Do You Need a Homeschool Room?

By Melissa Batai

Every August and September, I scroll through my Facebook and Instagram feeds and inevitably see people displaying their adorable homeschool rooms complete with little desks, maps on the walls, full bookshelves, and cozy rugs on the floor. Sure, these rooms are cute, but do you need a homeschool room?

Benefits of a Homeschool Room

There are benefits to a homeschool room, but don’t feel that you have to have one.

All Your Homeschool Materials Are Contained

When you have a separate homeschool room, you have a place to put everything school related. That means the rest of your house can look like a typical family’s home, without posters on the walls and overflowing bookshelves.

You Can Compartmentalize Education

If you have a separate homeschool room, making set times for homeschool is easy. Perhaps you use the homeschool room from 9 to 12 and again from 1 to 3. Those are scheduled homeschool hours when you use the homeschool room. When you’re done with school for the day, you simply shut the door, go to the rest of the house, and become a family, much as you would if your kids went to brick and mortar school and came home at the end of the day.

Drawbacks of a Homeschool Room

Even though there are benefits to having a homeschool room, there are even more drawbacks.

Using a Homeschool Room Feels Like School at Home

Many homeschoolers chose to homeschool because they don’t like the formality and rigidity of brick and mortar school. Having a designated homeschool room can feel like you’re simply recreating traditional school at home. If that’s what your aim is, great, but for many homeschoolers, a designated homeschool room can feel stifling.

Difficult to Do Household Chores

Many parents try to do some of the household chores while their children are working independently. For instance, when my girls are doing math, I usually try to do the dishes. Because I’m nearby, I’m available should they have any questions, but I can also get my own housework done while they work independently. If I had a designated homeschool room, I wouldn’t feel as free to leave the room and do my chores while they’re doing independent work.

As Kids Get Older, Working in One Room Becomes Difficult

When kids are younger, having them all in one room works fairly well. However, as kids become older and the workload and subject matter becomes heavier, they may need to concentrate more. I have a six-year span between my oldest and my youngest. Around the time he was 13, my oldest needed a quiet space to work, away from noisy siblings. Now, he works mostly in his room with the door open and earbuds in.

Can Confine Learning

One of the benefits of homeschooling is that you can teach your child any time, and you can use any real-life situation as an opportunity for learning. If you don’t have a homeschool room and instead homeschool in the living room, dining room, and bedrooms, you likely have homeschool materials and reading books throughout the house. This gives your children an opportunity to learn at any time, even when formal instruction is not taking place.

That’s the way we homeschool. However, when someone enters our home, there is no doubt we are a homeschool family. There’s a world map and a Japanese hiragana guide poster on the living room wall. There are five bookshelves in our living room and a bookshelf in each kids’ room. Homeschooling and learning blend into our days, all day, every day.

Final Thoughts

There are definite benefits and drawbacks to having a designated homeschool room. Whether you have one or not depends if you have space for one and what type of homeschooler you want to be. However, don’t feel you have to have one to homeschool successfully.