning, I can say that a designated school area went a long way to training my toddler and preschoolers to sit down quietly for a few minutes.
It kept crafts, toys and books to one area thus helping me in keeping my house more organized while the children were young and I had minimal help. I did not ruin them by thinking that learning only happened in “one” room. But it might have ruined me…lol if I had let messes be ALL over the house.
Now. that my newborn is 10 years old, we do school at the dining room table, however, I STILL have a designated area of the house where all of our curriculum is kept.
Here are some of my school room tips:
1.If you have space, consider having a school area and train the children to put things back.
2. The best stores that had great storage items through the years were Target and Ikea.
3. In the spring time, look at the hardware section for children. I use bright plastic colored buckets available at spring time for supplies. Kid size lawn chairs for them to sit and read in was a big hit.
4. Not all ideas of public school are bad. The best thing that worked for me is a kidney shaped table that was adjustable. Myself and all the kids could sit around it and do crafts and write.
5.If your children are all very young, consider “stations” in your room. One table was crafts, one table was “writing” and another was file folder games. This allowed me to work 1:1 with one child while the others were in the same room with us.
6. Clear plastic containers from the dollar store with a screw lid was the best storage items when the kids were young. We could clearly see what was inside, it was safe for my toddler but yet they couldn’t open it so I could keep it down on lower shelves.
7. I bought a small forward facing book shelf (the kind use too in public school) that was child height that I could switch out classical books each week on. I would choose some from the library and some I had and I would give my young children “choices”. The point here is that I could still guide them to good literature but it allow them to “think” they had freedom. In their free time, they would choose a book.
8. My husband put up a clothes line and attached it almost to the ceiling for me. He zig zagged it back/forth so I would have more than “one” line. I attached all the art work with clothes pin and hung it from there.
9. When my children got older, I also used a “bar height” activity table that had drop down leaves on both sides. My space was limited in that room so the activity table was perfect.
Chairs were important then because I needed chairs that had bars for their feet to rest on since we were sitting up real high. So be careful not to pick just any barstool.
The activity table was purchased at a huge furniture store and was intended for an island in the kitchen but was PERFECT for our limited space. It had TONS of storage under it. It had two shelves and we put away our curriculum under it. When the leaves folded up and extended, we pulled the chairs up to it.
10. If you have room for bookshelves think: some closed storage and some open storage. Closing off and not seeing messes goes a long way for sanity.
Also, for cheaper versions or even more sturdy shelves look at Automotive Shop stores that have brightly colored shelves that are aluminum. Some roll and some do not. I used those too. They are cheaper but still nice if you can get them in black or red as they do not intend for them to be used in the home. They are sturdy, have plenty of storage, cost less and even lock. I used steel hooks to hang items off the side of them. They are great too for storing small items like lapbook items along with sewing containers.
Hope you are inspired to try out a designated area.