A new member posted the following question within our Military Homeschoolers group:
“1st year homeschooling. Our military housing is not big at all! Any advice for homeschooling when living in tight quarters?”
There would be a sea of hands up for the number of military families who’ve dealt with this issue. Let’s face it – base housing is not known for being luxury accommodations. The good news? There are thousands of us throughout the world proving it is totally doable!
The top three concerns these homeschoolers face include a lack of dedicated homeschooling space, limited storage and thin walls. Since you can’t magically grow the house to better suit your needs, the alternative is to get creative!
Don’t try to recreate a classroom. Some of our members who have in the past shared it felt claustrophobic to them.
Meet “Double Duty Dining Table“! Nearly 90% of our members mentioned using the family dining table in their homeschool. Not only is it useful for seatwork but it can serve as the hub for experiments, projects, arts and crafts and much more! (Bonus: You can eat there too!)
Shelving and Cabinets: Repurposing a kitchen cabinet to store supplies is a popular option for military families. Even more prevalent to create storage – the addition of the trusty shelf! (My own husband declared no wall was safe!)
Bins and Carts: Storage crates, bins… even laundry baskets are useful space-saving solutions to hold kids’ books and supplies. You may be able to find bins which can slide under your child’s bed! Rolling carts can easily be wheeled to whatever room your child is in for a convenient option.
Keep it simple: “No hoarding books” advises Nici H.! Keep the curriculum you’re currently using handy. Either store or donate the rest! Another choice? Online curriculum is a top space-saving solution!
Also remember this extra tidbit:
“Get out and have experiences.” ~Nici H.
Homeschooling doesn’t always take place at home! Enjoy getting out into nature, going to living history museums and more!
Read what some of our members have to say about homeschooling in tight quarters!
“You don’t need a dedicated homeschool room. Use dining room table for seat work, sit outside when its nice out, read on the couch. I’ve used a kitchen cabinet to store homeschool supplies before or shelf in a linen closet…or use a bin for each kid’s work that they can store in their own room.” ~Heather M.
“We have 3 kids and homeschooled in military housing. The way we did it was I got us a good bookshelf to hold books and supplies for homeschool and we worked at the dining room table. There wasn’t anywhere else and now that we own our own home we still do it this way, although my oldest now has a deal in her room to work at when she needs peace and quiet her brothers don’t give her.” ~Noel L.
“Our kids are still small (3 and 6) so we have a small kids table in our office aka the formal dining area. If they were older we would just use the dining room table. We do most of our hands on stuff in the living room on the floor, coffee table, or the couch. Our homeschool stuff is stored in a few cubes in the same area.” ~Rhonda
“We use bookshelves & binders for most things. We also use Time4Learning but a lot of books too. Definitely recommend using shelves, baskets, and storage bins. We don’t have a school room and we do school everywhere possible inside and outside.” ~Erika M.
“You can keep it as simple as you want. A laundry basket or small rolling cart can store the books and make it mobile. You can even use a backpack. Get out when the weather is nice.” ~Rachel J.
“3 kids, 1500sf, and we use the dining table. Our materials are stored in a hall closet, and books for each child (only schooling oldest 2) are stored in sturdy plastic bins do we can pull everything out at once. I also have a caddy for supplies.” ~Jessica L.