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5 Tips for Homeschooling without a School Room

In this post: It’s a common misconception that you need a lot of fancy things and specific places to make a homeschool work properly. But you don’t! Here are 5 tips for homeschooling without a school room.


In sixteen years of homeschooling our three kids (now teenagers and young adults), we’ve never had a dedicated school room. We just never had the space for it, but we always made the best of whatever house we were in. In case you’re trying to figure out how to make your space work, here are 5 tips for homeschooling without a school room.

dining room school room - homeschooling without a school room text overlay

Homeschooling without a School Room is Totally Possible!

These days a lot of people that never even considered homeschooling their kids, are finding themselves suddenly thrown into the homeschool conversation. 

Our homeschooling journey has honestly been one of the best things ever for our kids and for our family – and I can safely say that with one young adult child about to start at their dream college and another launching their own online business this fall (the third is still doing homeschool high school online). 

Homeschooling isn’t without its doubts and challenges. But setting up the perfect homeschool room in your home shouldn’t be one of them. 

It’s a common misconception that you need a lot of fancy things and a specific room separate from everything and every other use to make a homeschool work properly. 

That’s just not true!

You don’t need a dedicated school room

5 Tips for Homeschooling without a School Room

While it might be nice to have a separate room for school (just like it would be nice to have a separate craft room or games room), you really can just work with what you have. Depending on which curriculum you choose to use, the space you need will vary. Regardless these 5 tips should help.

1. Know where you will learn/teach

The first step is to get familiar with your available space.

If you can’t create a designated school room, you just need to know where and when you can work. In the kitchen? At the dining room table? In the living room making use of a coffee table? We’ve done all of those in different stages and different seasons and even for different subjects.

How do you kids best learn? How does working at the dining room table impact dinner and lunch – do you have a kitchen island you can eat at if books stay spread out? Can you take your lessons outside when it’s nice?

homeschooling without a school room - school at the dining room table

2. Disguise educational aids as home décor

You can also get crafty by disguising your education aids as parts of your home décor.

I have seen people cover a whiteboard with pretty material so it looks like a canvas painting, put shelving of homeschool supplies behind a curtain, and turn a hall closet into a homeschool supply room.

We had bookshelves in our dining room when our kids were little and we needed buckets of learning toys.

At the house after that one, we hid learning aids and workbooks in the dining room hutch. I think at one house we even stashed those things in the coffee table chest.

Below is a photo of our girls getting our dining room wall chalkboard ready to use for both doodles and homeschooling. 

There are tons of ideas so feel free to get creative!

dining room chalkboard for homeschooling without a school room

3. Clean up as you go

Another great practice for homeschooling without a school room is to learn to clean up as you go.

When you pull out something for an activity, put it back before moving to the next activity. It sounds simple enough, but it’s very easy to get busy and leave everything out. Then you have a mess, and it’s easier to lose things.

If everything has a place and is organized, it’s much easier to do this.

homeschooling without a school room kids at the dining room table

4. Organize with baskets

You can get all kinds and shapes of baskets from the dollar store, Ikea or Amazon. Baskets and bins are a great way to organize because they are portable (allowing you to move from room to room) and you can sort things as you need them. Plus you can pull out one or two baskets at a time and put them back when you’re finished with them.

You can even move your homeschool from room to room, or outside if needed. 

homeschooling without a school room kids outside at the patio table

5. Grab essential tools

Another way to make the most of your homeschool space is to get all the essential tools you need and contain them well.

You can use shower caddies to organize pencils, pens, scissors and other supplies. You can use crates for folders and books, you can buy or build a dedicated cabinet for other homeschool books and supplies, and you can also use dressers for workboxes or organization. Many of these things will just look like normal parts of a home, but will have essential tools inside for education.

For the last several years, our kids have done 99.9% of their schooling online, so we’re storing three laptops rather than Math U See blocks and counting bears. And they tend to work mainly at the dining room table. Although their preferred space is the living room.

One Final Word

Whether you always wanted to homeschool your precious babes, or if this brave new world of 2020 is pushing you towards it somewhat against your will, I want to encourage you – you can do this, momma! It will likely be hard. But have faith. God’s got you. Make the decision that best suits your family for right now…and then leave it with Him

More Homeschooling Resources

We don’t talk about homeschooling here on the blog often, but since we homeschooled our kids for the last 16 years, here are a few homeschooling posts we wrote to help you on your homeschooling journey:

how to homeschool without a school room pink on grey background

Now that you have these tips for homeschooling without a school room, you can get started today. Whether you are just starting out, or are already homeschooling and just looking for a new plan, these tips should work for you.

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