If you’re setting up your homeschool classroom (or giving it a makeover), you may be wondering about the best things to have for homeschool?
Each year we get excited thinking about our homeschool rooms, right?
Even if we don’t have a dedicated homeschool room, we dream or debate having one. If I’m just making small changes, I still spend time planning the best things to have for homeschool.
My homeschool room now is pretty large, but it’s also a home office for me, so I really need the space. We didn’t start out homeschooling with a dedicated homeschool room right away. We started at the kitchen table. Well…we cut down a cheap desk we already owned so that my 6-year-old would be a little more comfortable than having his legs swinging around on an adult-sized chair, but even that little makeshift desk stayed next to the kitchen table and did double duty as an end table for the couch.
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Finally, one year, I was ready for something bigger, and we made our dedicated homeschool room. I’m glad I kept our homeschool room flexible because I’ve rearranged it a few times since then as my children have grown.
Moms talk about what are the best things to have for homeschool rooms, and a lot of the common things come to mind – but it turns out that lots of us don’t use desks, chalkboards, whiteboards, bulletin boards, and all those things that come with public school.
So, now what?
My kids have desks, and so do I, but when I thought about the items that we use most often, and don’t want to have to do school without, it turns out our item list seems pretty uncommon compared to what I usually see.
Top 5 Best Things To Have for Homeschool Classrooms (That You Probably Didn’t Think About)
BEST THINGS TO HAVE FOR HOMESCHOOL ROOMS #1: FILING CABINETS
The first item on our list are our filing cabinets.
This won’t sound unusual if you’re thinking about public school rooms, but homeschool rooms seem to rarely make good use of file cabinets.
I’m not going to pretend that file cabinets are the prettiest choice – but they’re really useful for filing things. I keep paper, future curriculum, supplies, and all kinds of things in my file cabinets.
You can pack things into a file cabinet close together, but with file folder labels you can quickly and easily find everything you’re looking for. It’s so much more compact and organized than a bookshelf.
And, you don’t have to dust inside a file cabinet.
Money-saving Homeschool Tip: you can find secondhand file cabinets CHEAP. Good ones last forever.
Try to create a special play area in your homeschool space.
I keep special “school-time-only” toys in our play area. These keep my younger kids occupied while my older kids are finishing their work.
The toys are “forbidden” during non-school hours, so they’re extra irresistible when I need the kids to occupy themselves.
Our most played-with “school time” toys are these: snap circuits, a marble track, Stacker Pegs, bridge-building, and this Twister Hoopla game (my kids never play this according to the rules, they just make up their own obstacle courses).
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My kids are all high energy, and sometimes they just need to get some of that energy out–especially when we can’t make it outside.
The trampoline is lightweight and I can stick it on top of the file cabinets when I want to get it out of the way.
It’s used daily.
BEST THINGS TO HAVE FOR HOMESCHOOL ROOMS #4: PAPASAN CUSHIONS
Forget the couch.
I use the couch for my tired old bones.
My kids prefer to loll about on papasan cushions while they watch instructional videos like Math U See lessons, read, or listen to me reading.
They use our Papasan cushions so much that they get kind of flat after a year. I’m on my third set in four years, so I watch out for when Pier 1 has a sale.
I buy the indoor/outdoor Papasan cushions. We leave the cushions indoors all the time and leave the actual Papasan chairs outdoors.
Which brings us to:
BEST THINGS TO HAVE FOR HOMESCHOOL ROOMS #5: PAPASAN CHAIRS
Who doesn’t love reading a book outside in a comfy chair?
But, we live where we get serious weather. Rain, snow, ice, hail, tornadoes, high wind, and all that good stuff. Plus, we have dogs. Patio furniture has a hard time existing here.
Once we had our glass patio table completely shatter!
Yeah, the new table is all wood.
Outdoor papasan chairs are fairly cheap and, since we leave the cushions inside all the time, the cushions don’t get wet…or chewed on by a dog.
Our outdoor Papasan chairs have lasted four years, and finally had their vinyl wrapping stuff crack and come off. They still look and work fine without the wrapping, and they’re white underneath so most people wouldn’t even notice, but I wish that hadn’t happened, Pier 1.
With our weather, I haven’t had any patio furniture last more than a couple of years without needing a little bit of cosmetic help anyway, so I can’t say I expected them to last forever. Regardless, these Papasan chairs are the only comfy way I’ve found to get us outside and lounging with a good book.
So…yeah…we use the normal homeschool room stuff like a couch, table, and desks. And bookshelves. A LOT of bookshelves. But some of our favorite things are a bit more unusual!
What things do you love most for your homeschool classroom?
Check out a video tour of my homeschool room and get more homeschool room setup ideas:
Lisa Yankey is a regular contributing writer for HomeschoolSuperFreak.com and the author of “The Homeschool Path to Foreign Language.” You can find her at www.highenergyhomeschool.com, on Facebook, on Pinterest, and on YouTube.