Wednesday, February 8, 2012

But I Don't HAVE a Chalk Board!

As most of you reading this probably know, I'm a glutton for punishment homeschooling parent in an apartment.  Everyday, we struggle with the space in which we have to work and how it's never enough.  That being said, we do, somehow, manage to muddle through by a series of trial and error attempts at other people's ideas and a smattering of my own ingenuity.  On "Works for Me Wednesdays", I'll be using this space to share some tips and tricks for making life easier as a homeschooler in a small space. (I'm sure I can't be the only one this insane.)

One of the main problems I had for a long time was the constant call for a chalk/white board, especially in subjects such as math and spelling.  I have a kitchen that is technically eat-in, in that we have squeezed a small Ikea table and four chairs (and two stools) up against one of the walls.  This small table, 46" by 29", is the only one in the apartment (aside from one end table in the living room and a night stand in the bedroom).  We use it for eating, playing, coloring, and of course, schooling.  The was it is on is full of typical school room posters (Days of the Week, Months of the Year, etc).  It is the only wall in the kitchen that is not taken up by cabinets or windows.  This is also the only wall that would be suitable for a chalk board.  Do you see my dilemma? Should we eat, or should we have a magnificent 4' by 5' chalk board, perfect for writing out our addition facts and this week's spelling list? Ultimately, my husband convinced me that the table was more useful for the family as a whole, and that my playtime with chalk could wait until we owned a house.  What was I to do?

I give you: The Mini Whiteboard!

(I just noticed the typo on the last line hehe)

I purchased two at Target a couple of years ago, and have found them indispensable since.  These are from the Board Dudes, I think, and are unruled on one side and 1st grade ruled on the other, with the dashed guide lines and all.  They even have a place to hold the dry-erase marker up top. 

I like these particular boards, but I'm sure there are any number of suitable replacements out there.  The lines make it easy for the boys to use when they need to write things on the board, and the blank side is perfect for when I need to literally illustrate certain points in our lessons.

Homeschooling in a small space is possible, it just takes a little extra finagling at times, and a little improvisation at others.  These mini white boards work for me; maybe they'll work for you, too.  Do you have any small space alternatives to the giant, oft dreamed of, wall-mounted chalk board?


  1. When I start homeschooling I plan on painting my whole dining room in chalkboard paint, so I never have to have this issue!;)

  2. Yes, you absolutely should. And when your kids start to draw on all the walls of your house, and not just your dining room, you'll have a whole new host of issues :) hehe