05 November 2011

Your Perfect Homeschool House

Your budget is not unlimited, but pretend you have an opportunity to buy a nice-sized house in a good neighbourhood.  What sort of layout or features would make you MOST happy as a homeschool family?

All of us like to dream-shop sometimes.  I googled "homeschool house" and "homeschool house design" and found that most websites say nothing about home design.  Many of them want to "design a homeschool curriculum" or help with organizing a "homeschool room," but only one (that I found!) spoke to the idea of homeschooling as a lifestyle that would be reflected in building design.  I reflected on that a bit and concluded that perhaps this is because so many of us (contrary to popular stereotype) are different and want different things to happen during our homeschool days.  Then, too, is the idea that many homeschool families are large families, and home design must take that into account first and foremost.

This article about homeschool real estate is five years old, but the seller wants you to know about the unfinished basement for roller skating and painting projects, the open floor plan, the separate dining room for schoolwork, and the home office. 

"I keep thinking that it would be nice if a homeschooling family moved in here after us, even though the chances of that are probably pretty slim, statistically," author Barbara Frank wrote. "But when I think of all the changes we made here, it seems a shame to waste them on people who are going to park their 1.7 kids in daycare while they go to work each day. This house is meant for a family with kids who have interests, make projects, spend time together, and occasionally need time away from each other."

My perfect house would have a kitchen with a large pantry, because I'm tired of having much of our food kept in the basement or stacked on the buffet in the living room.  It just looks messy, not to mention the inconvenience.  I'd want the clothes in a central location for laundry purposes, probably in a common area near the bathroom.  We select clothes before we bathe for the most part, so it makes sense.  The new house would also have a layout that is more conducive to Woodjie being more independent and not having to be watched QUITE so closely.  Imagine your inquisitive year-old baby in a five-year-old's body.  How quick he is, how he can open doors, stand on chairs to find things or discover the magic of flushing things down the toilet... and then imagine designing a house for him that would minimize discipline and yelling while keeping him occupied and safe.

I'd like a room specially set aside for homeschooling, but it isn't the highest on my priority list.  I don't know if I'm alone in feeling that way, so I'll open the comment section up and see. 

So how about it?  What are the features of your perfect homeschool house?


12 comments:

  1. Huge laundry /craft room with closets. We'd probably hang our daily clothes there and have a wrapping paper station, and scrapbooking area and the like.

    A sunny room with one wall lined with bookshelves, and comfy, cozy reading chairs.

    A wrap around porch with more comfy cozy chairs to draw us outside to do as much schoolwork as possible.

    Basically, a house fitted to readers and artists would fit us. I don't think anything I mentioned would be homeschool specific.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oo, CRAFT room. See, that could be homeschool-specific if we were talking about younger kids. Also, if you had in-home childcare.

    And the wrap-around porch wouldn't get as much use in Missouri as Atlanta area, but the GREAT thing about wrap-around porches (called verandahs in Australia... yes, they have a special name) is that you can move so you are always in the shade or out of the wind.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hmmm...I wouldn't change anything. Okay, maybe make the closets a bit bigger and add a den/library space because we are book hoarders. ;) Other than that, I wouldn't do anything too different house wise. We don't tend to sit in a particular spot to homsechool, so a schooling 'room' would be a waste. We also are outside in good weather more than we are inside, so I think instead I would have outdoor preferences for a new home. A screened in porch, a Florida room off the back (so even in winter, we could feel like we were outide and be inspired by the scenery!) A blacktop driveway- so much easier to use chalk for drawing/quizzes and art on black top instead of the small cement walkway. Also handy for gym activities like biking and roller blading. A basement just a bit bigger than what we have now so that even with the home gym set up, we would still have space for riding bikes, scooters and roller blading indoors. Definitely want to be in a rural space, have woods with lot's of wild life. Water nearby! Could be a stream or a pond, too much great science given up if no water nearby. Also would want a small wood shop. Someplace warm in the winter where the boy and girl could build and nail to their hearts content. And a greenhouse!! Our winter sowing and starter seedling plants would be so much easier if they were in their own greenhouse and not propped on tables under the ballast lighting in the basement...next to the weight benches and tools. :/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sounds like you are in a *nearly* perfect place for your homeschool right now, though, Blondee! Some of my very fave homeschool posts have been of you guys going off exploring near your creek and seeing all sorts of wild plant and animal life on your walks. I like seeing the seasons change and I can almost smell the air of the forest sometimes when you post! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I actually have a dream house designed and waiting for pennies from heaven. I don't know that I would plan a whole house around home educating. Even if I home educate my kids through high school, I only have about a dozen or so years left of homeschooling...

    I spend my day cooking, doing laundry and cleaning. My spaces aren't well designed. I too have food in the basement. I have kitchen appliances down there too. Not long ago, I was carrying my expensive Bosch mixer to its home in the basement, passed the door to the garage and realized it wasn't closed all they way. I propped the mixer on one hip and held it in just one hand so that my other hand was free to close the door... and dropped my mixer. It slid all the way down the stairs. :o(

    So, my dream house is mostly kitchen, laundry room and a family closet. I already occasionally have knee pain from arthritis so the spaces should incorporate a universal design that allows me to age in place. The other feature that I am just being reminded that I would like to have... my dream house has a mud room! Add a lot of room for book storage and I am all set.

    Oh, yes, and to accommodate my husband, our dream home needs a root cellar and a green house.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ohhh, the heartbreak of losing a Bosch mixer... Yeah, you almost want to make everything a kitchen. I like your IKEA knockoff table, looks like a step in the right direction.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I like the idea of a huge craft room too, lined with cabinets for supplies and having a huge central table with drawers at each corner facing the side they're on. Picture a set of three or four drawers facing east, another facing north, another facing west, the fourth set facing south, then a large slab of wood to make the desk top, the whole thing maybe two mwtres by two metres, so there is space for desk chairs beside each set of drawers.
    It's the perfect hobby/craft/school room.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Do you know what that reminds me of, River? The craft room at my primary school at Gordon West, in Pymble, NSW... ages ago. BIIIG slab of a table that will never go anywhere, windows here and there and cabinets all round. Lovely room.

    ReplyDelete
  9. We have so many things we'd need in a dream house, it seems impossible.

    Since my husband works from home, I'd like a private office/powder room for him - maybe over the garage or somewhere quiet.

    I really like open concept houses, with the kitchen, dining, and living all together. I'd love to have a large room off that area, maybe with sliding barn doors, that could be opened up so I could supervise school AND cook, but be closed off at the end of the day so I don't have to see the mess. It would be great to have a big pantry and laundry room, too. I don't really care about bedroom sizes, we don't spend much time in them, but the common rooms get a lot of use. Oh! And a playroom, maybe adjacent to the schoolroom for the Lego collection would be nice, too.....

    Yeah. None of that's gonna happen. Unless a pile of money falls on me.

    ReplyDelete
  10. LOL I know how lovely it would be for him to have his own place, but I have to smile at this idea of sending the fella out to the garage each day! :)

    I want a LEGO room, too. Those things get everywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete

Non-troll comments always welcome! :)