Back To School . . . At Home :: Creating a Home Learning Space


It’s back-to-school time, and it could not be crazier this year! Whether your kids are starting school virtually or in person, if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that nothing will go as planned! Something many families have had to figure out is having a “learning space” in the home. I personally know several families who have decided to homeschool this year, turning dining rooms, kitchens, spare rooms into school rooms.

Hopefully this is not the new normal, just a temporary normal, so creating a home learning space should be budget-friendly and easy. A friend of mine recently turned her dining room into a school room, and it’s absolutely LOVELY! I asked her if she would share all the things about this amazing room! Even if you don’t have/need a whole room, I love her advice on how to do this on a budget and her lovely designs!

What was the space before it became your school room?

Our dining room. We thought it would be best because it gets great natural light and is next to the kitchen and living room, so we can hop around if we need to.

Create a home learning space on a budgetCreate a home learning space on a budget

Where did you get your inspiration for your room?

I’ve wanted long shelves like these in my dining room for years. I knew they would work great for our school room and be able to switch back to our dining room later. I love looking at other people’s school rooms on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.

Create a home learning space on a budget

Where were some of your favorites places to find supplies for your room?

Amazon, Target, Ikea, FB Marketplace 

My husband built the shelves, but pretty much everything was repurposed from other areas in our home. The desk was previously mine and we already had the rolling cart. We are studying early Americans, so I tried to use some things around the house that felt old. We grabbed a ship my husband has had since he was a child, old bells and a butter churn from my grandmother, and a vintage globe given to us by a family member. I’m storing our weekly books on the desk in a small bread bowl. I also included a drawing of my childhood church, an embroidered Alabama print, and sweet hand prints we had done a couple of years ago because they all make me happy.

The green organizers are from Target dollar spot and hold all their workbooks. We can easily pull down their bin when it’s time to work and know where everything is. The rug we pulled from the toddler’s room. I made the felt banner with twine and felt I had in my stash.

I love looking on Facebook Marketplace for used items. I found a great deal on a rolling book cart for $10! I’m on the hunt for a small table for my toddler now so he can have his own workspace while big brothers are doing school. 

The prints from Cavallini Papers & Co. are beautiful! They’re educational AND blend in nicely with other home decor. Once you buy a wooden frame you can easily swap out prints throughout the year. I plan to add some into other parts of our school room soon.

Any advice you could offer other moms who are trying to figure out a learning space/school room?

Choose an area of your home that works best for daily life, even if that’s a small space or unconventional room. Think through how you’re going to use the room. I knew I would be in the kitchen frequently and wanted to be nearby if they needed help with their work. The location we chose also allows them to separate if they need some space by coming into the kitchen or living room.

Think about other kids. Keeping the toddler happy while big brothers are working is going to be a big part of having a successful day, so I made sure to have some space for him. I moved in a couple of spots for him to sit, a special basket with books and small toys for him and a rug he can sit and play on behind his brothers. 

Take stock of what you already have on hand before buying all the things. You may already have items around your house that would work well. 

Use their learning supplies for decor. Stack or prop books (cookbook stands work great) so you can see the beautiful covers. Fill a utensil caddy or mason jars with markers or pencils. It makes it accessible, but also makes it look like a fun school room.

Think through things that might be frustrating during the day and come up with solutions. There were a couple of things we had to change to work efficiently. We had a dining room light that hit my head when I helped them at their desk (I’m 6’0″ tall!), so we swapped that out for something closer to the ceiling. We also had issues with headphone cords getting tangled and dropping to the floor so we found wireless headsets on Amazon that fold up neatly and can be tucked away when school is over.

If you are homeschooling this year, how are you preparing a home learning space?