You don’t need a whole lot of space to homeschool. One of the beauties of homeschooling is that you can make it work for your unique situation. You don’t need huge desks or bulky bookcases. Instead, the main things you need are creativity and a willingness to adapt. Here are some tips for setting up a homeschool when space is at a premium:
- Teach Wherever You Are: You don’t need a dedicated schoolroom to homeschool. If you’re dealing with limited space, you can break out the books, the laptop, the worktexts or whatever you intend to use in the kitchen, dining room, living room, or wherever you and your child feel comfortable enough for learning to take place. Switch rooms as you see fit for a change of scenery. In nice weather, head out to the porch or the park. It’s your homeschool, so you don’t have to live up to anyone else’s standards.
- Think About Storage: When you don’t have a lot of space to work with, creative, efficient storage is key. The more books and other school aids you have lying around, the more cramped your space will seem. Use your closet space. If your closets are large enough, you can place bookcases in them or even install closet organizers to store books, workbooks, pens, pencils, papers and other school supplies. If you don’t have much closet space, use stackable plastic bins to store the items you need. You can stack such bins in a corner of a room to keep them out of the way. Install shelving units if necessary to have more space for storage.
- Use Technology: Using a computer and printer can open up a world of educational resources, and as a bonus, you don’t have to find new places to store all of them. Just log onto the Internet to find everything from lessons and reading materials to videos and interactive activities for your child. Print worksheets as you need them and store completed work in folders or files you stash in a drawer or closet. Laptops don’t take up a lot of space, but if you need to use a desktop computer, a corner desk can keep it out of the way. Don’t forget that televisions, DVD players, MP3 players and eReaders can be used as educational tools as well.
- Provide Work Space: No matter where you choose to teach, make sure there’s a decent space for your child to work when needed. He can listen to a history lesson on the couch, but when the time comes to practice his letters or write an essay, he will need a clean, flat surface with adequate lighting and a chair that supports his back and adjusts, if necessary, to allow his feet to rest flat on the floor.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need a dedicated schoolroom or have to keep up with what the homeschooler down the street is doing. Instead, embrace your space and find creative ways to make it work for you.
Have tips for homeschooling in a small space? Share your homeschool ideas in the comments!