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How to Create a Homeschooling Classroom in Your House

by Susan Kramer

When my 3 kids were in their elementary years we converted the largest bedroom into a schoolroom. This works for kids of mixed ages and abilities because you have time to move around from child to child as need be; you don't have a multitude of students to plan for.

Our school day ran 3 hours in the morning, 8:15 to 11:15, so that room was nice and snug during that block of time. Afternoons we spread out to the kitchen, backyard, on outings, dancing and piano lessons, and soccer practice.

After supper the kids could watch an hour of tv (or have computer time), then time to settle down with reading. During the elementary years bedtime was 9pm.

Our schoolroom had a large front window facing east and along the sill we kept seeds growing before transplanting into the backyard garden.

We had a large rectangular table in the center of the room with a child seated on each side. I sat at my smaller desk at one end of the table, facing the kids, with enough room to walk between their table and my desk. On my desk I kept a cardboard accordion file with the name of each child on a color coded folder. This is where they deposited their daily assignments.

One long wall of the room was floor to ceiling bookcases and the end walls had 3 foot high bookcases; one end had a corkboard installed, the other end a whiteboard. The radiators were under the window. We had a central overhead bank of 3 lighting fixtures and a pole lamp with fixtures that could be adjusted to point where needed. There was not much distraction from outside, because we were on the 2nd floor above street level.

On the wall with the tall bookcases were several cubbies for each child with their name on them; also color coded. One of the cubbies held the day's assignment with workbooks. Another of their cubbies held writing supplies. Another cubby held specific texts they were using. General books lined the shelves at their height.

When it was time for mom to turn into teacher we'd go into the school room and each child would go to their cubby where the day's assignment would be waiting, then take it to the table to begin. I was right there at the end of the table for advice or help, or for teaching a specific concept to a child.

I used an indoor-outdoor wall to wall carpeting on the floor.

Of course, you could arrange your schoolroom to suit more or less kids, but this was a basic arrangement that gave everyone enough individual space, and as we were all facing in, teaching the group was easy.

If you want to send your kids to the neighborhood school during September to June, you could still use this arrangement during the summer recess.

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