The kids and I had a break over the Summer (we normally don’t stick to school holidays but it just so happened that the school summer break came when the kids and I really needed a good break). We have now been back at our structured side of learning for 2 weeks but things have not gone as planned. In the first week I did something to my knee, not sure what exactly but I can no longer sit comfortably at my desk for more than a few minutes. And normally I am at my desk for hours each day – printing off and preparing stuff for our home ed and doing some part-time work. My desk is actually really massive so it also tends to be the place where I sit with one of the kids and do any one-to-one explaining and assisting that they need.
So what now? Well we have still continued with our more structured learning activities but the bulk of our one-on-one time is now on the couch with me sitting with my one leg elevated. And here is the thing, it works. It really does. For our home education to be effective I don’t need to have a desk. Yes I know when you look on Pinterest everyone sees all those amazing homeschooling rooms that the American-based homeschoolers tend to have and you think, Wow I NEED that. How am I going to create that space in my small UK home? hmm.
In a perfect world I would love to have one of those spaces. LOVE. But I don’t live in a perfect world, I live in a world where I am just trying to do what is best for my two kids and for us that means creating spaces for learning in our home, spaces that are used for more that one activity. Yes I have a desk, a desk that I use for home ed prep work (when my knee allows it) but it is also a desk that I work from, a desk which my daughter uses when she wants to log onto my computer to do some of her writing, a desk that my son sometimes sits at and draws. We have a kitchen table that we eat at, that also happens to be where my daughter bakes, where we do arts and crafts and often where one of the kids will escape to if they need to concentrate in silence (because they can close the kitchen door) oh and board games also happen at the kitchen table. They kids have desks which they sit at and do there structured learning, they also use the desks for there own activities (my son’s desk is normally covered in drawings and cut out pieces of paper from this creations and my daughter’s desk is normally hidden by all her books). These are our “learning spaces”, they are not exclusive to home education but it works.
So why this rambling post? It is just to say please don’t be put off if you do not have space for a perfect home educating room, you don’t have to recreate what you see on Pinterest you just have to figure out what works for you and your family. And even then things may happen and who knows you just may end up educating from your couch with your leg elevated.
I don’t have a new photo of the kids at their desks so this is an old one – we still use these desks (from IKEA) because they have extendable legs so as the kids have grown we have been able to adjust the height of the desks.