Homeschool in Small Spaces

Essentials of learning geography: cat, glasses, and a map

We live in a cozy, two-bed-two-bath-open-plan-living-area house. While we sometimes have “Can’t I ever have my own space and be alone!” dramas (by me and both girls), this house has served us HPs well over more than a decade.

I am not much of an interior designer, and I’m a packrat by nature, so in all the years that we’ve lived here, we still have some boxes of stuff, and we still don’t have curtains or blinds in the living area (I tell myself that it’s to maximize all the natural light). With the limited space and furniture, there aren’t too many configurations we can do either. Major changes in our living area were: when we gave away our piano; when we gave away our couch; when we got a hand-me-down La-Z-Boy sofa; and when I moved my ‘office’ out of the girls’ room and into the living area.

I share all that just to give a quick background to contrast with the how often we’ve been changing things around now that we’ve decided to homeschool. A whopping three times in less than a year!

First we had the wooden folding table from the girls’ room out here right behind my desk. But when it was only half unfolded, the girls didn’t have enough space to work on; fully unfolded, it was too bulky. So back into their room that went, and we brought out the old three-foot desk. I had it against one end of my lovely, spacious desk, making an L-shape against the far wall. This configuration lasted several months, but the girls still didn’t have enough space, and I had enough of the bickering over whose paper was a centimeter over the imaginary boundaries of the desk.

Desk space is a crucial commodity

Finally, I decided to give up more than five feet of desk space and exchanged desks with the girls. They needed full access to the desk, so we had to separate the desks. The only way we could make that fit is if we made the couch stay right across the open floor space. So now we have a more defined living/school/office area and a dining/kitchen area (as if our house were big enough for that to really matter).

When I still had lots of desk space

I miss the open space, but for now, this arrangement seems to be working. I also had to do some serious decluttering and tossing off stuff to make my stuff fit in a desk half the size of my old one, but the girls are loving their new workspace. Now, they have just found new things to argue about.

How do you fix your homechooling space? I would love to see!

With the new arrangement, the girls get ample working space, even when a cat insists on joining in

This is what our space now looks like



  1. My son does his schooling all over the house…. So we just make it all work

  2. I like your space – it looks efficient yet cozy and comfortable for working together. We no longer have a dedicated school space since I only have one student who works independently, but this brings back memories of how we had to redesign our “schoolroom” a few times over the years to make it work for us.

  3. It looks like you’ve found a good solution. We tried to have a dedicated school space when we first started homeschooling, but now we find we homeschool all over the house–at the dining room table, on the couch, in the bedrooms.

  4. Looks cozy! And I love the cat draped over everything. We need a cat, too, I think. I wish we could have one.

  5. I know exactly how you feel with two small of a house. I was doing our school work at the kitchen table and I got tired of clutter on my table. I have stuff all through out the house of homeschool stuff. The storage is more so in my room. I cannot wait to start looking for a bigger house come spring. We need more space. The kids find the littlest things to argue over when they are in the same room. I think you made great use of a small space.

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