Homeschool Room Ideas: How to Make Best Use of the Space You Have

Find homeschool room ideas to help you create the best and most effective homeschool space to fit your family’s needs.

When you decide to homeschool, dedicating a space in which your children can learn is important. It doesn’t have to be a big space, it doesn’t have to only be used for homeschooling, and most definitely does not need to look like a classroom! But having an area of your home that you consistently use for schooling helps your kids focus on learning and keeps your homeschool organized.

How can you organize the best homeschool area to best fit your family’s needs?

homeschool room

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Back when we first started homeschooling, I was so eager to decorate a homeschool room. When I was a classroom teacher, I loved going into an empty classroom in early August and making it my own. As our first day of homeschooling got closer, I decided to create a homeschool room for us.

We weren’t using our dining room, so I decided to turn it into a homeschool classroom. I painted the walls, dragged in bookcases, and got a table the kids could all sit at. I got an American flag for the room, and even hung up alphabet cards. It looked just like a classroom in my home. Which worked well for us in the beginning. I started to notice, though, that no one went into that room unless we were doing schoolwork. So it sat empty in the evenings, on weekends, and all summer long.

I quickly realized that homeschooling is not school at home. It’s a part of our lives, a lifestyle. Little by little, the “school” stuff got taken down. When we moved a few years later, I knew we needed an area to dedicate to homeschooling, but I didn’t want the room to scream “classroom!” Instead, I created a space that met our needs, but is also a usable space all year long. Most importantly, it’s an area where we want to spend our days! I didn’t want a room that sat empty half of the time.

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How to Set Up Your Homeschool Room

Homeschool spaces are as varied as the homeschool families using them. Some families have entire rooms dedicated to homeschooling, while other families don’t use a room at all. So let’s decide what will work best for your family.

First you should decide where to set up a homeschooling space. Now this doesn’t mean that you have to have an entire room dedicated to homeschooling. However, consistency is a big key to having an organized homeschool. So it is important to at least create an area to store your homeschool materials.

Homeschool Room Set Up Ideas to Consider

  • Dedicated Homeschool Room
  • Double Duty Rooms (aka the Kitchen Table)
  • Utilizing a Small Area of a Room
  • No Homeschool Area

Having a Room Dedicated to Homeschooling

Many families choose to create a room just for homeschooling in their house. This does have many benefits, including space to store all the stuff that comes with homeschooling. Also, having a space kids go to every day for schoolwork can help create a homeschool routine. It also can help kids focus. Having space for all of your homeschool materials in a room for homeschooling is a great way to keep everything organized.

An unused bedroom, dining room, home office, or even the basement all make good rooms to dedicate to your homeschool. I’ve seen families who converted a 3-season room into a homeschool room. We currently use our living room as a homeschool room. Depending on your kids’ ages, perhaps you can rearrange a playroom they are outgrowing into a homeschool room. You don’t need to remove all toys. Leave toys that are educational or use their imagination, but add in a small desk or table for seated learning.

Getting Two Times More Use Out of a Room

If you don’t have extra space in your house, you may want to try to make a room do double duty instead. A lot of families do school at their kitchen or dining room table. The benefits would be space to spread out, and everyone can sit around the table together.

We have combined our living room with a learning space. During weekdays, the room is used as a homeschool room. We put a TV and couch in the room so it can be used as a living room/TV room as well. I also use this area as my office for working in the evenings and weekends.

The above example of rearranging a playroom could be another double duty room. If you aren’t ready to remove all toys, or still have younger children using them, then you could have a playroom/homeschool room. This is also helpful if you are homeschooling with younger children who need occupied during school time.

Utilizing a Small Area of a Room

Another idea is to use just a small area of a room as a homeschool space. You may use this area to hold your school books and other materials. Or you may put a small desk or table in an unused corner of a room. This can work well for larger rooms, or as a way to hide homeschool materials in baskets on a bookshelf. If you have several small, unused areas of your home, you could create little learning centers throughout your house. This would work well if you don’t have one larger area in which to store your materials or do your homeschool work.

Even though we use our living room for our homeschool room, we have many more homeschool materials that don’t fit in there. As you can see in the picture below, our dining room is adjacent to the living room. So I utilize wall space around the room to store more materials. I have bookcases along both sides of the opening to the room. These hold our picture books.

We also utilize the long wall in the room. We have the boys’ cubbies where they put their schoolbooks and supplies. The bottom of our curio holds extra school supplies. Finally we have an unused kitchen cart that we put against the wall and are using for school. The top of it holds science materials, like nature finding and STEM challenges. Then I store extra items for my preschooler’s sensory bins in the cabinet.

