Five Ways To Make the Most of a Small Homeschooling Space

My dream house would have a huge extra room that I could use as a schoolroom. I don’t really care what the rest of the house looks like. Oh, the hopes and dreams of a homeschool mama! In reality, we are six people who live in a pretty small house. Instead of a schoolroom, we have a schoolroom/dining room/pantry/playroom. My walls are papered with school posters and kid art. And I’ve learned to get very creative with fitting as much as possible into a small space. Here are five ways I’ve learned to make the most of a small homeschooling space.

5 Ways to Make the Most of a Small Homeschooling Space at The Homeschool Post

Store in plastic bins.

It is not an overstatement to say that we are hugely dependent on plastic bins for our homeschool supplies. Plastic bins not only keep like materials together, they make it easy to shuffle around materials as needed. So my younger girls, who still do most of their work in the actual schoolroom can keep their books in bins that are pulled out as they use them and then stored away by being pushed under the table out of the way. Plastic bins also make it easier to carry supplies around to be used in other rooms. And- not that I’m admitting to this- you can easily gather up plastic bins, sit them on your bed and shut the door if people are coming over.

Utilize shelves.

Shelves have made it possible to fit more than I ever thought possible in our little bitty room. I use tall shelves, and I fill them up. I even have things stored on top of most of the shelves. By using shelves, I can create vertical space since I don’t have much floor space. Now, I’m a fairly short person. So I do try to choose wisely what I’ll put on the tops of my shelves. If I have homeschool material that I know it’s possible to use again but I’m not going to be currently using it, I can put it higher up. But if it’s something I’ll need more often, I need to keep it lower.

There is one important thing I’ve learned about using shelves. It doesn’t matter if you have the best books and materials stored ready to pull out for later use if you don’t know where it is when you need it. When you have many shelves, it is very important to organize and label your shelves. You don’t have to be obsessive in your organizing- as some may have accused me. But you do need to have a system that works.


Hang things up.

As a classroom teacher in the days before my own children, I had often hung kids art work from the ceiling tiles or from a clothesline like string hung along a wall. At the time I did it because it was cute. But when I found myself not wanting to get rid of the great artwork the kids were creating with our art curriculum one year, I realized that the idea of hanging work on a clothesline would make it possible to save their work even though our wall space was limited. I strung a yarn line across a wide doorway and -voila!- an art exhibition place was born. Now I’m frequently hanging any kind of art work or school work that we want to display. The string doesn’t take up much room at all, and I’m able to display things without taking up wall space- most of which is covered by my shelves.

Partition off areas.

Another idea that has helped to maximize the space we have in our multi use room is that of partitioning off areas that we need for different tasks. I like to arrange furniture so that it creates a visual partition. For instance, we don’t have a pantry. So some of the area in the room that serves as our central school area is designated as a pantry. I have three sets of shelves there for food. Instead of spreading the shelves along the wall, taking up so much wall space, I have the shelves arranged in a L shape. Now the “pantry” area is partitioned off, and I didn’t have to sacrifice the wall space. I have another area partitioned off with the computer desk and some shelves.

Here’s a note about partitioning. Arranging the furniture this way frees up lots of wall space and definitely makes room for more furniture in the room. But it does give things a more cluttered feel. It makes for less open space. For our purposes, it works. But if you like the feel of an open, uncluttered room, it may not work as well for you.

Repurpose furniture.

One of my favorite space savers in my schoolroom is an old wardrobe. We inherited this piece of furniture from some friends who wanted to get rid of it. Someone who had this wardrobe in the past had a brilliantly awesome idea. They divided up the inside of the wardrobe into these little cubby holes. I’m not sure what it was originally intended for, but for our family, it makes an excellent craft closet. The little boxes inside are perfect for organizing bits of craft supply materials. This little wardrobe reminds me to think outside the box when it comes to looking for a way to make the most possible space.


The truth is, I love my little house. It’s a wonderful place for our family. It keeps us close. Literally. And I’ve learned over our years of homeschooling that I can stretch our small space out and make it work just fine. I don’t even need a bigger house. But… I probably wouldn’t turn one down.


Leah (10 Posts)

Leah Courtney is a homeschooling mom of four. Her days are filled with being a mom, homemaker, and teacher. In her (very rare) free time, she enjoys blogging, reading, and reviewing books and curricula. These days she’s learning the joys of being a mom of teens. You can read about her family and homeschooling life at As We Walk Along the Road.

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5 Proven Places for More Successful Homeschool Spaces

5 Proven Places for More Successful Homeschool Spaces | The Homeschool Post at hsbapost.com

I remember when I first started homeschooling. I spent a lot of time prepping our classroom. I wanted it to look just so. With a cute little school desk and shelves full of books with a cute little reading nook. You know, the perfect homeschool room. Because, if I had that, of course homeschooling would be successful.

Every summer, I spend a good week cleaning and updating that space a bit. Yet, every year I end up using the room more for storage than for actual homeschool learning. Why?

I think one reason is that if we have that perfect space, then we can prove we homeschool. It’s that whole lack of confidence in our decision that I revisit far too often. The reality of how our homeschool operates looks completely different and what I’ve learned over time is that it looks different for most homeschooling families as well.

Homeschooling is life learning. That means learning happens through life. With that what I see is that homeschool spaces are born out of your family lifestyle.

