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A Space for You

If you, the reader, will be the homeschool teacher you will need to set up a few things for yourself. Now you will likely not need a teacher's desk facing your pupils, although some families do it just that way. The best solution for our family has always been a table we could all gather around. I just send individual children off to work somewhere else when needed. Some subjects can be taught all together to save time, especially if your children are closer in age. Perhaps you have children spread out over a number of years like I do (there is a 12 year age difference between my oldest and youngest). Perhaps you are only homeschooling one child. A table is a nice place to spread out and work in most situations.

Maybe you have a home office already. Can I come visit it and dream of my own? Just kidding. Kind of. If you already have a place you can work and keep your things, great! Perhaps you have one of those cool little kitchen nook places. I like those too. They didn't have those in 1967 when our home was built. It's OK if you just sit right there at the homeschool table like those of use whose houses were built in 1967. But you still need a place for your stuff.

What kind of stuff? Here's what I think the homeschool parent needs:

  • Homeschool records-- Depending on your state, you might have to keep track of attendance, grades, curricula, test scores, and any number of things. Even if you live in a state with low regulation, you will want a binder, notebook, or place to keep notes and records about what you have done, what you plan to do, etc. In the high school years, no matter what your state laws require, you will need to keep records to use in making a transcript. You might choose to do all your record keeping online and that's great. (Just remember to back it up!)

  • Some basic office supplies that are yours--trust me. Pencils have legs as my Dad used to say. They seem to just sprout legs and walk off. Sometimes just finding a writing instrument is a 15 minute task. It should not be this way. Maybe you need a calculator, some pens, highlighters, etc. Have a container or a drawer or shelf that is just for you. Make it off-limits to your kiddos. You will thank me.

  • A non-spill cup--For you, Mama. (Or Dad!) For your coffee, your soda, your iced tea, water, or Good Girl Moonshine. Whatever it is you like to keep next to you during school, be sure it cannot be spilled. Would you like to hear my sordid tales of ruined curriculum from spilled beverages? It's not pretty. Completely replacing a huge set of colored, magnetic letter tiles from your spelling curriculum that you cut apart and assembled in August is not only expensive, but shrieking at your kids to get towels and then crying while holding the hair dryer on them in a vain attempt to salvage them will not go down as one of your finer homeschool moments. Especially, if the very next week a borrowed book is ruined by another spilled cup. Learn from my mistakes, homeschool parents. Non-spill cups/bottles for all!

  • A place for your T.E.s--that's short for "Teacher's Editions" and that jargon is a leftover from my days in public school. Some curricula come with separate books for the teacher such as lesson plans and answer keys. These need to be kept away from the student books. These need to be easily find-able each day. These need to be taken care of so they have resell value when you are finished with them.

  • Your own device--You can decide if you need a desktop computer, a laptop, tablet, or perhaps just a phone. Many kinds of curricula require the use of the computer some of the time. Some homeschool curricula is all on the computer. So unless you plan to work out a schedule to share the devices with your students, having one of your own for lesson planning, record keeping, or even just personal use might be a good idea. Again, no need to rush out and purchase everyone a new computer until you see how things work for your family, but building some tech upgrades into the budget might be in order.

You may find that you have different needs than me, but establishing a shelf, container, or special place that you can access easily, and the little ones cannot, will be a blessing to your homeschool days. So take some time to walk around your house now and plan out that homeschool space! No need to knock down walls or re-do the house. A little rerranging might be all you need to begin. You can always make improvements later as you find out what your family truly needs.


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