Homeschooling with Limited Space

Homeschooling with limited space in small living quarters can be a challenging task and it’s one that I am experiencing full force right now. 

Bookshelf with bins and baskets - Homeschooling with Limited Space

Our lifestyle dramatically changed last summer when our family started full-time RV living and figuring out how to homeschool in our new living arrangement was hard stuff!

With that said, homeschooling with limited space isn’t only a struggle for homeschoolers on the road. This is an issue that many homeschool parents face.

These simple tips apply to any parent that has found themselves struggling to homeschool with limited space! From those who are trying to figure it out in their current space to those that have been forced to downsize and start all over in a brand new space.

Space Saving Homeschool Tips

Minimalism is key when homeschooling with limited space! 

Not going to lie, this was a hard one for me to come to terms with. 

Why is it so easy to accumulate stuff over the years, but so hard to get rid of it?? 

Seriously though!

Check out these 4 significant tips that helped me overcome the stuff and learn to let go! These tips are the perfect start for anyone wondering how to homeschool with limited space.

Tip 1: Throw Out Bulky Curriculum

Yes, yes, and yes! 

Some curriculum comes in huge overwhelming packs with multiple pieces, activities, and extras. 

While they may look appealing at first, they will likely cause a huge headache down the road when it comes to organizing things in your tiny homeschool space. 

Not sure how to cut down on the curriculum bulk? These 2 options will help!

Stick to Virtual School

While not my favorite schooling method, online learning is a valid option when it comes to cutting down on physical curriculum in your limited homeschool space.

We don’t do much in terms of online classes, but I absolutely love that there are so many options for homeschoolers now!

You can simply utilize a K12 program (which if you are homeschooling elementary children, these programs still surprisingly come with many physical extras) or you can utilize free online resources and educational websites instead of traditional curriculum books!

Utilize a Folder System

This is my biggest secret to success when it comes to homeschooling with limited space! 

I use folders.

Sounds crazy, right? Stick with me!

By ripping the pages out of our bulky curriculum workbooks and sorting them into a folder system, I actually save valuable room!

I can easily fit one semester of worksheets (for 3 kids) into a wooden file folder organizer with room to spare!

You can get more details on my love for folder systems by checking out how I organize our homeschool.

Tip 2: Skip Curriculum Extras

This is a hard one! 

Once upon a time, I used to buy all the things.

Extra readers, flashcards, art supplies, manipulative items, gamesthe list went on and on! 

Skip purchasing extras and lean on other forms of learning to fill the gaps.

Use YouTube videos for projects or experiments that require extra supplies or space. This way your child can still learn the concepts being taught without taking up valuable learning space in your home.

With that said, some extras may be necessary for certain learners or subjects.

Take math for instance — my daughter still uses some hands-on manipulative items since it’s how she learns best and we have decided to skip extras in other areas to keep these must-haves around.

Just use your best judgment to decide which extra items are completely necessary and which ones need to go.

Use the Library

If you’re anything like me, this is the hard part when it comes to downsizing.

Books are my weakness.

I absolutely love building our homeschool library and when we first started full-time RVing I knew it meant I had to reign in the book-buying — just a smidge.

If your kids are big readers and are constantly begging for new books, utilize the library often!

Keep a simple library basket & set check-out limits. This will help keep the book clutter down at home and encourage frequent trips to get new books.

Tip 3: Think Minimalistic Thoughts

Becoming minimalistic isn’t for the faint of heart.

Over the years, so many things can become sentimental or difficult to get rid of. This can be because we have associated a special memory with the item or simply because of how much it cost for us to purchase it in the first place.

Learning to let go and get rid of things is a must when it comes to homeschooling with limited space.

Follow these 3 simple steps to living a more minimalistic life.

Be Quick to Get Rid of Things. 

As soon as your child finishes a curriculum simply toss it, donate it, or sell it. I know this can be a challenge for those homeschooling multiple children, but sometimes it’s the best option when it comes to saving space!

I only save certain non-consumable curricula for younger children that will soon be entering that grade. 

For example, my boys are closer in age and only have about a 1 1/2 – 2 year gap in their schooling. So I will save the curriculum my oldest has completed and hang on to it for my younger son.

With that said, my middle and youngest children are a good 6 grades apart! When we lived in a large house, I would have saved this curriculum for 6 years, no problem. However, with our current living situation, it just isn’t worth the space it will take up.

This also applies to any curriculum aides, books, toys, and craft supplies your children outgrow over the years. 

Learn to let go and move on quickly — you will thank me later.

Think Before you Purchase

Oh, man. I’m feeling the guilt on this one as I type this and am pretty sure I wrote this entire point just for myself. 

This is so hard, you guys!

I want my kids to have all the experiences and learn all the things. I’m a curriculum and book junkie, so the struggle is real.

In all seriousness though, purchase only the necessities!!

Always, always, always think before you buy.

Utilize Non-Traditional Items

Thinking like a minimalist doesn’t just mean purchasing less and getting rid of — It also involves a little extra creativity!

Expand your child’s learning space by using non-traditional surfaces for lessons.

Windows and window markers are perfect for handwriting practice or math problems, while fridge magnets work awesome for hands-on spelling!

Simply take a step back and look at your homeschooling space. Then, determine which surfaces can double as learning tools!

Easy peasy!

Tip 4: Keep Things in Their Place

Nothing clutters up a tiny homeschool space faster than this — seriously though!

If you aren’t putting things back into their proper place in between lessons & activities, your homeschool area will quickly become a disaster zone!

Assess your space, purchase what you need to keep it organized, and only keep the items you have space for! Then, tidy, tidy, tidy all day long.

Sounds repetitive and annoying, but you will be thankful once the homeschool day is complete and your home is still somewhat put together!

There are a few main tools I lean on when it comes to keeping things tidy in our tiny homeschool space.

Organize with Pouches and Bins

I did this in our home and I continue to use this method in our RV!

Keep your smaller items (writing utensils, flashcards, manipulatives) in pouches instead of bins to cut down on the size they take up! We have even ditched the box on some of our puzzles and games to save space in our RV!

Utilize sturdy bins for larger & awkward-shaped items (3-ring binders, teacher guides, extra office supplies). Sometimes I even organized smaller items into a pouch, then store that pouch in a bin!

It just works, you guys!

Use Rolling Carts

Rolling carts will always be one of my favorite homeschool tools of all time! Each of my kiddos has one and it holds ALL their curriculum, current readers, notebooks, and art caddy.

The best part? If space is so limited that your carts can’t stay in your homeschool area all the time, no problem! Simply tuck them away in a closet or different area of the house when not in use!

The Beauty of Homeschool with Limited Space

Homeschooling with limited space is the perfect excuse to let go of unused items and begin a more minimalist homeschool approach.

While it may feel overwhelming at first, these four methods can help lessen the burden.

Through these simple tips, I hope you get the chance to experience the freedom that a simple education in a tiny beautiful space can give!

Mary Dunn

About the author

Hey, I'm Mary! A homeschool mom of three, an introvert, an avid coffee drinker & a dog snuggler. I love organizing and planning, but I also enjoy being still and enjoying the simple. I believe in raising my children to be bold, strong, fearless, and most importantly wild & free.

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