Tables, couches, and beds, Oh My!
Children who are raised to love learning take their learning wherever they go.
Sure, they sit at a table when they need a hard surface to work on.
But they might take their math to their bedroom if they need quiet (there are six kids, two dogs, a cat, and a bird in our house…not so much quiet).
Of course, if we are reading aloud, we will either be scrawled throughout the living room, on couches or the floor, lounging on the dogs (don’t worry, they are big and can handle cuddles quite well).
Unless they are all eating or feeling artsy and want to doodle, then we move to the kitchen table.
Don’t forget the hammocks, a little fresh air and bird chatter might be just what the soul craves while they read their books.
When They Were Little
To be honest, where we did ‘homeschool’ mattered a lot more when the kids were little. It was easier for me to train them in the art of concentration when they were all nearby. My youngest two still do most things within eyesight of mom, because I don’t trust them yet. I do let them move to a different room when they say another person’s noisy work is distracting them. That is when they can practice working without mom watching. But if they are getting distracted they have to come right back to the chair next to me.
But as they get older, they wander and I let them, as long as they are getting their work done. If I check on their work and it isn’t getting done, I real them back into whatever space I am occupying. The closer they are to mom the easier it is to do what you are supposed to be doing.
All the same, before they leave my house they need to know how to do what they need to do without mom staring them down.
Yes We Have an Office/Schoolroom
I find it necessary to have a dedicated space for academic work, even if we are not dedicated to that space. We keep current work and books in the room, timelines and maps on the wall. Actually, there are maps on the living room wall to now, that just makes it easier to spot locations as we watch documentaries.
We have a folding table in the middle of the room. A computer on a patio table in the corner. What can I say? We are cheap, we buy what works. There are two small desks, honestly, those get used more as storage and drawers than they do as a workspace.
Currently, this room is the one in our house designed as a dining room. We don’t use it that way.
And We Have Bookshelves Lining the Basement Walls
This is where we keep all the other books. The ones we aren’t reading or using right now. It is a finished basement with windows.
There are 3 more computers on a table in the basement. My introvert loves disappearing into the basement to do his schoolwork. He only comes upstairs for subjects that I might be combining with another kid and to listen to read-alouds.
These are the places and spaces where we live and learn. Where we ‘do school’ is inconsequential. We do it in the best and easiest spot for any given child and subject on any particular day.
We keep workbaskets or shelves for each child near whatever table area they are the most likely to use. We tape schedules to the wall in a hallway or room near that area. We call that place an office or schoolroom, but it is only one the the many spaces in our home that get used every day for the important work of learning.