Small space homes are as suited to homeschooling as large homes. There are so many different ways to home educate, and they don’t all involve having a dedicated schoolroom or study area. Opt to go structured or unschool. Follow a specific style, like Montessori or Charlotte Mason. You can even make up your own eclectic method, with elements from any and every style that suits your family.
However, if your kids enjoy doing a lot of paper-based written work, it can be a real challenge when you simply do not have the room for the usual furniture – tables/desks, bookcases, and storage units are all bulky items and major floor hogs. Artwork is less problematic; a plastic mess mat or some old newspaper, plus a simple tray* (or a low rise tuff spot* that can be stored in a cupboard or under a bed or sofa), is enough to contain most messes and is reasonably easy to tidy up. (Pro tip: if you have a garden, take the painting and messier science projects outdoors. You don’t want to get acrylic paint or science chemicals spilt on your floor by accident!)
Small Space Study Areas
If you can’t rearrange your living space, try looking at what you can repurpose for study areas. Perhaps you have a dining table or kitchen counter that can serve as a temporary desk? Get in the habit of clearing clutter hot spots before they become permanent table hogs. Use a slimline schoolbag or a handy magazine file* to stash your study materials when they aren’t in use.
No table; no worries. Try storage clipboards*! They have a modest amount of built-in storage plus a solid writing area and can be toted anywhere around the house. Extremely portable and ideal for small space living or roadschooling.
Small Space Wall Storage
Floorspace doesn’t have to be the only place you can site resources. Consider investing in shelves, cabinets, and/or bulletin boards. Wall mounted items are great for clutter-free storage or display purposes. Doors are also handy locations for storage; add over-door hanging pockets* or over-door hanger racks*.
If you live in rental accommodation and can’t permanently attach anything to the walls, Command self-adhesive hooks and strips do not leave marks or residue and come in various forms and sizes. I always put up my bulletin boards with Command Picture Hanging Strips*. Try using Command hooks to attach mesh basket caddies to a wall or door, to add places to hang schoolbags or coats, or to hang door organisers with over-door attachments that are too wide or thick for your doorways (detach the over-door hooks and hang the D-rings from your Command hooks).
Small Space Relocation
Mementos are invariably special, and it’s super hard to throw away cherished project work. Focus on keeping the memory but not the bulk by photographing all of your favourite projects and uploading the photos to the cloud. There are lots of cloud storage photo services; Google Photos is reliable and free. (Likewise, if books are taking over your life, consider investing in a Kindle Fire* – no need for bulky bookcases when you can fit hundreds of books on a single tiny tablet.)
Have bag; can travel. If it’s really not working out to study at home, pack up a schoolbag and visit your local public library on a regular basis. The public library will have lots of tables – plus reading books, reference books, computers, printers, and many other great resources at free or minimal charge. It can be your home away from home, and a guaranteed (mostly) quiet study area.
What are your favourite tips for small space homeschooling? 🙂