The following is a post from contributing writer Melissa Corkum.
We have 6 kids and a pretty traditional three-bedroom house. There is no family room, den, or great room. Therefore, there is also no schoolroom. While I love to ogle over others’ schoolroom blog posts and Pinterest boards, the separate schoolroom thing just isn’t going to happen in my house. So what do you do if you are schooling 6 kids without a schoolroom?
1. Think outside the box for storage. Last year, I turned our front hallway coat closet into a homeschool and toy storage closet. Coats, shoes, and backpacks moved to a better-for-traffic-flow place in our living room. I use part of our dining room buffet-hutch along with a small storage tower tucked away in the corner to store miscellaneous supplies. Organization and having a “home” for everything will keep homeschool clutter from taking over your house.
2. Be flexible with workspace. Unless a child requires my help, he is allowed to do work wherever he’s comfortable. Both the boys’ and girls’ rooms in our home have a foldout desk. I was even able to fit the boys’ desk in a closet so it can really hideaway. Our kids school at the dining room table if they need my help. Otherwise you can find them on the sofa, at the coffee table, laid out on the floor, at the kitchen island, outside at our picnic table, and sometimes even at a desk. We also use field trips liberally. Who says homeschool needs to even happen at home?
3. Choose curriculum wisely. We do not have room to store workbooks and a lot of consumables for 6 kids. Fortunately, our curriculum does not require a lot of consumables or paper. It also allows me to use the same materials to teach across multiple age ranges.
4. Use your library. Why store oodles of books in space you don’t really have when the library will do it for free and keep them all meticulously organized? While our public library does not always have every book I wish we could use, it has enough for all the topics we tackle. Additionally, libraries often offer study space which is a great option when you can’t find your dining room table or need to get out of your house.
If you’re schooling without a schoolroom, what has worked for you?
Melissa is a photography-dabbling, veggie-loving, housework-hating, triathlon-trying, homeschooling, black belt-seeking, grace-needing mom to 6 kids ages 6 to 15. She blogs about adoption, homeschooling, and life at The Cork Board. You can find Melissa onFacebook, Pinterest, Flickr and Twitter.