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How To Create a Homeschool Work Area With Limited Space

Updated: Sep 4, 2020

Starting the school year in September 2020 looks a lot different than it has in previous years. As many families opt to keep their kids home to engage in remote learning (our family included) the struggle is, where? Where in the house can you create a learning space that will need to be used for multiple hours a day for an undetermined period of weeks, months…gulp….years?!

We are a 4 member family (plus cat) living in about a 1500ft2 townhouse. We have 2 kids in elementary school, Grade 1 and Grade 2 and both boys will need their own separate workspace somehow squeezed into our limited space.

After doing some research (i.e. scrolling ideas on Pinterest) I found a practical and space saving idea I thought I could easily make work for our home.

The Inspiration

image found on Pinterest

The Materials

My goal is to be as cost effective as possible because my hope (fingers, toes and every limb available crossed) remote learning will be short term, and the kids will return to school sooner than later. At the moment, with a high risk husband at home, in person school seems like a far off possibility, but I remain optimistic. So keeping that in mind I tried to use furniture that was not being used at my parents house.

I found an old IKEA bookshelf, an IKEA coffee table that had been used as a craft table by my kids and some old chipboard my parents had lying around in the garage.

A few modifications had to be made to the materials. The bookshelf was outside for a couple of years so it just needed to be repainted and refreshed. The chipboard was in rough shape so I painted it a mint green. The coffee table was much too low for the boys to work at comfortably, so I needed to buy new legs to raise the table to a more appropriate height. The only real expense I had were the legs. I bought 4 fence posts that cost $3.36 each at Home Depot. Each post was 36′ so I had to cut each post down to 29″ and add a stain. I was lucky to have some random paints and stain at home from previous projects.

everyone wearing their protective eyewear around the table saw

The Assembly

hard at work

After attaching the bookshelf to the table, I realized I really didn’t like the look of the stained legs. It just didn’t look….finished. So I decided to paint the legs white as well to match the bookshelf and give the whole piece a more uniform look.

I added a few extra things the kids may need to keep all of their school work, books and pencils organized.

The Finished Product

I imagine it will look a bit more complete and functional once the boys personalise it with all of their school supplies, books and stickers, of course, all the stickers.

The whole project cost me under $30 to do. The legs (fence posts) cost me about $13 and I bought a pack of 3 file folder holders from Amazon for $15. Using various pieces of rarely used furniture found at my parents home, extra paint I had lying around and any basket I could spare I was able to create a low budget, practical and most importantly, space saving double work space for remote school learning.

2020/2021 school year here we come!

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