600-square-foot apartment - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 11-26-2013, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all---

Please be brutally honest and tell me if you think homeschooling 2 kids in a 600-square-foot apartment is a crazy idea. 

If you think it is entirely do-able, please tell me why and how. I would devour any creative ideas for small spaces! 

Have you done this yourself? Please tell me how it worked (or didn't) for you.


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#2 of 12 Old 11-26-2013, 04:43 PM
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Absolutely do-able. I've done it! I don't have any spectacular space-saving ideas to share but I don't see how you would need anything special that you wouldn't otherwise need if your kids were schooling outside the home. But a good organized bookshelf, and maybe some bins that can slide under the bed for craft supplies can help. Using your local library and online resources can help keep things from piling up. So much learning happens OUTSIDE the home too. There's the library, parks, nature trails, museums, zoos, life in general.

I am not sure how old your kids are or what kind of schooling you are thinking of but I use a currirulum and I spend maybe 2 hours max a day for instruction, many days less than that. I just don't want you to think you will be spending hours upon hours of trapped in your apartment doing drills, homeschooling isn't like that at all. Hope that helps!

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#3 of 12 Old 11-26-2013, 04:50 PM
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100% doable. I would need more details about the situation before I can advise like how many bedrooms if any etc.

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#4 of 12 Old 11-26-2013, 04:58 PM
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I am doing that right now. Same square footage too! My kids are 3 and almost 6. It is doable, but it's tight. Being organized is key. Also, utilizing outdoor space, like if you have a yard, helps tremendously. To be honest, we need a bigger living space, and once our lease is up next year, we will be doing just that. I am looking forward to that day!!!

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#5 of 12 Old 11-28-2013, 11:27 AM
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I think it's doable as long as you spend a lot of time outdoors/outside the house too.  I think the personalities of the kids would play a role too.  Some of my kids are super hyper and loud.  It helps there are separate bedrooms a child can work quietly at a desk by him/herself  or the loud kids could play loudly in with the doors shut to help the kids doing school work to pay attention.  And another factor is your partner/spouse.  Do they work odd hours and need to sleep and/or relax quietly during the day?  It would be harder to give the spouse space in such a tight space. 

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#6 of 12 Old 11-30-2013, 08:41 PM
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I have a pretty small space for our homeschool area and I have to agree with Crunchymama that using library materials helps a lot with keeping things from piling up. using a lot of computer learning tools could also help with saving space, unless that's not really your thing (it's actually not my style, but it seems like it works for a lot of other folks). the key for managing the small space for me has been to get rid of the old materials as the new ones come in.  i'm also big on using vertical spaces with lots of things on the walls and even hung from the ceiling. i try to look for versatile materials too and use things that we already have, so we use a lot of stuff from the kitchen.

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#7 of 12 Old 12-03-2013, 06:18 AM
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Yes. Totally doable. We live in a tiny space too. We're currently in a mobile home while we save to build our house. It's very manageable; just focus on organization and being clutter free. Here is a blog post I did about a year ago, but it has pictures of how I organize things. Putting bookshelves behind my couch was the best solution for us. If you don't have a lot of books-- a basket would be great. (The photos only show up on a computer & not an iphone or ipad).

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#8 of 12 Old 12-05-2013, 08:44 PM
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Hi! Totally doable.

I homeschooled my daughters (many moons ago) in an 18x20 cabin with no running water. :-)

1) Make sure you give away or sell anything you don't use regularly or really need. Put stuff in a cardboard box, and if, in a month or 6 weeks you haven't opened the box...don't even look at it. Give it away.

2) Use your walls!!! Shelving, posters, anything that can go up, not out. Lots of drawers for crayons and clay and so forth instead of boxes.

3) Make your table a learning space ALL the time. I did this once by putting a laminated map of the globe on the table and taping it securely underneath. It was washable and the girls learned a TON.

4) Use your community so everything doesn't have to be done at home! Geography, history, science, literature, you name it, it can be learned within your own community. (I live in Alaska, so if I can do it, so can you!)

Enjoy your time together. And when you start, it is a good idea to set ground rules for a few times a week when you "go to your corners" and read. No interruptions, no feeling guilty. It doesn't have to be reading, of course...just a quiet activity that doesn't require your help. I found that I was much more sane if I had a few days a week where I got an hour to read some Ellery Queen. wink1.gif

HTH and good luck!!!

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#9 of 12 Old 12-24-2013, 10:46 AM
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I homeschooled in an 240 sq ft RV for a time and in a 410 sq ft apartment as well. I didn't find it much different from homeschooling in a larger space. We tend to make learning a part of life and lean heavily towards child lead study. I don't have any space set aside as a learning area, we just work on things wherever is comfy. We set aside a basket/backpack for any workbooks or whatnot that we need. The library is an amazing way to keep bringing home new materials without building a collection at home. I am also a big fan on leaning on technology for maximizing learning in a small space. There are an incredible amount of online resources to utilize (khanacademy has a great math program that works through 3rd grade to college levels for free). Kindles allow for an endless flow of books and most classics are available for free on them. We also use a tablet for basic phonics and handwriting practice with the younger ones.


It's very doable. If you can live comfortably in the space, then you should have no problem homeschooling there as well, no matter how tiny. :)

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#10 of 12 Old 12-26-2013, 07:32 AM
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We live in our RV 6-8 months out of every year and I teach my three children (10, 8, 5) in a 10x15 ft space, which includes the table. Te above posters made excellent point on organization and using libraries. I actually find it a bit easier when we're in a smaller area as I am better about organization then.

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#11 of 12 Old 12-27-2013, 12:34 PM
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Totally do-able.

When we started homeschooling we lived in a 840sq ft apartment. It was advertised as 900sq ft but the extra 50-60 sq ft was totally unusable entry way. :/


I turned the hall closet into our homeschooling "room" all homeschool books, educational games, crafts were stored in it. My girls shared a room and we homeschooled around our table.


One tip that I found helpful is for all educational posters I would put them on a folding tri fold poster board and clip the poster to the tri fold board. At the end of the day I would fold it up and put it behind our sofa.

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#12 of 12 Old 01-02-2014, 03:17 PM
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Definitely doable.  I would advise having a space (bedroom?) for one of the children to go if they need downtime/rest/quiet work space, while the other is with you.  Everything else needs to be dual purpose.  Get TALL bookcases and storage options, and utilize free materials (library) as much as possible so you don't accumulate stuff.  Purge, purge, purge.  We have a 3 story town home where each level is ~550 sq. feet, so dramatically more than you, but 95% of the work is done on the main level where I am (i.e. dining room table or couch).  95% of the homeschool supplies are there as well.

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