Published on August 18, 2020

The kitchen works overtime as a cafeteria. The living room moonlights as a study hall. The corner of the bedroom is now an art studio. When you’re homeschooling, every part of your space takes on multiple roles—and with a new season of at-home learning just around the corner for many, it’s time to streamline the process a bit. A few headaches are inevitable, but you can still create an environment that both you and your kids will actually want to be in. 

No need to re-create their entire classroom; just bring in some key pieces to carve out a clearly defined space for them to work in. Between small space–friendly desks for the older crowd and colorful calendars for younger students, these nine pieces make this year’s back-to-school a little easier.

Preschool

Go ahead, let them draw on the walls. They might be too young to keep everything contained in a notebook, but why not give them free rein to unleash their creativity on a surface of your choosing? Enter: chalkboard paint, a VOC-free and nontoxic canvas for little hands to scribble on and eventually practice their ABCs. Next, bring in a couple options that give them some autonomy—outward-facing shelves let them choose their own mini library (and create instant art). For easy school-supplies transport, we love this terracotta-hued desk caddy with an oak handle—get them started on workspace organization from an early age by forming good habits when they begin toting around their favorite items. 

Elementary School

Set them up at the kitchen table with a bright yellow wobble chair, specifically designed to improve posture and help kids focus (it’s basically the equivalent of a fidget toy in furniture form). A poster-size wall calendar—each month is a different punchy shade—lets them start to keep track of their own assignments and schedules. (They can also decorate it with stickers, which is always a bonus.) And for a bit of peace and quiet, these children’s headphones come with an adjustable headband and built-in noise reduction. They’ll help your little ones focus while reading—and maybe even afford you a few minutes of silence to tackle your inbox

Middle School

No space for a full table? IKEA’s genius storage unit rings in at under $150 and folds out into a desk, perfect for when you have to share a small apartment with a sixth grader. Let them customize the pale pine with the paint of their choosing to really make it feel special. Then they can pin up notes and to-do lists on this old-school mood board (lo-fi is always in style). If you have multiple kids, give each one their own board to personalize and play around with; use up old fabric swatches to drape over the top and switch up the look. Finally, pick up a few stylus pens. In a school year full of iPad lessons, this ergonomic design is sure to come in handy. You might even end up stealing one for yourself. 

Introducing Domino’s new podcast, Design Time, where we explore spaces with meaning. Each week, join editor-in-chief Jessica Romm Perez along with talented creatives and designers from our community to explore how to create a home that tells your story. Listen now and subscribe for new episodes every Thursday.

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