This is our fourth homeschool year in Teeny House. Four kids, two adults, a dog, and three red-eared sliders share 790 square feet. When you live in a tiny house – AND homeschool four children – you need to be a creative organizer or you’ll get overrun quickly.

 

 

Organizing Your Homeschool in a TINY House ~Are you tight on space and think you can't homeschool in a tiny house? Think again! Check out how we homeschool FOUR kids in 790 square feet.

 

 

Each year during this back-to-school season, I drool over the fabulous school room posts from the iHomeschool Network’s Not Back to School Blog Hop and Link Up. I remember {with longing} our adorable dining room-turned-homeschool-room from our last house. Natural light, shelves lining the wall, two desks, and a big table on which to spread out projects.

Now, without a schoolroom, we spread out all over the house.

Are you in the same boat? Do you have a tiny house or apartment? Are you looking for creative ideas to help you organize in order to stay focused and be completely present for your kids this year – instead of off trying to find whatever it is you misplaced?

I’m going to try to help. I’ll take you on a room by room tour, showing you how we do it. Hopefully it’ll inspire you as you search for your own solutions.

 

The Kitchen

Like many homeschooling moms, I find that the majority of my day is spent in the kitchen. Especially in a tiny house, the kitchen becomes the hub. Meals, snacks, conversations, art projects, and schoolwork all take place there.

 

 

Organizing Your Homeschool in a Tiny House via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

In our hub, we have a small built-in cabinet and shelf that holds both school supplies and snacks. It’s here I have pre-portioned oatmeal and cereal packets because I am not a morning person and the kids feed themselves. I also have a bowl of fruit, some cereals, crackers, and other easy-to-grab snacks.

 

Organizing Your Homeschool in a Tiny House via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

In front of the window is our favorite homeschool supply – a 12-drawer cart that will be the home of Molly’s and Logan’s workboxes this year. I like the workbox approach to organization because it keeps everything in place and the kids can see exactly what they still have left to do.

 

 

Organizing Your Homeschool in a Tiny House via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

We also have a big shelf from IKEA in the kitchen. It’s nestled in a nook that is almost the perfect size – like it was made for the shelf. The top two rows are for kitchen and miscellaneous things – cookbooks, essential oils, medicine, supplements, and shelf stable staples. The bottom row has bins full of science supplies, craft materials, and learning games. The other rows are a mix of completed work, portfolios, reference books, and current texts and read alouds.

 

Organizing Your Homeschool in a Tiny House via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

The Family Room

I love books and have more than I can ever store. I also love bookshelves, so we’ve put a few in any space available in the family room. Over the last two years, we’ve simplified a lot, and have donated boxes and boxes of kids’ books to a local “Little Free Library” program a friend of mine has helped to start in a city near us, and I mostly buy digital copies of books {except for some well-loved favorites} or check them out of a library.

On one of our family room bookshelves, I keep books I want the kids to discover, along with ones they already love. Among our favorites are our DK books, Atlases, Tolkien, and Harry Potter.

 

Organizing Your Homeschool in a Tiny House via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

Across the front wall of the room, we have a large tank with three red-eared sliders and fish {all affectionately known as “bait”}. There’s a printer, paper organizer, and an old tiny TV/DVD combo that needs to be replaced with something larger. We gave up cable long ago, and stream from Netflix and Amazon Prime, so we’re looking for something bigger {but not too big} that we can hook up to the computer as a monitor and use it for streaming as well.

The top row of the bookcases hold games, turtle supplies {in baskets}, Leap Reader materials, and a basket of quiet toys for Logan. The bottom row holds more games, a basket of quiet toys for Isaac, and four tot trays to keep Isaac engaged and busy during our work day.

 

Organizing Your Homeschool in a Tiny House via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

Across the room, nestled between the sectional and chair, is another 12-drawer cart that will serve as Trevor’s workstation. This will be something new for us. Trevor needs to learn to take a bit more responsibility for his own education, so having a dedicated workspace is important. Unfortunately, it’s hard to set aside any space in a house this size for one purpose. Our spaces need to do at least double duty.

 

Organizing Your Homeschool in a Tiny House via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

He’ll have the computer he is going to build hooked up to a monitor on the top of the workstation and workboxes on the left side. On the right column of drawers, he’ll keep his supplies, planner, and computer programming resource books, along with any additional materials he needs for his subjects.

My hope with having his workstation in the family room is that he can have a bit of quiet workspace while I work with the younger ones in the morning at the kitchen table, but will still be close enough that I can keep him accountable and moving forward. Later in the day, when Isaac is working on tot trays or playing with toys, he can pull out a drawer of materials and come into the kitchen easily to work.

 

The Basement

Our over-crowded basement isn’t finished. There’s one room, just off the bottom of the stairs, though, that we’ve pseudo-finished by putting down carpet remnants and adding some shelves and the kids’ toys.

This space serves as an area for imaginative play on one side with a train table, toy kitchen, dolls, dress up clothes, puppets, toy cars, and small animals.

 

Organizing Your Homeschool in a Tiny House via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

 

The other side is storage for me. I keep toys that need to rotate in, tot tray activities, bins of subject-specific stuff, books, curriculum and craft materials. There are so many things on these shelves because I have kids aged 1-11. I have different developmental stages to hit. Once Isaac is done with something, though, it’s donated to a family that can use it.

 

Outside

We take our schooling outside as much as we can while the weather is nice. Whether it’s to do nature studies like these from the amazing Cindy West, or just to explore, do art, and play together, the small backyard is set up for kids and adults alike.

 

Organizing Your Homeschool in a Tiny House via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

We have a trampoline – a new addition this year, and the best money we have ever spent for our sensory-seeking, intense, hyperactive kiddos. Each of them need this for different reasons. It’s developed advanced dexterity and balance in Isaac. At 18 months, he can walk a beam, do a perfect somersault, and jump with both feet.

Molly loves the exercise. Trevor needs to have ways to get his endless energy spent. Again and again. and again. And Logan seeks repetitive motion like she gets when she lays on the trampoline and someone else gently jumps in a rhythmic fashion.

 

Organizing Your Homeschool in a Tiny House via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

 

We have a Little Tikes playhouse with a kids’ garden to tend. Many games, clubs, and adventures have taken place at their “home.”

Lining the wooden fence that belongs to our sweet neighbor is a series of three wrought iron café tables and two chairs at each with a flower pot and mason jar candle. These have become a diner, coffee house, my office while I watch kids splash in the baby pool, and a picnic spot.

Do I have it all figured out?

Nope.

I’m still looking for a way to make a small office for myself as I work better {and meet deadlines better} when my things are already set up and waiting for me. Right now, I open and close my laptop a lot. I have piles in my room, in a drawer in the kitchen, and near the front door that we never use.

When you live in a tiny house, it’s always a work-in-progress – especially when you’re homeschooling four kiddos. As needs change, it just a new exercise in creativity.

How are you organizing your home for the homeschool year? Do you school all over the house like we do? Or do you have a dedicated homeschool room?

 

Organizing Your Homeschool in a TINY House

Colleen Kessler

Colleen is an explorer, tinkerer, educator, writer, creator, and a passionate advocate for the needs of gifted and twice-exceptional children. She has a B.S. in elementary education, a M.Ed. in gifted studies, is a sought-after national speaker and educational consultant, and is the founder of the popular blog and podcast Raising Lifelong Learners, as well as Raising Poppies, a community of support for parents of gifted children. She lives in northeast Ohio with her four bright and quirky kiddos, patient husband, and ever-changing collection of small reptiles, mammals, and insects.