How would you describe your homeschool classroom? Is it fun? Bright? Comfortable? Is it the kitchen table? While no homeschool classroom needs to look like a Madison Avenue corner office, it is important to make this space an area that’s conducive to learning. But what does that mean? There’s no set answer–people find comfort in different things, so what works for one child may not for another. Plus, classroom setups will vary by age; teenagers probably won’t find much value in a Sesame Street alphabet poster (or maybe they will…teenagers are weird like that). That said, there are a few things every homeschool classroom should have:
- Lighting: Natural light is the best, as it offers some stimulation and a connection to the outdoors. If your classroom doesn’t have access to natural light, simply make your own skylight. Kidding. Don’t do that. Plenty of bright lamps should do the trick. Dark, dull environments only promote sleepiness, not learning.
- Comfort: This can come in many ways…a comfy futon, a cushy chair–though this might also promote drowsiness. Since you can’t learn if you’re asleep, the best idea is to have a comfortable, supportive office chair (so your student’s spine and posture don’t take a beating) and a desk that’s spacious enough to hold all the critical supplies, like…
- Computer, monitor, and accessories: Laptops are awesome, but your student will appreciate a monitor while taking classes or working on activities because it has a bigger and better screen. A mouse is also easier for navigation, while a headset can help block out noise while your child is working.
- Strong Wi-Fi or an Ethernet (LAN) jack: This is especially important if your child takes live online classes; the last thing you need is for your internet to cut out during one of those. An Ethernet connection is ideal since you don’t have to worry about weak wireless signals; with an Ethernet cable, you’re literally plugging your computer into the internet, which results in faster and better performance.
- Plenty of pens, pencils, and notebooks: Computers are great, but sometimes it’s just easier to take notes, tests, and quizzes by hand.
- A whiteboard/dry erase board: Or a chalkboard if you want to go old-school. (Do schools even use chalkboards anymore?) Whichever you choose, just make sure it’s big enough to fit your lessons without having to constantly erase.
- Art supplies: This is probably more geared toward younger kids, though art is truly something for every age to enjoy. Paints, brushes, canvas or paper, easel, glue/paste, scissors, crayons, markers, stickers, popsicle sticks…you get the idea. Have your kids help you put together an “Art Class Kit” to store in your classroom.
- A large wall calendar: Also a little old-school, but having the week’s (or even the month’s) assignments, tests, and other important dates right there in the room makes organizing a bit easier.
- Inspiration: Whether this comes in the form of the poor little kitten “hanging in there” or Darth Vader lifting those around him, everyone needs a fun pick-me-up sometimes. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a poster…inspiration can be found by looking out the window, or from you.
Did I forget anything? What’s your homeschool classroom setup like? Share in the comments below!