As a homeschooler, I’ve heard this question multiple times. Up until a week ago, however, no one had asked me this in a long time. And then… well, to make a long story short, some of the other students in my Spanish class found out that I was homeschooled and they asked a bunch of questions.
And I didn’t really mind because, happily, most of them were Actually Reasonable Questions, like “Why are you homeschooled?” I don’t mind answering that. I do mind ridiculous, slightly offensive questions like “Is that even legal?!” and “Does that mean you have no friends?”
But I digress. One of the Actually Reasonable Questions they asked was, “Where do you do your schoolwork? Is there, like, a little classroom in your house?”
No, I don’t have a mini classroom in my house, but I can totally understand why they’d ask: Because like 99.9% of people do go to school. For 99.9% of people, education is something you do in a classroom, and they’ve never known anything else. So I understand the confusion. After all, homeschooling has the word “school” in it, so surely it’s just a smaller, at-home version of school? Complete with classrooms, those tiny desks that are always so freaking uncomfortable, and a blackboard?
Um. No. Not quite. Not for all homeschoolers, anyway. In fact, based on my experiences both as a homeschooler and as someone who is friends with many homeschoolers, the majority do not have separate classroom-like areas just for “doing school.”
I think it totally makes sense to have a certain area set aside for all your school thingies – my brother and I have a bunch of small plastic crates for our textbooks, notebooks, folders, et cetera. In theory, it really helps to have everything in one location, so that it’s not as hard to find things. In reality, however, I am an incredibly messy person who
almost never doesn’t always remember to return things to their proper place. Oops.
And I think that if you have a large family, it might make sense to have a separate room for completing schoolwork. Honestly, I suppose even that depends on how formal your “style” of homeschooling is – ours isn’t very stereotypically “schoolish” and has grown more relaxed over the years, but we never were the sort of people who’d set up a miniature schoolroom in our home. Even way back in our early days of homeschooling, when I was in third grade and my brother was in second.
Anyway, now that I’ve thoroughly answered the second question, it’s time for the first: Where, exactly, do I do my schoolwork?
Anywhere and everywhere, basically.
I love to sprawl out on the floor – usually the one in my bedroom but to be honest, it can be anywhere – with my books and papers. The downside of this is that my cat always wanders over and plonks his fuzzy cat butt on whatever I’m currently trying to finish.
A ginormous chunk of my schoolwork is completed while sitting at my computer desk downstairs, because
the Internet is a wonderful procrastination tool it’s basically a perfect location: Quiet, but not too quiet. For some reason our house has two living rooms and the computer desk is in the front one, which means it’s situated just close enough to the center of activity (the kitchen and my dad’s office) to still be interesting, but not so close that I get distracted by the noise.
I have a desk in my room, too… that I use for schoolwork (or anything, really) maybe five times a year. There are usually so many books and papers strewn across it that there just isn’t any room to work on stuff! So, guess what I haven’t used in the last few months?!
I often do schoolwork on my bed, although I’ve learned not to do it while lying in bed because then I fall asleep with a schoolbook in my lap.
Sometimes I work on assignments at the college I attend part-time, usually either in the computer lab or in the cafeteria.
And occasionally during English a few years ago… because the class was deadly dull and I hated the professor; he’s the worst I ever had there. I won’t be doing any more schoolwork there, though, for either homeschooling or college – I took my last final today. (And I got an A!)
Sometimes I work at the kitchen table, although I don’t do that as often as I used to during the elementary/middle school years.
I rarely do school on the couch, but I used to do that all the time: My mom would read history and literature aloud to my brother and I, and we’d curl up on the couch next to her. That’s still one of my favorite homeschooling memories!
Also, when I was a wee Engie I used to do schoolwork outside waaaaaay more often than I do now. Because now I am a teenager and therefore allergic to fresh air… also, you don’t get very good Internet reception outside. Ha ha!
We have a huuuuuuge table in the basement (that was built down there and is so huge we’d probably never be able to bring it up via the stairs, even if we wanted to) that I used when I did biology – dissections! And other fun things! Microscopes! Tiny Mad Scientist Experiments, complete with safety goggles!
Sometimes when we run errands, I bring along some assignments to work on in the car… when someone else is driving, of course!
And finally, sometimes I finish schoolwork during meetings. I am ashamed to admit that I don’t pay as much attention to my 4-H meetings as I should, but the business part of the meeting can be super boring. (I don’t feel too bad about it, though, because I’ve seen more than a few of the public school kids do the same thing with their homework.)
Simply put, I do my schoolwork in a ton of different places. Although I do have my favorite areas, I don’t like to be confined to one place – I like a change of scenery every once in a while!
I do my schoolwork where public school (and private school) kids would do their homework, I suppose: Pretty much wherever they want. Being required to sit in a classroom for the duration of my assignments, day in and day out, would really irritate me. In fact, several times throughout this semester, I’ve nearly left my seat in Spanish class to go sit on the floor because I just COULDN’T SIT STILL, then realized that I’d probably get weird looks from everyone else!
Anyway, I’ve rambled for long enough: Now it’s your turn! Fellow homeschoolers, do you have a schoolroom, or do you just work “wherever”? If you’re not homeschooled, what are some of your favorite places to study, finish homework, et cetera?