One group desk or individual desks

I am turning our dining room into a classroom and I can’t decide if I want to do a big group table/desk like Erica or individual school type desks. I see pros and cons to both. Opinions?

We use our dining table a lot. My older daughter has a desk and my younger and “art” station, but unless my oldest is using the computer, we have found that we tend to gather more at the table no matter what the project is.

This doesn’t really apply to me yet because I only have Boober using a desk. I do however, have a large table set up. My plan for the future is for all of them to sit there at the large table. Our dining room is our current homeschool room, but I am working on the room that will become our homeschool room right now. I’m so excited it is warming up because our school room will be our sunporch!

We have always used one table. I find for me, it is easier. We are all right there together, when someone has a question I just have to lean over to help them.
Plus my boys enjoy sitting with other. Even though they are 7 years apart, they still like to see what each other is doing.

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We also do our dining room table, but that’s mostly a lack of not having individual desks to try it out with. Recently my Kindergartner took his work this week to his room. It was conveniently all things he could do independently and he returned in just a short while with it complete. I was amazed! Without the distraction of two younger siblings we took a fraction of the time to get through things. I may have to look into separate desks or space sometime soon.

I would say one table just because you never know where homeschooling may take you! I originally wanted desks but now we are taking a family approach to school I would have wasted money trying to do that. I DO have a small red Ikea table for my little ones while I teach phonics etc… which is in the living room but thats the only time I use it. We pretty much use the dining table.

I have had both set ups. So here are my pros and cons…
Individual desks
pros- each child has there own space
therefore eliminating the there touching me/ there looking at me fights. My son gets distracted very easily so being away from his sisters helps him focus.
cons- having to get up everytime someone has a question. And having to lean over the desks to help can be uncomfortable. Also you couldn’t do group lessons.

Now for the one table
pros- everyone is right there in front of me and i can easily answer any questions.
Also you can have the art supplies in the center for everyone.
Cons- having everyone at the table can be hard if you have a child who struggles with focusing or if you have a child that talks alot. It also gives them a chance to make silly faces at each other while your reading something.

So I have the one table now but in my perfect schoolroom daydream i would love to have individual desks and than a huge teacher desk that the kids can come up to. I love homeschool creations room.


I haven’t run into this issue yet, but one idea I have is that if you do decide to go with one table but have times when focusing is an issue, you can have one or all of your children put up “focusing folders”. Basically tape 2-3 Manila folders together and have them set it up as a little corral. It might be helpful to some students. Just an idea.

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My plan is to have desks because I am going to be teaching four children in three different grades, but if that does not work out (and the chilren have suggested) a table so that they can all sit together… I am not sure which will work better as I start my first journey in homeschooling this next school year. I may even have a set of small tables together and then if that doesn’t work out than I can seperate them. That sounds like the best that I can see right now. That way I can do either depending on the situation and if being “together” does not work. Best of luck to everyone

Thats a good idea I will have to try something like that.

Thats a really good idea. I never thought of putting the desks together and than separating when needed.

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We definitely are dining room table people for school. However, my high schooler does go to a desk in her room when she needs quiet space to concentrate (math, science, writing.). When one child needs to go off to do some more quiet, independent work, we use something like his with a chair or a couch:

And this:

I am not trying to sell anything but give ideas!!


We kind of do both.

Right now, my kids are in 3rd, 2nd, and K. We tried a big table last year, but they were just way too distracted with each other.

Now, they all have a separate desk, and I have a table. They take turns sitting with me at the table for the subjects they need help with (math, reading, etc.). Then we all sit at the table for the subjects we do together. It works because we can easily have discussions, and yet I have a place to send them if they get too distracted or rowdy! :smile:


Short story : we’re aiming for a table top system with drawer units (like Erika’s) separated into individual desks , but will allow for redesigning as needs change.

We have started out at our dining room table. The 1st grader set up her own desk using a TV tray and her workbox system. She could easily turn to the table to work with me or have more space. It worked fine until the 3rd grader did the same in the opposite corner making it difficult to utilize the back side of the table for meals, etc… They wanted their own workspace, but the oldest wasn’t working, and had the perfect set up challenging me to keep her on task.
Our table separates for extra leaves, so I’ve pulled it apart just enough to slide 2 foam boards in, with a single piece of tape at the top the table is divided in half, works great for those two, but we have 4… Right now the younger two come and go so the older two tolerate it well enough.

We have a long narrow table - one kid at each end - this way they have plenty of personal space, can’t bother each other or kick each other, but we can also use the entire table for large projects, crafts, experiments, etc. When I worked in a classroom I much preferred to have the kids sit at tables instead of individual desks - they move, they are small, they get cluttered, and they aren’t great for larger projects. I vote large table for all :slight_smile:

There’s definately pros and cons to each. We start homeschooling in the fall and I love the idea of one table. Here’s hoping my kids do too!

We like the big table option. When I started homeschool, we didn’t have a school room so we just used the dining room table. After we moved into a house with an extra room to house our school room we opted to buy a dining room table. It serves as a learning spot by day and we have extra seating when we have company over for dinner. :slight_smile:

Thanks everyone!! We have been using our kitchen table. It’s huge, but there are 2 big issues with it. 1) It’s a plank farmhouse style table, so there are little gaps between the boards and that makes for annoyances with writing and projects. 2) My husband works 3rd shift and sleeps all day. Our home is set up in such a way that the kitchen table is right next to our bedroom wall where dad’s sleeping. So, I’m turning the dining room (we have an eat-in kitchen area where the table is currently) into a school room since it has doors and can be closed off. I thought of purchasing another dining table to use in there as a group desk…and I may. I like Erica’s setup but don’t really want to drop that much cash until I know that the group desk will work for us. Great ideas here! Thanks!

Both. We have two 2-person tables from IKEA that I can push together for a large table or I can push each one against a different wall. We usually start one way and change sometime during the year. I like the flexibility.

We are all over the house. I have a 7th grader that does his school all online on a computer in our room. Then I work with my 4th and 2nd graders on our group desk in the school room (aka formal living room). Rarely are we all 3 at the group table at the same time. The older kids do their homework in their rooms usually.