10 of the Best Ways to Make Online-Learning Work

Back to School 2020

This year, things are looking VERY different for most of us! With school back in full swing, many are either virtual learning or homeschooling their kids. And depending on where you live, there is a genuine possibility that we could be homeschooling our kids for months, if not the entire year. 

If you have kids who are enrolled in school, but are doing their virtual learning from home, it’s important to have a dedicated space to work on their schoolwork. I’ve found that one of the best ways to provide this for my kids is to create a dedicated homeschool room. Something that sets the day apart from “home life” and “school life”.  Not everyone has a dedicated room just for learning at home, so keep reading, I have ideas for you too!

Homeschooling or Virtual Learning?

I know a lot of other people didn’t want to have their children go back to in-person learning and have decided to do 100% homeschooling. If that’s you, you’ll definitely find this post all about how to start homeschooling helpful. My cousin, who has been homeschooling for years, wrote this and shares MANY different ideas for scheduling life and homeschool. It’s written up as a “choose your own adventure” piece and is full of a lot of helpful homeschooling tips!

Either way, having kids do their schooling at home is a challenge. Our homework station is one idea that may be helpful, but if you’re in for the long haul, you might need something more intentional. PS – you might like my list of breakfast freezer meals that you can make ahead for the kids to enjoy on school mornings!

How to Set Up a Homeschool Room

Here is how to create your own homeschool room for your kids. It will help everyone stay organized, and help separate home life and school life. I scoured the internet and found some homeschool room ideas to help get those creative juices and problem solving flowing!

1. Decide on a location

The first thing you need to do is decide where you want to have your homeschool room. If you don’t have a dedicated room that you can use, you may need to make it a bit more mobile. Make sure that this space is free from distractions and is a place that encourages learning. If your kids need help from you, or you need to be able to help them with their lessons, you don’t want it to be too far away from you.

Using a Bedroom for a Learning Room?

But because I have FIVE doing virtual school right now, we simply don’t have space for everyone to be in the main living area. Especially because they are all on different schedules and breaks. After the first crazy week of getting virtual learning figured out and the chaos of merging five different schedules into one workspace, we decided to let two of our older kids do their school in their bedrooms.

We have a hard and fast rule of NO SCREENS in bedrooms at our house. So to make chromebooks in their bedrooms work, we set up smart home cameras in their bedrooms so we can keep an eye on them during the school day. Luckily, we already own a few of these SUPER AFFORDABLE WYZE CAMs. The kids agreed to have them pointed to them and their screens and my husband and I can pop on at any time and check to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to be doing.  You might think I’m a freaky stalker mom, but I want my kids to be safe with their online usage. After school time, the chromebooks leave the room to get charged up for the evening.

Kids Learning in a Homeschool Room

In this example from Homeschool Super Freak, she not only has the learning place set up in her homeschool room, it is stocked with supplies as well. This way, your kids can have everything they need to do their schoolwork without going to other areas of the house. 

2. Set up a space for your “students”

Start with a desk. These inexpensive student desks are an excellent option for your homeschool room and have plenty of desk space for work.

3. Make a dedicated space for your teaching supplies

Once you have your desks set up for the students, it’s time to set one up for you, the teacher! I love this excellent desk from IKEA that offers extra storage shelving on the table legs! If you’re NOT the teacher, and your kids are learning from their school teachers, online, then you’ll still likely need a place to organize their supplies and papers and maybe even a charging station for their devices.

Tips for setting up your homeschool room

Once you have a dedicated space for your teaching supplies and a place for your kids to work, it’s time to finish setting up your homeschool classroom! 

Setting up a simple homeschool classroom doesn’t need a lot of supplies, and you can find many of these things on Amazon and have everything you need for your homeschool classroom delivered right to your door!

To get set up, I recommend getting the following:

4. Homeschool room ideas for small spaces

If you’re short on space or looking for a more open homeschool experience for your kids, having this set up could be a better fit! Having a drop-down desk or table makes it easy to create an easy set up for your homeschool classroom that doesn’t take up much space! You can easily fold down the table when you’re ready to start your school day and put it up at the end of the day.

You can also hang your school supplies such as markers, pens, and colored pencils using this handy wall hanging idea for even more storage options!

5. School Supplies & Organization Ideas

Keeping your school supplies organized is one of the most challenging parts of homeschooling. Having a few handy containers to keep everything together can help make the whole organization process so much easier! Make sure to label your bins using stickers or labels. This will also ensure that your kids can find what they need!

6. Use containers to divide your supplies

Containers can make it easy for your kids to grab the supplies they need without going to a bunch of places to get their supplies. Put books, workbooks, and binders on a shelf utility cart to grab what they need. You could also use these handy shower caddies to help keep their regular school workbooks and supplies organized.

7. Use what you have

If you are short on cash, use what you have and get creative with your storage! You can use this tool organizer to hold your homeschool supplies! Feel free to use old shoe boxes or whatever you have on hand to help you save some money while homeschooling.

Other Helpful Homeschooling Tips

8. Set your kids up for success

Our house has several ethernet plug-ins that make it easy to plug in and plug out of technology when we need to! This will not only give you a better internet connection than WiFi but also allow you to give your kids a better virtual learning environment if they need it.

To help your kids stay focused, here are some tips for success that will simply save TIME and energy!

  • Put a trashcan next to each student’s desk
  • Use a timer to help students stay on track
  • Put a pencil sharpener in the desk caddy (huge timesaver)
  • Let your kids put a calendar above their workspace to keep track of assignments
  • Use headphones so everyone doesn’t get distracted by other video lessons
  • Make a checklist for your kids each day. Create an incentive like a fun game or learning activity they can do when they finish the checklist.

Setting up your homeschool classroom isn’t something you have to do in a single day! You don’t need to break the bank to create a fabulous homeschool set up that your kids will love. Remember that a homeschool classroom makeover is about more than just putting up tables and decorations. It’s about knowing what your kids need and their goals for using that space.

9. Don’t forget about decorating 

If you have a dedicated classroom area, make sure to utilize the wall space and the empty space to create a fun learning environment for your kids. Even hanging something as simple as a clock or some educational posters can make the room feel more inviting and fun.

10. Create learning centers

If you don’t have a space for a homeschool room, create areas that are dedicated to homeschool learning. You can make homeschool workboxes for your kids that go with a specific unit study or subject!

OR simply have them store their workbooks and supplies in their backpacks and hang up their backpacks in the mudroom at the end of the day.

If you’re new to homeschooling, check out these additional helpful tips for setting up a homeschool room for your kids!

If you aren’t doing online learning with your public school, here are some recommended homeschool learning programs and books to help you out:

Final Thoughts

School is a busy season, no matter if you’re homeschooling or sending your kids off to school, but these tips will help you set up your own organized homeschool room for the upcoming school year. Without a dedicated homeschool space, your kids will become distracted and have difficulty focusing on their schoolwork throughout the school year. 

Remember that the more your kids enjoy their homeschool classroom, the more likely they’ll be to sit down and get their work done! Make sure to include them in the process as well!

More Homeschool Tips:

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