No Homeschool Room

Some homeschool families choose not to use a homeschool room at all. They may be unschoolers who let learning happen naturally throughout the day. Or perhaps they just prefer to homeschool wherever they feel like it. If your kids are young, you may choose to read books together on the couch. Or if your kids are mostly independent for their learning, they may prefer to spread out through the house with one at the kitchen table, one outside on the porch, and another at a desk in their room.

homeschool room

Must Haves for Your Homeschool Room

No matter where you homeschool, you may want to consider making space for these must haves in your homeschool. You don’t absolutely have to have these materials to homeschool or to do it well, but they definitely help keep your homeschool organized.

Desk/Table and Chairs

Kids need to sit properly for best handwriting and typing on a computer. Sitting at a desk or table will help them do that. If you have children that will distract each other, then desks may be the way to go. Each child can have their own space. However, if you’re short on space, a table may be the better option.

I prefer having a table for my kids to work on in our homeschool area. The table is large enough that everyone has space to work without bothering others. In addition, I combine my kids for a lot of their learning. A table where everyone is sitting together makes it easy to teach them at the same time.

Bookshelves

Is it possible to have too many books in your home? That’s a rhetorical question. Of course one can never have too many books! Unfortunately, though, books can take up a lot of space. So bookshelves are definitely essential for a homeschool family.

Bookshelves also give you space to store your children’s school materials, as well as your own teacher supplies. We like to use the 6 cubby bookcases to hold the kids’ books and supplies. Since I have 3 kids homeschooling, each one has 2 cubbies: 1 for school books and 1 with a color-coded cloth basket that holds extra supplies.

Whiteboard/Chalkboard

Some homeschool families may argue that there’s no need for a whiteboard or chalkboard in your homeschool room. However, I find ours necessary for teaching and use it daily. Our whiteboard holds our All About Spelling letter tiles and vocabulary word of the day. I use it to write our Fix It! Grammar daily sentences, while the boys will often use it in their studies. You don’t have to put a huge whiteboard on your wall like I have. Even a small board you can prop up on a table when it’s needed and put away when it’s not is useful.

We also have a chalkboard in our adjacent dining room. I like to draw our nature study topics on it, sometimes with terms to know written down too. I got boards that are magnetic so I can hang artwork or other papers on them as well.

School Supplies and Holder

It would be difficult to do schoolwork without school supplies like pencils and notebooks. So having a space for these materials is a must. We like to use an individual caddy with a handle for each kid so that they can be taken anywhere learning is taking place that day.

Homeschool Room Ideas for Small Spaces

Many of the ideas I mentioned above work well when you have a small space in which to homeschool. Not every homeschool family has an extra room to devote entirely to learning, so you may just have to get creative with your homeschool room ideas. My friend, Heidi at The Unexpected Homeschooler, has great ideas for being organized when you are homeschooling in a small space. When you don’t have extra room in your house that is solely for homeschooling, you need to make sure you are extra organized so materials and important records don’t get misplaced.

When we moved into our current house a few years ago, our square footage went down significantly. We lost basement storage and a home office. So I’ve had to get creative with the space we do have in which to store our homeschool materials. It probably doesn’t help that I’m a bit of a packrat and have a hard time letting anything go!

We use some storage space in our garage for craft materials. I put them in clear containers on a shelving unit so I can grab them when needed. Then we have science and history-themed books in our family room. Below those shelves we store educational games and some manipulatives in the cabinet.

I even store many of our math and reading manipulatives in the bottom of a small stand by our front door! It’s close to our school room and can stay hidden when I don’t need them. This spring, we cleared out our hall closet that was only storing coats we hardly wore. In their place, we put a shelving unit that now holds our construction paper in a box, puzzles, stamps, and all those other odds and ends that cluttered up our school room. While the items may not all fit nicely in one room, having a place for all of our materials makes our house much more organized!

Homeschool Room Ideas on a Budget

Just as many homeschool families don’t have extra space in their home to use exclusively for homeschooling, many families also have small homeschool budgets. Homeschooling doesn’t have to be expensive. You can choose homeschool curriculum that can be reused with younger siblings. Another option is to sell your curriculum each year instead. This will save you storage space, plus you can use the money earned to purchase next year’s curriculum.

Other money-saving ideas is to purchase necessary homeschool supplies during back-to-school sales. I always make sure to purchase a little bit extra just in case we go through it faster than I think. I definitely don’t want to pay full price for crayons when I can get them for 50 cents in August! An added benefit is if I don’t end up needing the extra supplies, then I have less that I need to purchase the following year.

homeschool space

Homeschool Room Ideas for Preschool

The best homeschool room ideas for preschoolers are areas with space for hands-on and pretend play activities. Preschool age children do not need to be taught with flashcards and worksheets. Even if they are excited to learn how to read and want to “do school” like big brother or sister, it’s so much better for them to learn through play.

