Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Homeschooling when you have a Small Space

We live in a fairly small house(3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, and about 1000 square feet.)

It works for us in this season of life we are in, as we try to pay off student loan debt and save money, but there are certainly times when I find myself drooling over friends homeschool rooms.

Thankfully, though, now that we have been homeschooling for a couple of years we have figured out a few things that work for us.

We don't have a lot of closet space, and what closet space we do have is used for clothes, toys, and bedding. For awhile, I would keep all of our school books in one big tote on the floor of the pantry in our kitchen. 

Yes, I just said on the pantry floor of my kitchen..I can't believe I just admitted to you all that I actually did that....have I mentioned that organization is not my strong point?!

Obviously that method didn't work very well. Not only was it frustrating trying to find all the papers and books that we needed every day, but also random food crumbs(among other things) would occasionally fall into the school tote.

If you have ever looked into homeschool curriculum you know that it's not cheap, and that food is one of the last things you want all over your books(especially if you're like me, and plan on using them at least five more times in the coming years!;)

Thankfully, my husband was blessed with the organized, type A personality genes, and happily stepped in and helped me figure out a system that works. The first thing he did was install some shelves in our room.

Then with some baskets we already had, we designated each basket to a subject. Right now, since I'm only doing "official" school with Anna and Jack I just keep their books together. Each basket has their math, spelling/english, and history. I also keep a stack of books for science and art next to the school books.

One of the harder things about living in a smaller house when you homeschool, is that often the entire house gets messy, and needs cleaned up every day. Case in point:

But, then again, one of the benefits of living in a smaller house is that it gets cleaned up pretty fast, too. Especially when you have five willing helpers. :)

Most of our actual school work gets done in the kitchen. Which works really well for us, since I spend a lot of my time in there anyways.

I keep a marker board and some old windows hung up in the kitchen, and write on them with dry erase markers for our calendar, scripture memory, and copy work sentences.

And about every other week, I order a huge stack of books from the library that have to do with whatever we are studying that week. Which keeps things budget friendly and cuts down on the clutter around here.

It's definitely been a process figuring out what works for us, and learning how to utilize our space, but I'm so thankful we have figured out some things that work well for us right now.

If you homeschool, I'd love to hear how you "do school" at your house. Do you have a school room? Do you just use your kitchen? I'd love to hear!

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