Thursday, September 1, 2011

Homeschooling In A Small Home

I feel a tinge of ungratefulness when I refer to our home as small. Compared to our dear friends in Haiti we live in a mansion but when compared to others here, in our own communities, our home is small-ish.

Our home may be small in square footage but it sure is big in love! This was the first home that we purchased as husband and wife (both of us as first time home buyers), the first home that allowed us to pick out paint and decor, the home where our 2nd daughter, Eleanor, was born, and hopefully where Ezra will make his grand debut, the home that has housed birthday parties and holiday get togethers with standing room only and people piled on the living room floor. In this home we've had the most amazing times of worship and prayer, and watched as people surrendered their hearts to the Lord...I really do love it here.

Don't get me wrong though, I would also REALLY love some more square footage but it is just that...a want. Certainly not a need. So until that acquiring of more space becomes a reality I have learned to be grateful for what we have and have enjoyed learning ways to maximize our space.

We live in a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom home. It comes in at somewhere right under 1000 square feet. There are currently 2 adults and 2 children living here and child number 3 is arriving in late fall. We are always on top of each other and we've learned how to make it work.

In "my dream house" I would have a classroom for homeschool. Desks for the kids, a desk for me, a whiteboard, a chalkboard, a wall of bookshelves and a mac with a giant screen....oh how I would love all of that! But for now our "homeschool room" is a bit more quaint. :-)

A lot of folks and friends have asked me how I homeschool in this small of a house. My answer is always simple: I just do it. Homeschooling is something that is right for our family and I'm not going to let my lack of the "dream classroom" stop us!

Here are some photos of what our homeschool space looks like. Don't get excited. It's certainly nothing fancy or beautiful but it is functional!

In viewing my very plain and small homeschool space I hope you are encouraged to make the most of the gifts and space that He has given you and that you can fight off the illusion that you "have to" have a large, extra space set aside just for homeschooling.

There's my girls, Eleanor, age 2.5 and Aurora, turning 5 in 2 weeks. Behind them you see what we think used to be a door to our back porch. This is our "homeschooling headquarters". I store our "daily use" materials and books for school here. Those cabinets are painted with chalkboard paint and my girls love to write and draw on them. They each get one side. Our bulletin board hangs up here and is updated weekly with our school memory verse and our Awana memory verses. (I know it is not technically fall but I couldn't resist the fall themed board!)

These buckets are from the $1 section of Target. The girls painted them with chalkboard paint and I wrote whats inside each one. They are hanging on pegboard. The pegboard cost me about $8.00 from the hardware store and it allows me more space to hang/store items that we use each day.

Here you see the little cabinet opened up. Inside you will find our Sonlight curriculum books and our daily readers (not pictured) as well as "reward stickers", coloring books, learning blocks, etc...again...all items we use on a daily basis. On the left wall you can see part of the super cute vintage inspired ABC cards hanging. They were at Michael's for $2.00! That ugly white slide-door-thing leads into our laundry room. I hope to get rid of it soon. The rug you see a portion of was $10 from IKEA and we use that for "circle time", story time, and Eleanor sits there to play with learning toys while I work on assignments with Aurora.

Not pictured is our teeny-tiny table from IKEA. It sits on the opposite wall from the laundry room. We use this table for eating, schooling, crafting, and just about anything you would need a table for. On my "dream list" along with the homeschooling room I mentioned before is a giant dining room table with bench style seating. (and of course, the room to put it in!)

Also not pictured is the random school and craft supply shelf that resides on our enclosed back porch. It's something like this and it holds containers of things like my scrap fabric, sewing supplies, and refills of school supplies we will use throughout the year. It is very ugly to look at so I bought some adorable bird fabric and made a make-shift curtain to cover the shelves. It looks great now and my often messy shelves are covered up :-)

That's all for now, friends. I like this "home tour" thing...perhaps I will share more about our small-in-space-but-big-in-love-home in some future posts!


  1. "but it is just that...a want. Certainly not a need." So true! I am constantly trying to remind myself of that. We have our pic of our Haitian sponsor child on the desk in our living room and I just look at her when I think of wanting to get new furniture and am squirming w/ discontentment in our small home. There is a pic from the last Haiti trip of the new home that was built. When I saw it, I thought how I would be so ungrateful if that was my home. It is like a shack compared to what we have in the states. But then I saw the pic of the "shelter" the family had prior to their new home and boy did I feel convicted! My favorite pic is of the family of 6 standing so proudly in front of their new home and the husband is holding a bible. Isn't that all we really need - God's word? All our possessions don't mean anything. Raising our children to know God's truths definitely outweighs more square footage! Thanks for the encouragement! - Mika

  2. Hi Mika! Isn't the home in Haiti wonderful!? The family was so proud! If only I could have a heart like theirs!

    Thanks for reading and commenting. Good to know I'm not the only one who feels this way! xoxo