You don't need a homeschool room to homeschool! (part 1 - our homeschool spaces in the city)
A couple of years ago we ran a massive, incredible homeschooling and unschooling camp on the Gold Coast, in Australia, and the very best part of the camp, was our heart circles - sharing the stories of over 80 parents who were either just starting their journey with home education, or were unschooling veterans. And one of the discussions that came up was 'I can't homeschool because we do not have enough space in our house'! Now if you spend a lot of time on Pinterest, the creativity hub of the internet, you could be forgiven for believing that every homeschooling family in the world has beautiful, large, dedicated home educating spaces for their children in their homes. Complete with desks and cupboards, chalkboards and a whole host of other 'schooly' things.
As we have lived between 4 very different living spaces in the last year: a small house in an eco community (with shared spaces), a house with limited space in the city, a camper trailer on the road, and a larger and more open Queenslander-style house, with less bedrooms but more outdoor areas, we will go through our home educating spaces in 4 different posts to give you an idea of how you can create your own home study spaces.
In this post we are looking at our city house. With 4 bedrooms, but shared with homestay students, to split the costs of living in one of the most expensive cities in Australia, there was limited room for dedicated study spaces - so everything became a study space!
The area where we did most of our study or had our 'quiet time' for everyone to do art, reading and playing music, was in our dining room! We purchased a huge 8-seater table many years ago, that doubles as a triple-sided desk while three of our children homeschool, with a matching set of drawers, labelled with a child's name for each, for ease of keeping their drawing and writing materials close at hand.
Our music corner is in the same room and our resident musicians usually use headphones so that it doesn't get too noisy during the day!
Homeschool study space for teenagers - our dining room with a few extras
In the absence of a dedicated art space, the wall where the television usually sits (unless it is exiled to the cupboard, as frequently happens) becomes the art wall, complete with art stand, canvasses and paint supplies.
Another wall is our library, which we stock full of different types of textbooks, literature on world wars, conflicts, history, different bibles, a world religion book, social work and psychology texts and all kinds of books in between. This is only one of many corners that are stuffed with bookcases that are overflowing with books from book sales, the library or birthday presents!
A very small space next to our kitchen has drawers for specific books that our teens are reading or studying from at the time. As we mostly unschool, our teens will put their own books and texts in to these drawers for safe-keeping, so that they don't get lost in the bookshelves of the house.
Our very sophisticated reading space is in the centre of the house (which is why the television is often relegated to the cupboard for long periods of time - tv is not as tempting if it isn't in the middle of our study space!).
So that is our very sophisticated and elaborate homeschooling room set-up. As you can see, you don't need a lot of fancy things. You don't need a dedicated wing of the house, or homeschool rooms, to be able to study from home. The most important thing is to have clean, well-organised, mostly quiet spaces where your family has time to think, create and do the things that are going to allow them to grow in the ways that they need to!
Next up will be the homeschooling spaces in our camper trailer! (I will give you a hint... there aren't very many...)
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