Maybe you’re considering or beginning homeschooling, but you don’t have a lot of physical space at home for it. Not all of us have extra rooms for a Pinterest-worthy homeschool room. Can we still homeschool in a small space?
Thankfully, the answer is a resounding yes! With a little creativity and resourcefulness, any family can homeschool, even with limited space. Here are 5 tips with which to start the planning:
1) Rethink the traditional school setup
Especially if we as parents come from a traditional schooling background, we may have an idea of what we think a schoolroom should look like. Small individual desks for each students, some sort of whiteboard or blackboard up front…however, with homeschooling, the flexibility is wonderful.
For some subjects, it might make sense to be at a table or writing surface of some kind. In the elementary years, though, don’t overlook other options. Especially for wiggly preschoolers or just active children in general, allowing them to read a book on the sofa or backyard when it’s nice outside might help them learn better and focus. And as a bonus, you’ve just created a lot more school space for your family than you initially thought you had!
The Home School Legal Defense Association also has an excellent article on creating a learning environment for children.
2) Use existing furniture for multi purposes
For really small homes, it can be challenging to find furniture or space that you can dedicate full time to homeschooling. If you really think about it, too, you are unlikely to do school the entire day anyway, so using existing furniture really makes practical and financial sense.
When starting with only a few children, you could use your dining room table as a study area and supplement with some shelving or storage units. Existing computer desks or office desks could be utilized for homeschooling if they are not in use all the time.
If you have extra chairs to pull up to the table when homeschooling, that can be another way of saving space and money.
3) Maximize storage space with organizers
Another great area to think about is storage containers and shelves for all your supplies. Bookshelves, cube organizers, and plasticware containers are all wonderful ways to keep your school books/supplies organized.
You can maximize a small space incredibly with the right organizational storage. For more ideas, check out Pinterest boards or do a quick Google search. The number of results can be overwhelming, but you will certainly not lack for inspiration.
4) Use technology to save on storage space
In this electronic age, the number of resources available through technology is amazing. To save on physical storage space, consider electronic versions of handouts and workbooks. Audiobooks are a wonderful addition to any homeschool program.
Remembering back to the encyclopedias we parents had as children, it is astonishing to think about the amount of information now available to our children via the Internet.
An added bonus of having materials electronically is that our children will learn computer skills that will almost certainly be needed in their future jobs.
5) Think about ways to organize your overall home in a small space
Homeschooling is merely one part of our holistic home life with our family. Therefore, anything we can do to simplify life that surrounds the school hours will help our homeschool time run more smoothly.
Areas to consider include household management, organization of heavily used spaces, and more. Making changes to help life flow better will spill over into homeschooling and make school time flow better too!
When we consider the history of homeschooling, children have been learning and excelling in small spaces for a large part of history.
If you are just starting out, don’t worry about not having enough room to give your children a quality education. With a little thought and planning, you can create a learning environment for them in which they can be successfully educated and prepared for adulthood.
For more ideas, check out our blog post about setting up a homeschool classroom.