The Gregory Jay Blog

Homeschool Redesign

Since we moved last year our homeschool doesn't quite feel the same. We still manage to complete everything but it doesnt flow quite as smoothly as before. Brandon does some of his work at the dining table but the cold marble top isn't as inviting as the warm tones of our old wooden table. He does have his writing desk too but it's not naturally placed. I usually pull it out into the middle of the living room and have him do his writing there.

I think the problem is not so much that the enviroment is different, but that it isn't well defined. In our old house we knew where we were to do writing, latin or maths. Now it's an extra decision that needs to be made multiple times each day (and one that he always has an opinion on.)

I need to simplify the the homeschool flow, remove the decisions from the equation and create a dedicated space, well defined and highly functional. Luckily we do have a second living room.

I will attempt to turn this into the perfect homeschool room, for us.

Day 1: Ideas!

Before I can start to design the room I really need to think about what functionality I want the room to have. Obviously it needs desk space for writing but we also do a lot of reading and I like us to be comfortable while we read, we usually do this on the sofa. I need a list!

Ideal Homeschooling Room Has

Brandon's Desk
Comfortable Reading Space
Project/Creative Space
A Desk for Me
Storage space for Arts and Crafts
Storage Space for Folders and Books
Space for Completed Work


Light and bright
Neat & Tidy
Functional in that it encourages doing work


Daily Work Tray
Chalkboard Timetable (He can Tick off)
Books next to the reading area
Art & Craft supplies readily availble in the creative area

Relevant Decorations
Greek (Alphabet, New Testament Phrases)
Latin (Phrases and People, Architecture)
History (Maps, People, Architecture, Books, Paintings)
Memory Checklist
Important Dates List on the Wall

Day 2: Clear out and Stick on!

Yesterday after my brainstorming and listmaking I bought a stick on blackboard for the homeschool wall. I also went online and downloaded some poetry and paintings for decorations. We have recently learned William Blake's The Tyger and so he will be the first artist whose work will go up on the wall.

The blackboard arrived this morning (love next day delivery!) My wife and I had a lot of 'fun' sticking it on but we managed it in the end. I bought a big box of coloured chalk and a meter ruler too.

The next thing to do today is to clear out the mess and find a place for our homeschooling supplies. I'm going to remove the lamp shade from the main light to make the space feel brighter and print out the paintings for the wall. I also want to create a better reading space and a more functional creative space near the blackboard. The work space for the desks also needs rethinking.

Time to get to work!

Day 3:

Mess is gone. I bought and built a new rack that hold books, folders and art supplies so storage is now solved.

To create a comfortable reading space I have put a 2-man sofa into the room perfect for sitting and reading our Latin texts, or reclining to read something longer. Brandon can also sit there while I stand at the blackboard if needed.
His desk is now facing the blackboard so I can write on the board to explain things for him, traditional teacher style too.

To do List

Position Brandon's Desk Done
Create Comfortable Reading Space Done
Create Project/Creative Space
A Desk for Me Done
Storage space for Arts and Crafts Done
Storage Space for Folders and Books Done
Space for Completed Work
Improve Lighting
Inspiring Decoration
Paintings and Poetry
Maps on wall
Important Dates
Create a workflow that encourages work
Space for completed work

Making progress! I need to create a better space for create work or projects that aren't writing centered. I have a rug down where he can sit to do this now but I think a small table might be better. I need to see what I can find online. As for the lighting, I am doubting how much difference remove the lampshade is going to make, it also looks like a huge amount of work to remove which I'm not looking forward to. A standing lamp in the corner of the room might be a better solution. This I also need to look for online.

Today I will create a space for his completed work to go. Once his maths sheet for the day is done it can't just get left on the desktop or lost somewhere else, it needs a place that I can easily find it to mark and store it.

A place for his work-to-be-done-today is also a good idea. He will then be able to see how much he has to get done and be able to see the pile shrinking throughout the schoolday.

Day 4:

I have printed out some poems and paintings by William Blake as we have just learned one of his poems. I'll put them up with Brandon once he's back.

I have also create a homeschool logo and have printed it out for the wall.

Everything now has a place upstairs and almost everything I wanted to do has been done. I'm going to stick the our school emblem on the wall and call it done. Hope Brandon is excited to see his new homeschool room!

Greg is a true Sinophile, fluent in Chinese and proficient in Tibetan he is a homeschooling Dad that also consults on the side. You'll often find him cigar in mouth, book in hand, waiting for someone to finish their work or for the coffee to brew.