Best Homeschool Room Ideas: what do you actually need?
In the 11+ years I’ve been homeschooling, we’ve had just about every kind of homeschool space. We’ve homeschooled at the kitchen table, on the couch, on the floor, in the playroom, in the family room, and in a dedicated homeschool space. But what do you really need in a homeschool room? Do you even need one at all? I’m going to share the best homeschool room ideas – some ways we use our space now and in the past, what worked and what didn’t.
Before we get into the different homeschool room ideas, it’s important to start with this: you don’t need a homeschool room. Each family needs to find their best fit. For some, this will be the kitchen table. For others, a dedicated homeschool room. The space where you homeschool and what you fill it with, these aren’t the most important things about your homeschool. Remember that as you consider your space.
Want to watch a full tour of our homeschool space? Watch the video below!
Homeschool Room Ideas
Even if you don’t have a dedicated homeschool room, it’s a good idea to have a dedicated space for your homeschool materials. This could be a cabinet, a bookshelf, a cart, or baskets. But having everything in a spot where you can find it easily – and that your kids can access their materials easily – will help your days to go more smoothly.
We currently keep all of our schoolbooks in the tall white cabinet shown in the photo above. It’s perfect for us – five compartments for five kids. Most of our daily homeschool supplies are kept in this corner of our family room.
We live in a quirky tri-level house, so our family room is a large space on our lower level. It kind of has the feel of a finished basement, but has great windows to let in lots of light. There’s lots of floor space, which is perfect for our Wisconsin winters. We do most of our homeschooling in our family room, because we just spend a lot of time in this room. We do so much more than schoolwork in this room, though! We sit on the couches in front of the fire in the winter, the kids wrestle and run laps and play ball in the winter. The kids play instruments, jump on the trampoline, read books, use the computer, listen to music… there’s so much that happens in here beyond homeschool!
Over the years, we’ve homeschooled in so many different spaces. Our previous two homes didn’t have the space for a dedicated homeschool room, so a lot of our homeschooling was done on the couch or at the kitchen table. We tried homeschooling in the basement once, but that did NOT work for us. We need to have our homeschool central to our living space. I didn’t want to go down to the dark basement everyday, so the kitchen table just worked so much better.
When we first moved into this house, we made what I thought was our dream homeschool room. It was a dedicated homeschool space, with desks and tables and bookshelves. It didn’t take us long to realize, it was way too much like SCHOOL, and not enough like HOME.
We love having cozy spaces like couches and beanbags to sit and read together. We love being able to spread out on the floor and jump on the trampoline (ok I leave that to my kids ;). Homeschooling is so much a part of our life that we just can’t keep it separate – having a dedicated homeschool room separated it too much from our everyday life. That’s why our current family room school room works so well for us!
As my kids get older, having a computer is becoming more important. We don’t do a lot of screentime, but my older kids are obviously using the internet a bit more for research, some online components of classes, and typing out their writing. We keep it out in the middle of the room for safety reasons.
Because the room is large, we have different areas of the room that serve different purposes. We have the library corner, the art table and where we store our school supplies, the preschool playschool area, the computer desk, and cozy seating spaces.
You don’t need to have a home library of this size to homeschool… we just love it! I just love having so many books at our fingertips, whenever the kids decide they want to learn about something. I’ve grown this library over YEEEAAAAARS, mostly through thrift stores, rummage sales, and used book stores. You can read about how to build a homeschool library on a budget in this post.
If you have preschoolers, I highly recommend having what I like to call a preschool play school corner. For us, this looks like baskets with hands-on preschool materials. You can find some of our faves here on this Amazon list. This has looked different over the years, according to my littles’ developmental needs. We’ve homeschooled many years with preschoolers and toddlers in the house, and I’ve found that giving them their own space where they can access materials on their own and play freely is very important to a smooth homeschool day!
Now that my youngest kiddo is going into kindergarten, this shelf still has hands-on learning materials, but it also has early readers, laminated printables and dry erase markers for practicing letters and numbers, etc. like these:
You can homeschool without lots of materials! If you have a library card, the internet, and some paper and pencils, you have all you need. I do love having a dedicated table for art and projects. If you don’t have a table just for messy projects, a cabinet or small cart where your kids can access supplies on their own is important. This will keep your kids from needing to constantly ask your permission when they have the urge to get creative! You can keep You can find some of my favorite homeschool supplies here.
You’ll notice that our homeschool space doesn’t have traditional desks and we actually don’t do much our schoolwork at the table. Research has shown that kids need to move their bodies in order to learn! Our trampoline and wobble board are used almost everyday (especially in winter). Our kids will jump, roll on the floor, flop on the beanbag… even while they are doing schoolwork or listening to a read aloud. Movement helps kids learn more – it’s not a distraction to their learning.
Things like our basketball hoop, instruments, and gymnastic mats… these things are just valuable to our everyday as the curriculum we use. Our goal isn’t just about raising kids who are academically successful, but whole human beings who are well-rounded. We want to nurture their mind, body, and soul!
No matter what type of space you use for your homeschool, don’t focus so much on WHERE and HOW you’re homeschooling that you lose sight of WHO and WHY. A Pinterest perfect homeschool room and Instagram worthy lessons won’t create the perfect homeschool. If your focus is on creating a perfect homeschool setting, with perfect supplies and the perfect curriculum, you’ll miss out on connecting with your kids and enjoying your days together! The best homeschool room ideas in the world won’t make you a better homeschool mom or make your kids learn things more quickly. It IS a lot of fun to design a homeschool room, though. ;)