Homeschooling has been a practice for centuries. In fact, one could argue that all schooling started as homeschooling. A wealthy landowner in the 1700’s likely had a tutor on staff to instruct their children. While that is still a practice, the more modern way of homeschooling is a parent or guardian instructing their children and maybe several others about reading, writing, science, math, art, etc., from their own living space. But how do you do that from an apartment without a dedicated room for teaching? Read on for more information on how to keep your sense of home and sense of school separate while homeschooling in your apartment.
When it comes to planning out your homeschooling areas, you want to have defined spaces that can easily be accessed, but not intrude on your home so much that the lines between the spaces are blurred. Using both indoor and outdoor spaces for lessons is paramount and enables the lessons to be much more interactive.
Most of the instruction will happen inside. The most obvious place for this is a kitchen or dining room table, but you could invest in a small desk that can be flipped either up or down so that, when not in use, your home is still organized and comfortable, but be sure to learn how to install the desk in a safe way so you can decorate without losing your deposit. Find ways to make the inside instruction interesting. For instance, the simple yet fascinating chemical reaction of sugar in hot water. Art class could be tea-staining a shirt in the kitchen sink. Finding ways to include instruction using the space available to you is instructional on its own!
When you were young, it was so much more interesting to look at bugs and frogs and plants and clouds while learning all about them. Bring the lessons outside. Learn about photosynthesis will sitting under a tree. Sit on your patio or balcony listening to the thunder to learn about sound waves. Count the number of sedans versus SUVs versus vans and figure out the averages. Swim laps as gym class! There are so many ways to use the outdoors for homeschooling instruction.
While the lessons are important, equally as important is the storage. You want to stay as organized as possible so that you aren’t “living in your classroom”. By using rolling carts, you can easily store and put away all smaller items needed for instruction. When not in use, put a lid on the cart so that it can be used as a table or prep space. If you have a dresser, store your items in that so that they can easily be put away and “hidden” when not needed.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
When you’re working in a space that is not normally used as a classroom, you must be smart about how you’re using that space. For instance, how do you decorate the space to have it be both a home and a classroom? An interesting and fun way to create a whiteboard is to use a window frame (with the glass installed) and hang it inside the apartment to use as an instructional space. When you aren’t teaching or learning, wipe it off and it’s a chic piece of décor.
The Tools You Need to Succeed
Here is a short rundown of some supplies you’ll need for an operational homeschool environment:
- Whiteboard, Markers, and Erasers
- Lesson Plans
- Textbooks and Instructional Materials
- Organizational bins
- Wall charts
- Planners and Calendars
- Pens, Pencils, Crayons, Markers, etc.
Remember to always look into your local homeschooling laws and get the necessary certifications before starting instruction.