In Setting Up a Space for Homeschooling, Valorie discusses having a room specifically for homeschooling. I agree with her that having a room specifically for homeschooling would be a wonderful option, if you have room in the house for it. Sadly I don’t, and neither do a lot of other people including her. As she said, just because you have a room designated for homeschooling doesn’t mean you have to do all of your homeschooling in that room. If I had a room for homeschooling, its main purpose would be to have all of our homeschooling items in one place. What is one to do when they don’t have the room to designate to homeschooling?
I know from experience that if you allow it to, homeschooling materials can and will take over your home. So how do you stop that from happening. You don’t need to have everything in one place in order to have it organized and be able to find it when you need it. You also don’t need to spend a lot of money to do this either, though being creative and willing to try new things won’t hurt.
First, you need to look at the rooms you do have, and see what areas you have available. Here you will need to think out of the box. At first glance, many rooms look as if they don’t have space for anything to be stored; however, if you look again, and I mean really look, you could be surprised. First there’s usually floor space that is open that isn’t seen. Throw a tablecloth or even a left over piece of material over that coffee table and end tables, and you have plenty of room beneath it. I even have homeschooling materials in our fish tank stand. Or, take two storage containers, throw a table cloth over them, and you have a new coffee table. Another place that is often overlooked is under the beds (no pun intended). A couple storage container in the right size under the bed can hold a lot. Now that we finished looking down, look up. Can you throw up some shelves around any of your rooms to hold some homeschooling items? Put the items in decorative containers, and people won’t even realize that’s truly what it’s for. We have pens and pencils in a watering can up on a shelf, we have other tools in Pringles cans that Jonathan has decorated. What about ceiling space? Do you have room to put up a couple of hanging baskets?
Maybe you have room to add a couple of homeschooling storage units but you’re on a tight budget and don’t think you can afford them. Spend a week or two going to garage, yard and rummage sales. You are bound to find a couple of things that could work for you. There are a couple of tricks to doing it this way. First is going with a list of the things you need with the measurements, and sticking to that list. Second, haggle. That’s part of the fun of going to garage sales. Know how much you have and want to spend on each thing and don’t pay more than that.
So, you’ve tried the sales and still can’t find what you need for the price you want, make some for yourself. There are plenty of websites that give free plans for building different shelves, bookcases, and storage compartments. Don’t be afraid of picking up a hammer. If you are afraid of a saw, that’s okay, have your wood cut when and where you purchase it. Most places will do it for free as it is already included in the price you are paying for the wood. Have the kids help you build what you need and you have your own woodworking class.