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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Homeschooling In Small Spaces

I know that I've been missing in action lately.  I think its been the winter funk.  Or writers block, or maybe just laziness.  There are a million reasons that I could come up with, but yay!  I'm back!

    So today I'd like to talk about schooling in small spaces.  I'm sure I've talked about how we live in a
tiny apartment.  House prices are out of our range here in Rhode Island and rentals are much cheaper.  So we have to make do and adapt to our tiny apartment.  

   It certainly makes for a challenge for everyday living, but throw in homeschooling storage and setup, and now you've got yourself an even bigger job of tackling.  We used to be blessed to have an entire room devoted to schooling.  But now that our daughter is 4 years old and not rooming with us any longer, it was time to say goodbye to the school room and hello to a new challenge.

Where were we going to accomplish school?

We don't have the luxury of an "extra" room.  We are lucky to have a 3 bedroom apartment.  Well actually it's a 2 bedroom, but I'm going to share with you what I did.

This room is our main living area.  We have made it the Living Room / Dining Room / School Area combo.  This would actually be the room you would put your kitchen table and fridge, hutches..etc

In case you need a little taste of just how small our apartment is, this is my kitchen.  The WHOLE kitchen!

    Well, we really need that extra room which would be a living room, I guess, so we have re purposed this room for that function.  3 bedroom apartment; problem solved.  But that didn't solve the problem of space for school storage.  School is now done at the "Dining Room" table.  All seat work is done here.

    My sweet husband was nice enough to mount my computer monitor on the wall using a small shelf.  We have a wireless keyboard and mouse that the children use when completing a Spanish lesson or other work on the computer.  I'm also able to make use of the computer for our lessons, to illustrate points that I want to make by the way of showing them things we are learning about.

    See that nice T.V. Ar-moire in the corner?  Yup...I've made use of that as well.

    I store my teaching hub inside.  The desk apprentice.  But since I have no desk I drag this out and use it everyday near my chair.

    This is our art caddy that gets used everyday.

    In the drawer below that is all of the extra art items I can't fit anywhere else.

    Above the table is the only wall space in the room.  I use this as my reference wall and hang all of the charts for my kids to use here.  

    Above the monitor is our nature shelf.  It holds our microscope, slides, nature treasures and nature guides.

    Now, the desk I don't get use of the conventional way holds the massive printer and my bread machine.  Spilling over from the kitchen.

    This is the nature finds basket that lives on our table.  Here all things interesting that are found outside can quickly be dropped off and investigated later.  This ensures they can keep playing and do the research later.

As far as books.  I have multiple bookshelves in my bedroom, there is one big bookshelf in this room, and some books that I'm not using yet are stored in storage totes.

I'm hoping that this post can help someone else living in extremely tight quarters.  It's not always easy, but it can be done.  

Wherever your family is....there too is your home.

God Bless,

3 Interesting thoughts:

Aranas Clan said...

One of my own personal problems in homeschooling is looking at the "clutter" -- I know it's all stuff we need, but my mind, which desires to see beauty & neatness, struggles visually to accept it and move on. It's a distraction for me. I've had to recreate rooms and spaces just to make things look pretty & organized, otherwise I can't function. It's my own hangup but I've learned over the years that if I neglect those things which impact me mentally-- my kids lose out b/c I'm not present with them in the moment. We may be talking history, but my eyes and mind are wandering the room and wondering how to organize & declutter! Bless you on your journey.

Mary said...


I myself struggled for a long time with the thought of hanging things on the wall. But after having it there for awhile I honestly don't even notice it anymore. I just remember that it's there for reference. It does help out to have things handy that I could otherwise hide away.

God Bless you and your family!

Gwen Cowan said...

Thank you so much for this!!!! I wasn't sure I could make this work and after reading and seeing your home I know I can do this!!!!! I thank God for you doing this!!! BE Blessed!!!!

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