How to Make a Homeschool Classroom

Creating a classroom area for your child's homeschool may help your child transition to a school mindset each day. Start by designating a space and decorating the room, then set up the basic furniture for your learning area. Finally, work on organizing your supplies so you're ready to go.
[Edit]Steps [Edit]Preparing Your Homeschool Room Set aside a whole room if you have space. If possible, it can be helpful to dedicate a whole room to homeschooling, as it keeps the mess out of sight and helps keep your kids on task. You can use a family room, den, basement, office, or even an extra bedroom. You may even be able to convert a shed with electricity into a homeschooling room.[1] Add your classroom to an existing room if you don't have extra space. It's entirely possible you don't have the space to devote a whole room to homeschooling. If that's the case, try picking a central area, such as the living room or dining area. Choose an area where you can add some storage, so that you can hide school stuff away when your kids aren't working on it.[2] Your dining area is a good choice since you already have a table in place for your kids to use. Even if your kids tend to spread out around the house to work, you should still have a designated area for keeping your school supplies.[3] Choose an area without distractions. Pick an area that doesn't have distractions like a television, video game console, or the like. You want your kids to stay on task as much as possible, and distractions won't help with that! Try to pick a quiet area in the house that doesn't have a lot of extraneous noise. For instance, you may not want to put the room too close to the laundry room. Similarly, while you wouldn't want to cover up the windows, you may want to face the classroom away from the windows. Let any other household members know school is in session by hanging a sign on the door. That way, they won't barge in! Pick a room without carpet or install floor mats. Homeschooling can get messy, especially if you're crafting or cutting up paper at all. By choosing a room without carpet, you can sweep up most debris, and if something like paint spills, it's much easier to clean up.[4] If the room you want to use has carpet, consider pulling it up. You may find hardwood or tile underneath. If it's concrete, you can even just paint the concrete. If you find subfloor, you can put in laminate or another cheap and durable flooring solution. Alternatively, try adding plastic office floor mats. These have spikes that go into carpet to hold them in place and provide a hard plastic surface on top. Paint one or more walls with bright, happy colors if you can. You and your kids are going to spend a lot of time in your homeschooling room, so you might as well make it cheerful. If you're allowed to paint the walls in your home, try choosing a bright accent color for one or two walls, then paint the other walls a more neutral color.[5] You could pick a creamy yellow for sunshine effect or a bright purple if it's your kids' favorite color. Add fun decals to the walls if you don't want to paint. Stick up wall decals of animals, flowers, the alphabet, or any fun theme your kids will like. Wall decals make it easy to change out the theme, as you can just peel them off and stick up a new set when you're tired of the old ones.[6] You can find wall decals at craft stores or online. If you want something a little more permanent, try stenciling the alphabet and numbers on the walls, or having your kids paint a mural together. [Edit]Setting up a Learning Space Include a table or desks to work on. While some kids may need to move to other areas at times, having a designated area to work on can help keep everyone on track. It can be the kitchen table, small desks for each kid, or even just a large, sturdy folding table.[7] Add a whiteboard or projector screen to teach from. If you're teaching several kids at once, you may want to use a board they can all see. You can get standalone whiteboards to set at one end of your classroom. You can also fold these whiteboards and put them away when you don't need them. Alternatively, you can mount one on the wall to save space and use it as a projector screen as well.[8] A computer with a large screen or TV screen hooked up to it will also work for displaying images and slideshows. You can even just paint one wall with white paint, and project images and slideshows onto the wall using a computer and projector. Include a space to read. Nothing is quite as nice as curling up in a comfy corner with a book. You could throw a large beanbag or floor pillow in a corner with a lamp or set up a comfy loveseat with a lamp. That way, when your kids need to spend some time reading, they have a designated place to go.[9] You don't have to include this space in your homeschooling area, as you likely have other spaces in your house. However, it can make it more fun to have a dedicated area for it. Gather the school supplies you'll need. For younger kids, you'll need crayons, pencils, chalk, and art supplies. For older kids, you'll need pens, pencils, whiteout, and maybe cheap tablets to work on. You may also need some subject-specific supplies, such as a calculator for math, lab supplies for science, and highlighters for English and social studies.[10] For both ages, you'll also need things like staples and a stapler, a 3-ring hole punch, paper clips, a printer, and highlighters. Print out classroom rules and charts. Kids need help staying on track, so having the classroom rules up on the wall in a pretty font can help. You may also want to have a schedule on the wall if you plan out your day with specific time frames.[11] Try a chart for each kid, letting them know what they need to complete each day. You can have them fill in sections with stickers as they get done. You could also dedicate a whiteboard to daily tasks. That is, you can have a section on the whiteboard for what each kid needs to accomplish that day. Add a cork board or a metal board to display your children's work. If your child does well, you may want to stick it up on the wall. A cork board is an easy way to do this, as you can just use pushpins to pin up their work. Alternatively, set up a board that will hold magnets. For instance, some whiteboards are metal underneath. [Edit]Organizing the Supplies Designate a bookshelf, shelving unit, or cabinet to organizing. When you homeschool, you need a ton of supplies, from pens, pencils, and papers to textbooks, curriculum, and worksheets. A designated shelving unit can help you organize the chaos.[12] If you don't have much cash, try scouring garage sales and thrift stores. Alternatively, start with a few plastic bins until you can upgrade to a shelf. Try painting what you find so it blends in with the space you put it in.[13] Pick storage that hides supplies away. Whether you choose large plastic bins, a large cabinet, or storage cubes on shelves, find a way to hide your supplies away. Organize your items into bins before placing them on the shelves. Hiding your messy supplies will make everything feel so much neater.[14] If you don't have storage bins, try painting old shoe boxes or used postal boxes. They can look bright and cheery once you paint them, and you can store items in them. You can also use things like cups to organize pens and pencils. While it won't hide them, it will keep them more organized. When you don't have to look at the chaos of school supplies all the time, you'll feel more calm and collected, and your kids will, too. Make a specific place for each school supply to live. Books, pencils, crayons, paper--each of these needs a specific place to call home. If you don't set aside a single space for each thing, your school supplies will end up in a jumbled mess because no one will know where to put anything![15] Label where each item should go with masking tape or a label maker. Have everyone put things away in their place at the end of the day. Pick an organizational method for papers. You can use 2-pocket folders, expanding folders, binders, or even files to organize papers for you and your kids. Try color-coding them, so each of your kids has one color and you have your own color. That way, you can easily keep track of what folder belongs to each person.[16] Make sure to label everything clearly, so it's easy to keep track of. Get rid of what you don't need each year. You're likely going to be adding new supplies each year, which can quickly overrun your organizational space. To cut back on the problem, take stock of your supplies each year, and donate or sell anything you don't need anymore. That way, you free up space for new stuff.[17]

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