Mom-to-Mom Support/Where in the Home to Homeschool?

Where in the Home to Homeschool?


Where is the best place in the home to school? It really depends on what works best for you! Some families like to school in a separate room, while others find the “kitchen table model” to be the most family-friendly. Here are some points to consider in choosing a location, as well as a peek at what other homeschoolers do.

Where do other families homeschool?

A number of years ago, CHC ran a survey of over 800 homeschooling parents. Of these, 52% schooled “at least half the time” gathered around the kitchen table. Forty-two percent said that they schooled at least half the time “in various cozy places around the house.” And 28% said that they schooled at least half the time in a dedicated schoolroom. (Survey respondents were able to choose more than one option).

Kitchen table vs dedicated schoolroom

Kitchen-table schooling can work well if you like to be in the kitchen working while the children dig into their assignments. On the other hand, students may find it easier to focus and keep their schoolbooks tidy in a dedicated schoolroom. Here are some points to consider as you decide which option fits your family.

Storage and organization

Ideally, your chosen place to homeschool should have ample storage space nearby. Shelves, bins, crates, or plastic tubs with lids are all good storage possibilities. Keep in mind that the kitchen table needs to be cleared for meals, and storage may be harder to arrange near the kitchen table. (18-inch square woven wicker drawers in a “stacked” column-type unit might hold everyone’s books without taking up too much floor space) Students can bring their own supplies to the table each morning or enjoy a “reset” .between subjects by getting up to exchange books and tidy their space.

Multitasking and mom-ing

What location makes your job as a parent easier? If you have non-schooling toddlers, you may want to choose a location that includes a play area or that overlooks another room where toddlers can play. That way, you can keep an eye on all the children without having to run back and forth between rooms to check on who is doing what to whom and where.

Many families prefer to homeschool at the kitchen table because it eliminates the need for you to bi-locate. Some of the benefits include:

  • If the children are in the kitchen with you, monitoring their activities is a snap.
  • Once the one-on-one basic lessons have been explained, most questions about schoolwork can be posed while mom goes about her kitchen tasks.
  • While you are waiting for children to bring work to you, you can be cleaning up after breakfast or starting lunch or dinner.
  • Wee ones can be put in a high chair in the kitchen for 15 or 20 minutes at a time to watch Mom at work.

Creating space for concentration

Many children can concentrate even if a riot is happening around them, but you may find that schoolwork gets more attention in a dedicated schoolroom. A dedicated room in the house may encourage students to take school seriously by providing a set-apart space and an inspiring, scholarly atmosphere (for example, maps or educational posters on the walls). You may find that one or more of your students is sensitive to sounds or activity in their line of sight and, therefore, more distractible in the kitchen.

Some students may benefit from studying alone in their own rooms, at least for subjects that require a lot of concentration. This is especially true in the older grades when students should be completing most of their work independently. Or you may find that your students lose motivation if they are alone too much. Doing school together in the same room can help create an atmosphere of concentration.

Easy does it

Finding out what is best for your family will probably take some trial and error, but don’t worry! You’re fine-tuning what is already a good learning environment for your children—their home. Save ideas for major changes in your home’s arrangement—no knocking out of walls or remodeling!—until after the first year, once you’ve had the opportunity to see which arrangement best fits your family’s needs.

And don’t forget the blessing of flexibility. Plans and routines are extremely helpful, but some days you might decide to leave the table or the schoolroom for class beneath the tree in the yard, take an unplanned field trip, or even let your students choose their own spot (within reason). There is freedom!

The photo at the top of this article was submitted by Mary from Colorado. She says, “Still going strong with CHC after 15 years. Algebra 2 on the left and Little Stories for Little Folks on the right.”

The photo in the middle of this article was submitted by Valeska from Missouri. She says, “Here is a photo of my children doing their schoolwork with our little guy right in the middle of it.”

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