Homeschooling can be daunting enough, but when you start searching Pinterest for Homeschool Rooms, you might get so overwhelmed with Perfect Mom Envy that you consider dropping your rugrats off at the nearest public institution posthaste.
Never fear, mama bear!
(Hmm. That rhymed better in my head.)
There’s this idea that is prevalent which says you have to have a dedicated Homeschool Room.
But that’s bogus.
There is no rule in Homeschool Land that says you must have a dedicated space/room/table/corner/etc to properly homeschool your cuties.
Literally, there’s no rule.
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Homeschool Room Ideas Actually Kinda Suck
Really. The kids don’t want to do school there. You have all these grand ideas, and it turns out like one of those Pinterest Fails.
Everything goes over budget, then it’s just a messy, unused room in addition to the regular messy dinner table (which is ACTUALLY used as the school room).
Just say Nope.
Instead, use this homeschool room hack.
Homeschool Room Alternative: Caddies (i.e., Homeschooling To Go)
So enough with the Homeschool Room. It’s a unicorn.
Instead, here’s my pro tip: Caddies!
This is my favorite way to homeschool. Especially if you have multiple children.
It’s the easiest, the cheapest, and quite frankly, works better than having a whole dedicated room (as far as I know – I never actually had the latter).
Caddies also help keep your dining room table for what it was intended for: eating (not hoarding school supplies).
Related: The Homeschool Parent’s Back-to-School Shopping List (The Only 5 Things You’ll Ever Need)
How to Create Homeschool Caddies
So, you ask, how do you accomplish this non-homeschool-room wonder?
Here’s what you need:
- Milk crate or sturdy fabric cube bin (or whatever)
- All your normal school supplies:
- Spiral notebooks
- Pencils and pens
- Chromebook or personal laptop if they use one
- Art supplies if needed
- Index cards
Basically everything they would have if they had a desk (circa 1800s).
The idea is simple:
- Each child gets their own caddy
- Each child is responsible for putting everything back in after they’ve strewn it around during the day.
That’s it! No need for a huge, dedicated homeschool room (that they won’t ever actually use).
Here are two reasons I love this “homeschooling to-go” idea:
#1 Caddies are always ready to go.
Caddies can easily travel from room to room (for when they need a change of scene, or for when you banish them to their room for the afternoon, ahem).
Plus, your kids can toss their caddies in the back of the car for some road trip schooling.
They can go with them to Gramma’s house, they can go in the backyard on a nice sunny day, they can come along with you on a field trip… (grocery shopping counts, right? Economics?)
#2 Caddies take up little-to-no space at all.
These work for K-12. No joke!
Fill your Little’s with colored pencils, dot-to-dot worksheets, puzzles, storybooks, crayons, Play-dough, safety scissors, paper dolls, paints, and dry erase boards.
Fill your high schooler’s with plenty of new notebooks, a scientific calculator, a planner, his/her schedule, assignments, art supplies, textbooks, chargers for laptops/tech, and maybe some chocolate and/or other sundries (teens with low blood sugar are no joke).
Hey there! Yes, you! Have you read my books yet? You should! Check out my works here.
Homeschool Caddies (Examples)
Make sure to label your kiddo’s basket (unless you only have the one ankle-biter). That way they don’t fight over who gets the one easily-accessible caddy and who gets to find the lost one.
Here’s an actual, real, authentic, currently-being-used caddy example:
Pro tip: When you buy pencils and pens, save yourself the trouble later and promptly throw them all over creation, to be lost forever. Shove some into the back of your junk drawer, drop a couple behind the stove.
Yeah, those puppies will never be around when you need them.
Just accept the fact that algebra will be done in black sharpie most of the time, and that book report will be written with one half of a yellow (nearly invisible to the naked eye) crayon.
And when that happens, make yourself a Mama Bear Box.
Because mom needs her own homeschool room alternative.
Mom’s Homeschool Caddy
Get yourself a crate, basket, or tote. (Or, more realistically, an old empty Amazon box.)
Fill it with crackers, candy, a trashy novel, an extra phone charger, an adult coloring book (that sounds… wrong. But you know what I mean), and wine.
Don’t forget the wine.
Honestly, this is what worked for us.
No need for a homeschool room.
Instead, create your own homeschool caddies and consign your dreamy Homeschool Room Ideas to your Pinterest board.
Just don’t forget Mama’s Caddy.
Read next: Is Your Homeschool Failing? Or Do You Just THINK It Is?
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