After deciding to homeschool, the parent is faced with deciding on how to fit the classroom into their home. Whether you are setting up in a corner of the living room, on the dining room table, or in the child’s room, there are some basics to consider. Several factors will influence where you choose to set up the work area. How many children are you teaching at home? Does your child have special needs? Do you work at home? How old are the students?
Once you determine the best location, take these things into consideration:
1. Computers. Set up computer in a shared space to monitor activity. For older children, use a laptop to save space and to allow for both independent and guided study. Wireless accessories such as keyboards, mice, and printers will allow greater flexibility in designing the workspace and will also allow for those times when your child needs to study alone.
2. Storage.Office supply stores sell a variety of storage solutions geared for the workplace that translate well into the homeschool space. Tiered paper trays mount to wall surface. Stackable “in & pout” trays can provide space for multiple subjects. Use plastic tubs with lids to store and stack art and project supplies. Baskets with handles also store on closet shelves to keep out of sight when not in use, but allow for quick and easy “grab and go” subject supply storage. Shoe racks for under desk storage of bins or books can save space if you do not have room for a full-sized bookshelf.
3. Desk. If you have room, set up a computer desk for your child or children to work at. Avoid having this on your dining room table. The dining room table works as a great flexible space outside of mealtimes, but can endanger your equipment, as it will be exposed to spills and other mishaps.
4. Reduce paper. Even with the abundance of paperless options for homeschool curriculum, a paper shredder is essential to reduce bulk of thrown away schoolwork. Use dry erase boards, sidewalk chalk and other flexible medium for teaching, while using electronic formats of books and work papers.
5 Set up a network with your Internet connection or wireless router. Where you set up the space can be determined by the location of your internet connect. If your computer and accessories are wireless ready, a wireless router will expand the range of your modem. Network multiple computers and accessories together to add flexibility. One wireless printer can serve all your computers in the household without cables.