5 Places for Homeschool Spaces

5 Homeschool Spaces proven for Learning Success| The Homeschool Post at hsbapost.com

  1. The Dining Room Table
    This space is the most common sense learning space in the house. With mom often busy cooking, cleaning and taking care of other children, the dining room table is generally central to all that happens at home. So when kids are busy learning at the table, mom can have one eye on the homeschooling process and another on the pot of boiling water. It just makes the most sense.
  2. Learning on the Couch
    Maybe it’s a bit unexpected for newer homeschoolers, after all, the couch is where we relax. But, it’s the perfect place to curl up with a good book, or watch educational videos on Netflix.
  3. In the Car
    Let’s face it, we are busy people. We often are traveling for classes, doctor appointments, service projects, co-ops or team sports. When you are rushing here, there, and yonder you might find that fitting in book learning time is difficult. But, who said learning has to happen behind the desk? Your kids are strapped in the seatbelts, sitting still and an open book makes perfect sense. Better yet, use the CD or MP3 Player and do some memory work or listen to audio books, or practice math drills as a family and before you know it, your 3 year old will be repeating their multiplication facts.
  4. In the Kitchen
    There is no better place to do science experiments than the kitchen counter. You have containers readily available, you have a heat source, you have a sink for water or for cleaning up. It just makes sense.
  5. At the Library
    Ok, this is a building with tables, comfy chairs and shelf after shelf after shelf of books of every sort, size and genre. Not to mention the digital media resources. It’s kind of a no brainer and you can find something for every member of the family. I’ve often stopped at the library for homeschool between stops when driving around town for classes, co-ops and field trips.

Bonus Space: I just have to tell you about one more amazing space.

Get outdoors, go on a hunt, find treasures all around you as you explore nature with your kids. Whether you go on an insect hunt, or you find shells on the beach you can use nature as a springboard for learning. Natural learning at its best.

So are these homeschool spaces what you were expecting? Homeschool learning can happen anywhere, because life is learning. {Tweet That}

What are your favorite spaces for homeschooling?



Renée (25 Posts)

Renée Brown is author at her personal blog, Great Peace Academy. She is a homeschooling mom to her one amazing son, Jonathan and has been the wife of her Beloved Michael for 21 years. On her blog you will find discussions about her work as a homeschooling mom, her family and her faith.

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Five Tips for Organizing Your Homeschool During a School Break

Whether you school year round and take sporadic breaks or break for the traditional summer, a school break is a good time to regroup and get organized for the coming school season. When you take time during the break to make sure you are organized and ready, you can begin your next session of homeschooling with a strong start. Here are five of the things I like to do to get organized during our homeschool breaks.

Five Tips for Organizing Your Homeschool During a School Break

Five Tips for Organizing Your Homeschool During a School Break


Plan the next quarter.

I plan by quarters. When we take a break, I sit down and look at plans for the next quarter. If we are breaking in the middle of the quarter, and I know we have another break before the end, I may begin planning and leave some for the next break. If you use a different schedule instead of quarterly planning, use your break times to look ahead at whatever your next session is.

Check off what curriculum you’ll be using. Are there changes to make? Do you need to add any new courses? Decide on extracurricular activities. Are you keeping the current activities the kids are doing? Do you need to drop any activities because you’re too busy? Are you adding any activities for the new season? Write out lesson plans. Whether you use an online program or a printed lesson planning guide, write out plans for the next season. (I write less detailed, overview plans now; and then I write specific plans weekly or biweekly.)

Clean out the books.

In my house- and in many other homeschool homes- space is at a premium. I have nine book shelves, but it seems I’m always running out of room for more books. During our breaks, I like to clean out homeschool curricula and other books I’m not using. Although I have a hard time giving them away, I do pass some on to other homeschoolers and sell some to make a little cash to purchase the next season’s books.

Clean out kids’ materials.

We use a bookshelf with a shelf for each child to organize books that are currently being used. Kids also store school materials they use frequently at their desk or table where they work. During our break times I have them clean out this material.

We put materials to keep in binders. Because we do lots of notebooking types of activities, these binders have been kept throughout the school year. But sometimes pages are left out or neglected. So we catch up with putting them in the proper places. We also throw away trash. Somehow trash just seems to collect in all spaces where we work.  Any books that aren’t currently being used, we sort and store in the appropriate places.

Pull books and materials we need for the coming season of school.

We use a literature based curriculum. That means that, instead of textbooks, we often need a variety of fiction and nonfiction books as we go along. During our break times, I make sure that we have the books we are going to need. I can pull them from our shelves or place them on hold at the library or purchase them if I need to. I keep a large plastic box in our school room filled with the books we are currently using.

Tweak the schedule.

Whether you are a detailed schedule person or a flexible schedule person, it helps to have some sort of schedule or routine to your day. I like to be flexible with our schedule, and it often changes throughout the months and years as our activities change and the kids get older and school requirements change. Taking time during the break to evaluate and tweak our schedule means we’ll start out the next session with routines that will work to keep us focused and on track but won’t frustrate us because they’re impossible to keep.


I know that the word “organization” makes some people cringe. But if you can take some time to do a little organizing with each school break, it’s a manageable task that will pay off when you’re starting your next school session.

Do you have any tips for organizing your school year during a break?

Leah (10 Posts)

Leah Courtney is a homeschooling mom of four. Her days are filled with being a mom, homemaker, and teacher. In her (very rare) free time, she enjoys blogging, reading, and reviewing books and curricula. These days she’s learning the joys of being a mom of teens. You can read about her family and homeschooling life at As We Walk Along the Road.

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