Tuesday, January 29, 2013

homeschooling in a small house: do you really need a school room?

Perhaps some of the most visited posts on this blog are about homeschooling in a small house.  I have a feeling that many people are in the same small house boat that we are in and are trying to find a space solution to the small house home school room dilemma.

For many years, we have always tried to have a designated space for our “school room” as well as places to hold our school materials.  I think we have had at least five different school rooms in our house…maybe more.  (Look here, here, and here for a few of our “rooms”.)

August 22, 2012 005

The homeschool area in August.  I sure do miss that table!

Over the Christmas holidays, the wheels of my brain got to turning and I realized that the space we had for our school room needed to be used as a bedroom space.  Honestly, I was sad about this.  I love having a designated school room. It would also mean that we would be giving up our large, farmhouse dining table.  But with five growing children, we just needed the space for beds, clothes, toys, and such.

So where are we to complete our school work every day if we have no school room?

Well, we actually learn all over the house!

 January 10, 2013 024

We usually start in the living room for Bible.  After Bible and a briefing of their lesson plans, the older three kids head to the bedroom areas to complete independent work. 

The two little ones and I stay in the living room and have some learning fun!  (We have a tendency to sing and get loud which is why the older kids all head out!) 

January 28, 2013 003

If you look in the top right corner of this picture, you can see my stash of baskets & a small white board that I use during lessons.  They are tucked away at the end of the day.

As the older kids have a question or are ready for independent lessons, they will return to the living room.  Sometimes I will go to them when I have some free time in between lessons with the littles. 

We learn at the coffee table, sitting on the couches, sitting on the floor, sitting at desks in the bedrooms…I’ve even taught algebra sitting on my bed!

What about storage of materials?

January 28, 2013 012 The kids store their individual school baskets where you see the empty space on the large shelves. I store my baskets on the top.  They were all in use when I snapped this picture. 

The hall is still utilized as a place to hold books and materials.  We also have shelves all over the house to hold our many books. 

January 28, 2013 008 Book shelves are every where!

An area behind the door in our living room houses two white boards that can be removed if company comes over as well as a shoe organizer to hold needed materials.

January 28, 2013 007

Since the learning materials are not concentrated to one room, I rely heavily on baskets to make it easy for me to carry the things I use to the location of the school lesson.

So to answer my question:  do you really need a school room?

No, not really.  Learning really can and does happen any where.

Would I like a school room?

Sure!  I still think it would be nice to have every thing in one space and a special school place to fix up.  One day, I hope that we will have a school room.  But for now, we have found that we really are able to homeschool without a school room. 

What are your thoughts and experiences?  Do you feel it is necessary to have a school room?


  1. You have a beautiful family! We have a designated school room/office, but as the girls get older, I have considered letting them branch out into other areas of the house. I really like what you've done with your space. Very efficient.

    1. Thank you, Robin. I still long for a school room but this works well for now... well, it works well most days, anyway! :D


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