Shelves for Preschool Materials

So what are important areas for a preschool space in your home? Montessori-style shelving is great to have. That’s where you have open shelves on which to put activities that your child can reach and choose to do. Your child would be able to pull the activity off the shelf, carry the activity to a table or spot on the floor, and then clean up and return the activity to its spot on the shelf. Trays with handles are especially helpful for this.

What are some things you can add to your shelves? Fine motor activities are the best. Little ones will soon be writing in school, so they need to strengthen their hand muscles in order to do so neatly. Fun fine motor activities include sensory bins, playdough, and any other materials that help them practice pouring, squeezing, pulling, and other important fine motor skills. You can come up with toddler and preschool activities when you think about your child’s interests and what would help them with their learning.

Pretend Play Areas for Preschool

Areas for pretend play are also really good for preschool spaces. A play kitchen has been a much-loved learning center for all four of my kids, plus any child who ever comes to the house. Do you notice when you have a dinner party that everyone seems to congregate in the kitchen? Well, it’s no different for 2-6-year-olds either! A play kitchen with pretend food and cooking utensils and a nearby table at which to “eat” the prepared meals will give your preschooler lots of fun times for play and learning.

Other good pretend play areas include a barn and barn animals. Children can learn animal names and sounds, pretend it’s a farm, count the animals, group them in like groups, etc. So many fun ideas for learning through play! An area with dress up clothes also allows for lots of preschool learning through play. Fun dress up items include dresses, ties, mom or dad’s old shoes, costumes, and fun hats. Playsilk scarves can become lots of fun pretend dress up materials as well.

How to Use a Kitchen Table for Your Homeschool

Many homeschool families sit around the kitchen table to complete schoolwork. Obviously, you can’t just leave the books on the table all of the time. You need to eat sometimes! So having a space for each child’s books and materials is important. You don’t need tons of space. Even just a basket, milk crate or shelf of a bookshelf per child should work.

We utilize our living room for a homeschool room, but we still keep their books in this 6-unit cubby organizer. Each child has one side for books and the other has a cloth basket for miscellaneous papers and supplies. You could also store their materials in rolling carts or rolling drawers. If you get multi-colored rolling drawers or different colored carts, then you could color code them so your kids know exactly which is theirs.

How to Set Up Learning Centers in Your Home

Above I mentioned that small, unused areas of your home can be used for learning centers. Learning areas around your home are homeschool room ideas that work whether your home is large or small. Below are examples of a few different ways you can accomplish this for an art area, reading nook, or science center.

How to Create an Art Area

Setting up an art area is quite simple. Gather your art supplies and put them in one area. You could use a table, basket, or a 3-tier rolling cart. The key to the area being used is to leave the items where your kids can see and reach them. Which means you’ll only want to leave out items that you don’t mind them using alone. So unless you’re a very laid-back mom, which I am not, you may want to hide the glitter somewhere else. Or not even let it pass through your doors!

Good items for this area are the obvious ones like crayons, markers and paper. But also be sure to add fun supplies like watercolor and paintbrushes, chalk pastels and sketchbooks. If your kids like doing crafts, you could add craft supplies, like washi table or pom poms, to this area too.

Easily Create a Reading Nook

A reading nook is another wonderful center to have for your homeschool. If you have a small corner not being used, throw a couple of small pillows, a basket of books and maybe a small rug in it for a little reading spot. For homes with more space, perhaps find a comfy chair for your kids to snuggle in and read. You could set it next to a small bookcase full of books.

Setting Up a Science Center

Another great area to have in your home is a science center. This could be a table that holds science-related books, a microscope and some slides. Or it could be more of a nature table, with items collected on nature walks, a magnifying glass and some field guides. If your kids are into STEM learning, you could include space for them to create and experiment.

How to Create the Best Homeschool Room for Your Family

You don’t need to have a huge house or a room devoted only for homeschooling to homeschool well! Hopefully reading the homeschool room ideas above helps you see that you can homeschool in small or large spaces. It’s important to keep your homeschool materials organized for easier days, but you can do that using any space you have in your home.

You may choose to spend your homeschool days in a room dedicated to homeschooling or one that doubles as another space. You may homeschool at the kitchen table, or not choose to use a room at all! If you have little ones, you may decide to setup a preschool learning space too. Creating little nooks around your house for art, reading, or science is another great way to store the materials needed for those activities while not taking up too much room. It may take some creativity, but you have many choices when it comes to setting up your homeschool space, whether it screams “classroom” or not.

Hi, I'm Christy!
Hi, I’m Christy!

I’m a homeschooling mom of 4, from preschool to high school. Homeschooling can be overwhelming, but I believe you can simplify your homeschool day so it’s manageable and enjoyable. When you join the Homeschooling in Progress community, you’ll learn ways to simplify your homeschool through emailed tips PLUS receive 5 Easy Steps to Create a Simple Routine for Productive Homeschool Days guide so you can start simplifying your homeschool today!

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