Homeschooling ~ Apartment Style

In the spring of this year, our family of seven made a move and traded a 4,000+ sq foot home for a (temporary) 900+ sq foot furnished apartment.  Much to my surprise and delight, the children have adjusted quite quickly and fairly well to a much smaller space!

 Apartment School - old space Apartment school  
partial view of previous space   vs.    main apartment area


So, what does homeschooling look like within our new ‘limited’ space?


Items less frequently used are organized in storage tubs in our closet…
(um…out of sight)

Items needed for our daily school routine are on a bookcase in the living room…(There wasn’t a bookcase here when we arrived, but it was the first thing I knew we had to have in order to stay organized!)

Apartment school books (2)

Workboxes (which are still working well for us!) stored in a corner near the kitchen table…Apartment School 13Apartment School 14



Children and Workspaces:

Kitchen Table…
Just as in our larger home, the kitchen table is multi purpose – suitable for any type of seatwork, crafts, science experiments, etc.

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Living room couch and chair…
Couches to curl up on and read together are great whatever the size of your living space!  The kids love to sit and do other work here, too.

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Our larger home offered various locations to spread out and get away from distractions of others talking and younger siblings playing.  In an apartment, those respite spots are few and far between.  So, the kids have discovered that their bedroom can sometimes serve as a slightly quieter place for reading, work that needs more concentration, or for Bible memory.  Our slightly larger master bedroom is even turned into an area for the older kids to listen and discuss their history lesson and enjoy read alouds as their younger siblings watch something or play in the main living room.  It’s not an ideal set up, but it works!

Apartment school 1 (2)

Some play bins for the little guy…
Having his Little People, Magna Tiles, building blocks, a few puzzles, some play food, playdough, and his loving big siblings have been essential for our youngest one during our transition to apartment living and school.

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Our galley kitchen is a tight squeeze for all of our many helpers.  However, we are able to do some science experiments in here and by rotating who gets to help, we are creating new opportunities for budding dishwashers and meal helpers to have side by side time with mom.
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After being what our kids call ‘cramped’ and ‘stuffy’ in the apartment, letting them bike, run, and play can make a world of difference between subjects!  Even just allowing -or encouraging- them to sit on the porch while completing a subject can help them get some fresh air and breathing room.

Apartment School Challenges:

Among all of the activity within close quarters, trying to figure out how to help a child who tends to get more easily distracted than the others to focus has been a new challenge.

The noise level can be deafening at times. (Oh…our poor neighbors.)

I’ve realized that there  are several items that are packed away in storage that we should have left out to assist with school…and I’m learning to be flexible and to adjust what we can do right now without them.


Apartment School Blessings:

The simplicity of knowing where everyone and everything is with one quick glance is nice! =)

I’ve learned that there are lots of items packed away in storage that we now know we no longer need.  We’re learning what our necessary basics are and can look forward to being free to purge some more once those items arrive!


What I want to remember during this time of ‘Homeschooling ~ Apartment Style’:

Don’t let the space of your home (or lack thereof) be a deterrent to your call to homeschool.  It isn’t about the ‘stuff’ (good as it may be) as much as it is about building solid, healthy, Christ-centered relationships and interactions.  We’re not as likely to forget that goal while living in a smaller space!

God’s hand is in our homeschooling adventure – regardless of where we live.  I am once again reminded that I and our family are in the palm of His loving hand and we can do this in His strength!

Amidst all the quirks and adjustments to living and schooling in a much smaller space, God is the One who has granted me contentment during this season and I thank Him.


This post is part of the 5th annual “Not” Back-To-School Blog Hop over at the iHomeschool Network.  Come see where other homeschoolers ‘do school’!

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