If you’re just starting out in your homeschool journey, I think it’s a great idea to take your time setting up your homeschool room. I can’t tell you how many moms with young kids there are out there who began Pre-K or Kindergarten with a beautiful, Pinterest-worthy homeschool room.
That room stayed beautiful and Pinterest-worthy because no one ever used it after the first week.
Those moms wish they hadn’t set up a homeschool room at all! Lots of moms prefer snuggling on the couch to read, and getting some work done around the kitchen table. If your oldest child is still young enough that they don’t want to be away from you, but you also have younger children to tend to…well…how are you going to tend to your younger children while your oldest child is in a school room? It seems to be easiest for a lot of moms to have their kindergarten child at the kitchen table (many times the center of the house), while they busy themselves between helping with schoolwork and wrangling babies and toddlers.
The best thing I did when I started homeschooling was to use what we had on hand. My oldest child was only 6 when I started homeschooling. I didn’t set up a “real” homeschool room for us until we were almost into our third year of homeschooling. I tried a few small things before that, and finally I really felt like I was ready. I KNEW what I needed for our homeschool room. Part of what I knew I needed was – FLEXIBILITY. I’m so so so so glad that I kept our room flexible because as my children grow I keep changing things slightly. The overall plan works great for us – it’s basically file cabinets, a lot of bookshelves, a big couch (we had that before) and a play area.
I’ve moved our file cabinets, I’ve moved tables, I’ve moved bookshelves, and I rotate toys. I’ve moved our printer/scanner. I want these two kids together one year, and then the next year I want these kids apart. Kids grow, and so does my homeschool room.
This is what our room looked like at the beginning of the year BEFORE I made some changes for my youngest child’s kindergarten year.
My kids’ favorite part of the room is their stuff all over the walls. I took this video right before we began school, so they didn’t have much on the walls at that time. Now, my walls are covered in artwork, drawings, stories, and teeny tiny photocopies of book covers of all the books they’ve read.
I thought my room was perfect when we started the school year. The problem was, I really needed my kindergarten child to sit.in.her.seat for 15 minutes. She’s there in the room with my older children, I’d like us to get everything done in a timely manner every day, and this means we work on her stuff first in the AM while the older kids are working independently at their desks.
If you watch my video, you’ll see that all of our tables are the same height. Why? Flexibility. It worked fine like this for a few years, too. When my youngest little dynamo officially started kindergarten, she just couldn’t stay in her seat with the higher desk and higher chair. In prior years, I sat her at a low preschool-height table that is also used for play, and she had a low stool. She still uses that for play, but getting her to focus on schoolwork at her play table was not going to happen.
Most of my homeschool room desks and bookshelves came from Ikea, so I returned there to ponder my options. Buying lower table legs for her existing desk cost as much as buying a whole new PÅHL desk with adjustable height “leg” system. $49.99 and I was out the door with her new desk. We set the desk at the lowest setting and it’s just right for a kindergarten/1st grade child.
Then I needed something for her to sit in. She’s reallllly wiggly. I went with this
Wiggle Stool, which looks like this:
It’s pretty great. She can get the written part of her seatwork done without getting up. We’ve been using the seat for about six months and it’s taken a lot of abuse and still looks like new. There are other options for this stools, from brands like Hokki and Kore, but I’m happy with the one I bought.
This combo of lowered desk and wiggle stool isn’t something that every homeschool room is going to need. If you’ve got a really wiggly kid, it’s definitely something to consider, especially if you’re starting out and your child is having a hard time concentrating at the kitchen table.