Our family moves around quite a bit, and one of my favorite parts of moving is setting up a new homeschool classroom. There is something invigorating about getting a fresh start in a new space every once in awhile.
With our most recent move, I decided to embrace a more minimalist approach to furniture. By cutting the table legs closer to the ground, and replacing chairs with pillows, we allow for more freedom in movement. As we all know, movement is an important part of the learning process, especially for children under 10.
That said, I did opt to keep a table and chair in the corner of the room for my own laptop and work space. This way, I can write and be easily available while the children do their lessons.
Like many families, our homeschool room needs to be combined with other aspects of our lives. We don’t just do our lessons in there. We also gather in here as a family to read aloud or play board games.
And like many families, our pets are part of the family. We made an effort to make sure each furry and scaly friend has a place in the most important room of our home.
The dog has his own pillow bed, and a basket full of bones. The cat has his carpeted tree. Our tortoise cage, hamster cage, rabbit cage, chameleon cage, and invertebrate terrariums are all located throughout the homeschool room.
The room itself has been made as pet-friendly as possible, with very few electronic cords, and all of those are zip-tied up and out of reach.
Throughout the room there are various tables with items of interest to study, and various tools with which to examine the world around them.
Preserved insects, color swatches, a nature table display, mirrors, magnifying glasses, rulers, stethoscopes, sea shells, geodes, various precious gems, magnets, prisms, test tubes, microscopes, globes, tape measures, fossils, maps, our continent boxes, and an art model are all easily available throughout the room.
The walls are lined with plastic crates full of books organized by type and subject. The children are learning quite a bit just from being held responsible for keeping their own books sorted this way.
Having our pets in the homeschool room has proved to be beneficial in a number of ways. Our daughter spends over an hour a day reading to each of them, completely her idea. Our son spends much of his time observing them and applying their behaviors to what he has learned about in biology.
Both children are responsible for helping feed, exercise, and clean up after the animals, which is a different sort of learning experience they are both enjoying.
The homeschool room opens up to the outdoor classroom (still under construction).
An abundance of windows make it nice and bright, natural light is excellent for the eyes and also for maintaining concentration.
For storage, a cheap set of plastic drawers does the job just fine. I’ve spray painted the inside of the drawers to give them a less cluttered effect.