Colorado’s Homeschooling Boom: How to Make Your House Homeschool
Back to school season is looking a little different in Colorado this year. The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) shut schools down in March and families across the state were forced to turn their homes into temporary schools. A report from the Metro Denver Partnership for Health was released at the end of June which recommended schools fully reopen in the fall with risk-reduction strategies in place. This report led to districts across the state, including the state’s largest – Denver Public Schools – to push for in-person learning five days a week, with a fully online option. This decision has left many Colorado parents, concerned about the spread of COVID-19 in schools, to develop their own schooling solutions.
In response to the rising rates of infections among young Coloradans and an increase in COVID-19 cases in the state, some parents are choosing the consistency of homeschooling and remote learning over the in-person or hybrid options being offered in their area.
If you’re planning to take on homeschooling yourself, there are a few things to consider to make your house “homeschool friendly.”
The rise in remote work as a result of the coronavirus shifted homebuyers’ priorities away from open floor plans and toward homes with dedicated workspaces. Colorado’s influx of homeschooling is reinforcing that trend.
If you’re looking to sell your home as we enter back to school season, showcasing a spare bedroom, finished basement, or office as a dedicated homeschool workspace will appeal to families who are moving and looking to embark on a remote learning journey this fall. If you’re homeschooling yourself, taking advantage of a private space, even if it’s just a nook or quiet corner, can help normalize the school day for you and your child.
If you don’t have the ability to create a dedicated kid-centric workspace in your home, don’t worry. Jennifer Knick, the author of The Organized Homeschooler blog, said in the article Thinking of Home Schooling? Here’s How to Do It, that she’s been homeschooling for 10 years, and while she had a room dedicated to homeschooling, she never ended up using it.
While sitting at a desk or table will give your kids the feel of a traditional classroom, having the flexibility to work on math on a comfy chair with a clipboard or lap desk may be more motivating in the long run. Being flexible and understanding your home’s strengths (a couch that you can turn into an awesome fort) and your child’s unique quirks (motivated by snacks), you’ll be able to make homeschool work even without a private dedicated workspace.
Just like you don’t need to turn your dining room into a full-fledged classroom, you don’t have to install cubbies in your living room to keep your kid’s homeschooling supplies organized. Instead, the article 10 Homeschool Organization Ideas That’ll Turn Your Small Space Into a Classroom suggests you “clear a bookshelf that you already have to make room for workbooks, textbooks, art supplies, and bins. Let kids tuck their papers and other materials in the bins, so it doesn’t take away from the overall display.”
Flexible and stylish storage will help potential homebuyers see the versatility of your home and allow them to envision their own homeschool endeavors in the space. If you don’t have any shelving available to store your homeschooling supplies, a rolling cart is a great way to keep supplies accessible when you need them, and out of sight when you don’t.
Most kids will tell you their favorite “subject” is recess, so don’t forget to consider how you’ll work your outdoor space into your homeschooling plans. A large yard is perfect for those remote P.E. lessons and you don’t have to worry about broken lamps or vases. Investing in some outdoor recreational equipment, like a portable basketball hoop or pop up soccer goals, will not only keep your own kids active but highlight for potential buyers how your outdoor space can work for their family without sacrificing aesthetics.
Amy G. Pertain, a work-from-home employee who has homeschooled her own son since kindergarten, said in a Colorado Parent article, “Making time to be outdoors, while still being mindful of social distancing, will help keep [your kids] focused as well.” You don’t need a large yard to reap the benefits. She continues, “If they’ve been working hard on learning, take a break and go for a walk.”
Whether you’re selling your home this fall or reimagining it for your own homeschooling undertaking, with a few simple tweaks your home can become head of the homeschooling class.