Over the past ten years, we’ve homeschooled just about everywhere except the bathroom: our living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom-turned-office, fifth wheel camper, and even the laundry room! Needless to say, I don’t believe a school room is necessary for homeschooling. But my kids do better in a separate space, so we converted the front room of our house into a minimalist homeschool room a few years ago.
I hoped that would be the last stop in our game of “musical
chairs school spaces”.
I should have known better!
Time for a Change
I have to admit that I loved our original space. Everything had a place, the kids had room to spread out, and the square table was perfect for Morning Time.
But my family didn’t feel the same way.
The kids found it hard to focus with all the open table space and they said the paint color felt cold. My husband was frustrated with the piles that the long tables welcomed.
When the plaster walls needed repairing, we decided it was time to make some changes in our homeschool space.
Video Tour of Our Minimalist Homeschool Room
When changing this space, we had two priorities:
- No visual clutter
- The room had to be bright
Watch below to see how it turned out!
Homeschool Room Storage
Note: I wasn’t going to do this post until the floors were done, but I decided to go ahead. I’m always encouraging moms to find delight in the middle of imperfection; so it makes sense to share our room with imperfect floors!
When I was trying to decide on a layout, I kept seeing photos of beautiful chalkboard spaces. I loved the look and wanted to be able to post our memory verses, or each week’s virtue.
We ended up making our chalkboard, using part of an old office board my husband had. The frame is made out of wood lath from a wall we took down in another part of the house.
This is also where we hung the DIY flashcard setup I talked about in a previous video. Each child has a color and I use their color to tab the flashcards or packets they’re working on. This way I can quickly grab what we need when we sit down for lessons.
The main way we cut down on visual clutter was by removing anything we don’t currently use. I have a storage ottoman in the living room where I keep things we don’t use regularly, but that I still need to access. Past and future books are stored upstairs.
On the top shelf, we have reference materials and a box for papers that need to be graded. This is also where we keep our DIY place value bottles. When we add the tenth dowel rod to the right hand bottle, we’ll bundle the rods into one “ten” and place them in the left hand bottle. (A big thank you to our Kindergarten curriculum for this idea!)
With the place value bottles, I keep my little odds/ends box. It has some sticky notes for marking lesson planners, a game dice and lego blocks we use for review activities.
On the second shelf, I have my teacher manuals in a Multipurpose Bin from The Container Store. I’ll be adding another teacher manual bin when we start our new grade levels.
The maize basket holds early readers for my younger kids.
Vintage School Desks for Homeschooling
These desks were a huge deal for us! The kids said our original school tables made it hard to focus and that they needed individual spaces.
We found the desks on FB Marketplace. A parochial school was actually selling them for $20 a piece! We cleaned them and then painted them with Rustoleum enamel paint in the color Canvas White.
We sanded the seats to remove all the pen marks and scratches, and then sealed them with tung oil.
One challenge with the desks was that they kept getting really messy inside with books piled everywhere. I decided to go back to our trusty Multipurpose Bins and life has been much better since then.
We have art supplies and flashcards on the left, and their books on the right. When it’s time for school, they just take out their bin, and put it on top of their desk. It keeps everything within reach and organized while they work.
To finish off this side of the room, we hung some original paintings done by my mother-in-law, Liné Tutwiler.
We also have a simple calendar from our church that we use for my kindergartener’s calendar time. We used these calendars for her in preschool. She loves the art in them and enjoys being able to see the various feast days for the month.
Computer Setup & Independent Work
On the other side of the room, we have larger desks for the big kids and our school computers.
When my husband had to upgrade computers for our family business, he donated the old computers to our homeschool. This allows us to have people in different online classes at the same time.
This is also where we have our Task Bags. These are a new thing for us, but they’re already showing some promise.
I’ll probably do a post or video on them at some point. The general idea is to have constructive activities for the kids to do while they wait their turn for lessons.
The top shelf has copywork ideas that immerse the kids in the New Testament, the Psalms, and poetry. Eventually I’ll add our timeline book here as well.
On the bottom shelf, we have an art activity and phonics activities. I have the bags marked so my younger and middle kids know which ones to use.
I have my struggling speller choose past spelling words for these activities. Another child finds words in her current literature book.
Art Displays for a Minimalist Homeschool Room
We try to change the greenery with the seasons to keep us in touch with nature.
I first showed this map in my homeschool supply haul video, but later decided to paint each region based on our states and capitals curriculum. I might go over it again to make it brighter!
We usually do our skills subjects in the school room and our content subjects in the living room, so I put the map on a hook to make it portable.
The kids wanted a fluffy rug in here but I couldn’t find anything in our price range. When I came across this jute rug at Hobby Lobby it was 50% off so I snatched it up!
I really love the look of this rug and the kids still enjoy reading and playing on it. We’re hoping to stain or paint the floors an espresso color and I think the rug will look really nice with that.
I would love to add cozy seating to this room. The best place for seating is under the double windows but that’s also where the cold air return is for the house.
We’ll need to wait until next spring when our older boys graduate. Then we can remove two desks and put something cozy under the single window.
So that’s the tour!
Let me know in the comments if you have questions about our minimalist homeschool room!