So…we’re moving…and we’re trying to figure out how to make it all work. Homeschool organization, that is. In our new house we probably won’t have a dedicated homeschool room, and we’re really just trying to figure out some ideas that don’t put us in the hole. So although your room may not look perfect, or you may not have the same amount of space or materials at your disposable to decorate a super-cute room (like some of these), you can still make your room work for you.
(Recently I asked this question on our Facebook group. Check it out and see what some moms are doing about having/not having a dedicated school room).
Homeschool Room Ideas (for those on a budget):
Use the space you have available and do the best with what you have.
When school starts back up for us in a few weeks, we will mostly be using the kitchen table, and the good ol’ outdoors, since most all of our furniture is packed away. Since we’re also moving, it means we have limited places to set up computers and chairs because of lack of furniture. We’re using laptops, ipads and mobile devices to do school on-the-go a lot. Which leads me to my next point…
Don’t be afraid to take school with you.
Since we found out we were moving, school as we knew it came to a screeching halt while we focused on packing, clearing up the house, and preparing the house to sell. We practically live out of suitcases and can only let out a small sigh of relief now that the house has sold and we have to work on the next step: which is moving to our new place.
Meanwhile, school can only happen where we physically are. If we’re no longer in a “school room”, I guess that means school tags along with us wherever we go. So we take school outside. We take school to the coffee shops. (Our neighborhood Starbucks expects us several times a week.) We take school to the library. We take school in the car. We take school on the city metro. We take school to doctor’s appointments while we wait. School can happen at grocery stores or long waits for a dental exam (remember, educational apps are versatile and learning can happen from anywhere.)
In addition to doing school everywhere or anywhere, you can combine certain spaces in your house to serve as your “school room” spot. Think of hallways, lofts, attics, dens and family spaces, formal rooms, huge walk-in closets. Just look around and see what ideas you can come up with.
Hit up your local discount store (*hint: the Dollar Store, Walmart, etc.)
You can find a collage of items from the Dollar Store to help you gather organization materials for your homeschool room on the cheap. If you don’t believe me, do a simple search in YouTube for “homeschool dollar store hauls” and you’ll find quite a few.
The Dollar Store (if you have one locally- and sorry, I’m not sure if they’re available in Canada or other countries), have loads of educational knick knacks, including storage bins you can use for anything- including your school room. We use their storage baskets for our flashcards and other supplies.
We also like WalMart and use the crates and plastic storage bins we find there. While these storage selections may not be super cute, they are functional and get the job done. They have $30 shelving units at our local store that we bring home and I have my husband put together for us. So far, we have 4 of these which we use all around the house for both school and personal books.
Here’s a video of simple storage solutions we’ve found, and another video on how created storage bin solutions for my then-prechooler.
Decorate, paint, beautify
You can also find wall decals for room decoration at places like Target. It won’t cost you a fortune to spice up your room with wall decals. And if you really must, you can put on a fresh coat of paint on your walls to change the look of your room. I’ve been bold enough to do this in my last two homes, but…on second thought, next time I’ll hire a professional 🙂
Find decorative items from the Dollar Store to place on your shelves. (If you have the shelf space, that is! I know in our school, our books take up all the space and there’s really not much room to decorate!)
If you’re handy with a drill, you can buy some plywood at your local Home Depot or Lowe’s, have them sand and cut it to the size you want for your shelves, take it home, paint it, and drill it to your walls with brackets for more book shelving. I’m actually thinking of doing this for both kids’ rooms when we move to our new place so that a majority of their books are on off the floor shelving and onto the walls instead.
Keep it organized
The best way to have a fabulous school room is to start with an end in mind, and keep it that way. If you have a purpose to each function of your room, it will make more sense to keep it that way, and you’ll be motivated to motivate your kids to keep it that way!
An organized and well-planned out room space, although not always clean, will go a long way in how well it serves you. You can always sweep up a mess, wipe down a table, and scrape paint off a floor, but keeping items where they belong is a bigger challenge, I think. If you get this part figured out on the front end, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of work in the future.
Start where you can
So, invest in those storage bins, create routines that work, use a calendar and planner, and think: “What can I do to make this homeschool room work for my family?”…then start where you can.
Shop the discount stores until you figure out your style. Maybe in a few years you’ll know enough about what works for you guys that you may want to invest in Pottery Barn or Ikea pieces. But don’t feel badly if you can’t start that way.
Begin with what you can and focus on making life functional and pleasant for your family. You might be pleasantly surprised at how much fun a discount shopping haul can be! Then maybe you can give us your ideas through a Youtube video!
(picture courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
So what are your thoughts? Do you have any suggestions for homeschool room ideas on the cheap? Leave comments 🙂