We live in a cozy, two-bed-two-bath-open-plan-living-area house. While we sometimes have “Can’t I ever have my own space and be alone!” dramas (by me and both girls), this house has served us HPs well over more than a decade.
I am not much of an interior designer, and I’m a packrat by nature, so in all the years that we’ve lived here, we still have some boxes of stuff, and we still don’t have curtains or blinds in the living area (I tell myself that it’s to maximize all the natural light). With the limited space and furniture, there aren’t too many configurations we can do either. Major changes in our living area were: when we gave away our piano; when we gave away our couch; when we got a hand-me-down La-Z-Boy sofa; and when I moved my ‘office’ out of the girls’ room and into the living area.
I share all that just to give a quick background to contrast with the how often we’ve been changing things around now that we’ve decided to homeschool. A whopping three times in less than a year!
First we had the wooden folding table from the girls’ room out here right behind my desk. But when it was only half unfolded, the girls didn’t have enough space to work on; fully unfolded, it was too bulky. So back into their room that went, and we brought out the old three-foot desk. I had it against one end of my lovely, spacious desk, making an L-shape against the far wall. This configuration lasted several months, but the girls still didn’t have enough space, and I had enough of the bickering over whose paper was a centimeter over the imaginary boundaries of the desk.
Finally, I decided to give up more than five feet of desk space and exchanged desks with the girls. They needed full access to the desk, so we had to separate the desks. The only way we could make that fit is if we made the couch stay right across the open floor space. So now we have a more defined living/school/office area and a dining/kitchen area (as if our house were big enough for that to really matter).
I miss the open space, but for now, this arrangement seems to be working. I also had to do some serious decluttering and tossing off stuff to make my stuff fit in a desk half the size of my old one, but the girls are loving their new workspace. Now, they have just found new things to argue about.
How do you fix your homechooling space? I would love to see!