Homeschool Classrooms: A How-To Guide
Homeschool Classrooms: A How-To Guide
1. Find Your Space
Not everyone has an extra bedroom, den, or cupboard under the stairs for their kids to work in. Finding or creating extra space is hard, and can discourage the entire homeschool classroom process. But, it doesn’t have to be.
Finding space for a homeschool classroom in your home can be as easy as getting your kid off of the couch, or out of bed. In our new age of online learning, a desk is a classroom. Finding a space to learn from home is also understanding that your child’s mind is part of that space. You don’t need an entire room or anything fancy to get your little students’ creative juices flowing. Personalize and optimize what you have.
If you happen to have an entire room, that’s great! This allows your kids to almost transport themselves from home into school the moment they step through the door. It’s kind of like driving to pick up coffee or drop your partner off at work when you work from home. Just the act can put you in the headspace to start working.
If not, find a corner of their bedroom or other larger room to designate as their work area. Even if the space needs to be changed throughout the day before school starts or after it’s over, that place in the home will be where your kids know that school is in session.
2. Prioritize Personalization and Comfort
When we say comfort, we don’t mean just buying a comfy chair that you can convince yourself is good for a kid to sit in for 8 or 9 hours at a time. By comfort, we mean creating a space that gives your child peace of mind when they think about diving into their schoolwork.
For some kids, that can mean the option to lose the office chair and sit in a beanbag for a few minutes while they work from their tablet or laptop. Or, it can be a mini basketball hoop on the wall that they can shoot for when they’re taking a break. Speakers for music, posters, art, knick knacks, all of these can make a kid’s homeschool experience feel just a little more personal.
School is stressful. Especially from home, where any and everything is a distraction, kids will find literally anything else to do. So, for many parents, the idea of making a homeschool classroom a comfortable, fun place to be in can be a bit scary. Why would you add more things to distract kids from school work?
According to the Association for Psychological Science, “being able to personalize your workspace may have psychological benefits” including stress reduction, longer attention span, and an overall feeling of wellness.
If it works for adults, why not kids? Okay, that might be a bit of a stretch. But you see where we’re coming from.
3. Build a Workstation
Whether you have a ballroom or a small corner of a bedroom, a proper workspace is necessary for your homeschoolers to get their work done. For those of us with some time on our hands and are more DIY-inclined, building a custom workspace and station specified to your child’s needs won’t only help with productivity, but might even add some value to your home.
For parents with an entire room at their disposal, here are some things to add to your homeschool classroom to get your kids excited about learning.
Old school and effective. Plus, it’s fun to play with on breaks. Plus, it’s probably cheaper than you think to install. Simply buy some chalk paint, choose a wall (or part of one), and throw on a couple of coats, and you’re done.
Community Work Area
Even if you don’t have more than one child, or enjoy working with your kids, a community work area is a great way to change things up from the single-chair-against-the-wall desk setup. A circular or rectangle table with a few chairs at it can give a sense of community and social interaction, even while being homeschooled.
More important for older kids but useful for children of all ages, desks are designated working spaces that can double as entertainment centers for breaks. Cheap desks can be found at Ikea or on Amazon, but even a spare vanity or old table will do in a pinch.
If you have the funds, maybe opt for a standing desk. It keeps your kids mobile, and will help keep their back from aching after sitting in the same chair for 8 hours straight.
Other amenities depend on your child’s age and learning style. Do they learn visually or have trouble seeing a smaller computer screen? Install a larger one and hook the class up to it via HDMI. Have a younger child? Maybe a rug or carpeted room is best for them to be able to play and roll around while listening to class.
You know your kids best. You’ll know what the best homeschool classroom looks like for them.
4. Hide Cords
Just like your own office, cable management is super important. But, now, you’re managing them to protect your children. Much more is at stake here. Younger kids are known to put whatever they can into and around their mouths, or just play with things that shouldn’t be played with. Cords are no exception, and can really harm small children.
Even for older kids, cords and cables can be a tripping hazard, and, if not managed properly, can be a fire hazard as well. With phones plugged in improperly, cords laying on top and over each other, you never know what could happen. It’d be a shame if all your hard work creating a homeschool classroom was a waste.
For all of your cable management needs, there’s BuyHeatShrink. Whether you need to bundle a bunch of wires together with heat shrink tubing, or simply mount wires where your kids can’t reach them using zip ties, we’ve got you covered.
For all you parents, cables and wires are an eyesore. While you’re fixing things up for your kids, why not give your home office some nice cable organization too?
For more information on what BuyHeatShrink can do for you and your cable management, visit us at www.BuyHeatShrink.com.
Laptops, lighting, speakers, phone chargers, and even the fan have cables that need managing. Keep your kids safe, and get your homeschool classroom Instagram ready with some good old fashioned cable management.
5. Make Room for Storage
Every Pinterest post about homeschool classrooms has some cool wall hanging or other innovative storage unit for books, crayons, electronics, toys, and everything else your kids need to get through a day of class. Gone are the days of the piece of chalk and a tablet (no, not the Apple ones).
While you don’t need to be a DIY wizard, storage is an important part of your child’s learning experience in their little classroom or work area. Any opportunity to get up from the desk or leave the room just to “grab something” is an opportunity to get distracted and pulled off task.
With that in mind, try to make sure that everything your kids need for a normal school day are in arm’s reach. Snacks, books, pencils, pens, charging cables, and whatever else your individual children need should be close by.
When it comes to creating the storage space, large plastic bins, spare bookshelves or cubbies, and even a filing cabinet are good things to upcycle into homeschool classroom storage. If you have the funds, shoe cubbies from IKEA with some fabric drawers are a great and safe way to store everything your kids will need.
Homeschool classrooms are a new part of many parents’ reality. But, it doesn’t have to be as daunting as everything else lately. We hope this guide was helpful, informative, and might inspire your homeschool classroom projects.