Homeschooling In Small Spaces

As a homeschool junkie, there's nothing more I would love to have than a giant school room just for Ladybug and I. Space for science projects and a reading nook.  A hands-on learning center, perhaps?  However, in my home, this is not a reality.  We live in a 1500 sqft 3 bedroom 2 bath home.  One bedroom for The Officer and I, and the other for Ladybug.  The third bedroom has been delegated as an office/homeschool classroom.  Our classroom is shared with my husband's office space, which, if I were to be honest, is a blessing in that she is a much better student in the evening and can concentrate more when her entire family is in the room.  Dad at his computer, and her and I at the homeschool table.  I think it acts as a security blanket for her, knowing she is surrounded by those who love her.  We have a running joke in our family.  At least once a day, someone yells out "3 square feet!", because it always seems that the three of us are right on top of each other.  Not because we have a small house, but because that's where we want to be.  Whether it's being piled on each other while laying on the couch, or me doing laundry in the garage as The Officer rides the stationary bike and Ladybug is bouncing a ball nearby.  It's a term of endearment in our house, really.  (What do we need with that other 1497 sqft anyway?).

But as Sophia Petrillo would say, "but I digress..."

One of the secrets to homeschooling in a tiny space is to build up and not out.  My classroom is all of 5'w x 9.5' L and we use every inch of the wall space.  I will admit, we have a giant map that's 6.5' w x 4' h that is on the wall behind The officer's desk, but we had that before we started homeschooling so it's really just an added bonus when we study geography or when we are trying to figure out where Grandma and Papa are headed to in their RV this summer.

In order to understand how small, but how used our little space is, I am including some photos with descriptions.

 The desk we use is a "Murphy" style.  The table and leg folds into the wall to give us more floor room if needed.  The desk has "pockets" for folders and workbooks, as well as shelving for index card boxes and other oddly shaped item.  I placed a chair on each side for us for more authoritative teaching.  I personally feel that sitting next to Ladybug lessens my teaching authority.  By sitting next to her, instead of across from her, I feel it would give her the feeling that we are on the same authoritative level, and I do not want that.  But that is just a personal opinion of mine.  The file boxes on the floor to the left are my curriculum box and manipulatives.  Kind of a command center for me.  I also had my husband install on each side of the desk a cup holder for drinks.  You can get them at any RV store.  There's also a hanger on the wall.  I hot glued pretty pink ribbon around my whiteboard and corkboard so that I could hang them and get them off the floor.  The butterfly on the wall has several containers for office supplies. (rubber bands, paper clips, brads, etc).  I purchased this at Staples this past summer and it has come in handy.  To the right of the desk is small chalkboard for our verse of the week.  Below that is a bulletin board that I change out every 9 weeks.  There's also see a roll of butcher paper.  I have learned butcher paper has so many uses!  My husband built the spool it's placed on.  (Have I mentioned how convenient having a handy hubby is?  It's great!)

The desk we use is a "Murphy" style.  The table and leg folds into the wall to give us more floor room if needed.  The desk has "pockets" for folders and workbooks, as well as shelving for index card boxes and other oddly shaped item.  I placed a chair on each side for us for more authoritative teaching.  I personally feel that sitting next to Ladybug lessens my teaching authority.  By sitting next to her, instead of across from her, I feel it would give her the feeling that we are on the same authoritative level, and I do not want that.  But that is just a personal opinion of mine.  The file boxes on the floor to the left are my curriculum box and manipulatives.  Kind of a command center for me.  I also had my husband install on each side of the desk a cup holder for drinks.  You can get them at any RV store.  There's also a hanger on the wall.  I hot glued pretty pink ribbon around my whiteboard and corkboard so that I could hang them and get them off the floor.  The butterfly on the wall has several containers for office supplies. (rubber bands, paper clips, brads, etc).  I purchased this at Staples this past summer and it has come in handy.  To the right of the desk is small chalkboard for our verse of the week.  Below that is a bulletin board that I change out every 9 weeks.  There's also see a roll of butcher paper.  I have learned butcher paper has so many uses!  My husband built the spool it's placed on.  (Have I mentioned how convenient having a handy hubby is?  It's great!)

 On the ceiling (I told you we used every space building up and not out) is a solar system.  Ladybug asked to study the planets last summer, so I bought a solar system that allowed me to add one planet at a time.  My handy hubby installed the sun on the ceiling and as we studied each planet in order (poor Pluto lost his place in the sun) we added the planet to the system.  It looks so cute, we decided to keep it up!

On the ceiling (I told you we used every space building up and not out) is a solar system.  Ladybug asked to study the planets last summer, so I bought a solar system that allowed me to add one planet at a time.  My handy hubby installed the sun on the ceiling and as we studied each planet in order (poor Pluto lost his place in the sun) we added the planet to the system.  It looks so cute, we decided to keep it up!

 To the left of the desk, I have another bulletin board. (Did I mention how much I love my boards?) and below that, I have a filing cabinet that holds more manipulatives as well as work from the past 9 weeks of the school year.  Again, building up and not out.  There is also a hook under the board for a backpack.  We do hybrid homeschooling so she needs a backpack two days out of the week.  

To the left of the desk, I have another bulletin board. (Did I mention how much I love my boards?) and below that, I have a filing cabinet that holds more manipulatives as well as work from the past 9 weeks of the school year.  Again, building up and not out.  There is also a hook under the board for a backpack.  We do hybrid homeschooling so she needs a backpack two days out of the week.  

As a disclaimer, I will say that I am not a curriculum junkie.  I buy what I need and after it's been used, I pack it away under the bed if it isn't needed in next year's grade level.  

That's how I homeschool in my small little space.  It's cozy and I love it!  If you have any questions feel free to comment!