Making Room for Homeschooling When Your House Is Small

When we first began homeschooling, when our oldest children were truly kindergarten age- although I'd been doing "school" with them for a while, we lived in a big house. We had a huge front room that had once been a formal living and dining room that we used as a schoolroom.


After child four was born, we did something most people with four children don't do. We downsized. The cost of living was too high in the spacious house we lived in. And a smaller rental property opened up. So we moved. From a 2500 square foot home to a 1400 square foot home. With six people.

This house has truly been a blessing in so many ways. And there have been many great things about living here- including a lower cost of living. But, figuring out how to store supplies and how and where to homeschool four children in a very small house has always been a challenge.

Homeschooling in small spaces

We've done a variety of things over the years. Currently we've divided a not very large front room into a small bedroom for my oldest who's starting college this year and a dining room/pantry/schoolroom. It's tight, but it's working.

If you have a small house, don't despair, here are some ways that we've made homeschooling in a small space work.

Personal Work Spaces in the Bedrooms


Over the years we've tried to make it possible for the kids to have schoolwork spaces in their bedrooms. This means that when they do independent work, they aren't stuck finding room to work. Ideally I want the kids to work at desks. I do have one who particularly likes to set his computer and work up on his bed. But I try to encourage working at desks.

This year when we did some rearranging, we were able to find loft beds with desks for our younger girls. We were scouring used furniture sites, and these came up! They were perfect because they allow each girl to have a desk without taking up lots of space.

Homeschooling in small spaces

Shelves. Lots of Shelves


If I had to describe my home decor style, I'd have one word. Bookshelves. I'm serious friend. This small house contains no fewer than ten bookshelves. We don't just use them for books, although I do have quite a few of those.

We use our shelves to  organize games, to store schoolbooks and personal reading books, and to store craft and school supplies. One of my favorite free finds is a huge three section bookshelf that was just being discarded by a business that was no longer using it. We claimed it, and I put it in my foyer. We can't use our front door well, but we sure do have more book storage!

Homeschooling in small spaces


Bins. Lots of Bins


I should buy stock in plastic bins. I'm not sure how I could homeschool without a variety of plastic and fabric bins. You can see on our shelf above how I use them to help organize supplies, but use them for a variety of other things.

Bins are awesome for storing the kids books because then they can carry them around the house to work as needed. I also use a large plastic bin to keep and organize the current books we're using in the subjects that we do together.

Homeschooling in small spaces

Organization


I've learned that one of the biggest keys to making homeschooling work in a small, small space is to keep things organized as much as possible. I keep our school books in a plastic bin- as I mentioned above. I keep the books organized by author last name and by subject on our bookshelves. I'm constantly trying to keep things in order. Some kind of order.

This past summer when we did our great clean out, we set up a large bookshelf to use to organize our school and craft supplies. I used all kinds of plastic and fabric bins to organize supplies to be stored on the shelf. (It may seem like a mess, but I promise there's a method to the madness.)

Homeschooling in small spaces

Sharing Space


One of the most important keys to making homeschooling in a small space work is sharing space. All of the rooms in our house are multi-purpose. At any moment we might need to commandeer space in the living room to act out something from a school lesson. In the afternoon, you'll find kids sprawled in various places throughout the house doing independent schoolwork.

We don't have a dining room. Instead we have a room that serves as a dining room, schoolroom, pantry, and school and craft supply room. It works. We may have to wait on kids to clean their school books off the table when we get ready to head to supper, but it works. Part of making homeschooling work in small spaces is simply adapting.

Homeschooling in small spaces

If you're in a small house and have wondered how to make it work for homeschooling, I hope that you can try some of these ideas. Homeschooling in a small space can be frustrating sometimes. But it is possible. Get creative and make it work.

Homeschooling in small spaces

You can read lots more great posts about homeschool rooms at the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop over at the iHomeschool Network. I'm super excited to be a new iHomeschool Network blogger, and I'm linking up my schoolroom post here. You can stop by and link up your homeschool room posts in the linky.

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop iHomeschool Netwrok


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