Many homeschooling families set aside a room just for school. Other families prefer to use their whole house. In either case, a homeschooling family needs space both to “do” and to “store” their school stuff!
The Student’s Needs
A place to do her daily school work: Each child needs to have access to a desk or table where she can have comfortable, proper writing posture. However, school work need not be limited to one particular space. She might enjoy reading in a recliner or spreading out on the floor to work on a science project. Keep in mind that a younger student might need more supervision, so her work area needs to be easily visible and accessible to the teacher. Likewise, some students will need to have access to an area that is quiet and solitary.
A place to keep her daily school work: If your children do not have their own desks, you can assign each of them a drawer in a file cabinet or a shelf on a bookcase. Or you could give each child a tote bag, box, or bin for her books. Provide a smaller container for pencils, scissors, erasers, etc. Requiring each student to keep track of her own school “stuff” is a good way to teach neatness and stewardship.
The Teacher’s Needs
A place to keep her daily school tools: A chest of drawers is a handy way to store answer keys, teacher edition books, and lesson plans. It could also contain supplies like pens and pencils, crayons, glue, and erasers.
A place to store the paraphernalia needed in a homeschool: Bookshelves will come in handy for reference books, school books not being used currently, science equipment, math manipulatives, and educational games. A file cabinet is an efficient way to store paper goods such as construction paper, writing paper, newspaper articles, report cards, lesson plans, and attendance records.
A place for completed daily work: One option is for each child to put his completed daily work in his own expandable file pouch. At the end of the year, this file can be emptied and reused, or taped closed and packed away in a box. Remember, you don’t have to keep every piece of paper that your child completes. Sort and keep only what is important to you. It can be fun to keep a special file for each child to show progress in art and writing skills. Younger children enjoy displaying their work on a bulletin board.
If your space is limited, don’t worry. You will not be able to accumulate as much homeschool “stuff” as others will, which might be a real advantage! When and if a need arises, you will find creative ways to store what you need.