We are deep into our homeschooling journey. After much trial and error, we found our style. Simply put…it’s SIMPLE. I’ve tried to implement so many different things into our daily life only to either meet burnout or deal with pushback from my learners. It took lots of tears and attitude filled days, but we did find our groove. And here is how we moved forward…
*Eliminate Excess: There were so many unused things on our shelves and in closets, that at one point homeschool materials were about to overtake us. What no longer served a purpose for us was disguarded or donated. There is nothing wrong with downsizing. Minimalist Homeschooling is really taking off. Families are no longer swayed by the newest or latest “shiny” homeschool curriculum or material. Now, if minimalism isn’t for you, that’s fine, but for those of us who really had more than what we were using or needed, the minimalist movement is truly welcomed. And this leads me to my next point….
Borrow Curricculum: Aren’t we always looking for ways to save money? Have you ever considered a curriculum trade with friends? If you have friends who might like to use or try what you have and they have curriculum or supplements that you may want to try, why not trade?! Trading with friends who have learners that are around the age of your learners is a fantastic way to save money on homeschool items. Additionally, it keeps a product/curriculum from sitting on your shelf, collecting dust or ending up in the trash, barely touched.
*Teach Outside the Box: Sometimes, it may seem difficult to make lessons new and fresh. It’s not good for us as the educator and sometimes, it’s worse for our children. But, who says that all learning must take place from a book or even by sitting in front of a computer all day? Is your learner into engineering? Have you tried programming a robot or using www.code.org? Does your learner hate writing? Why not allow them to draw on their assignments sometimes? Grab your learner by, not only their brains, but by their interests and passion. The Internet is our friend. Look for games that teach. Can’t find what you are looking for? Make it yourself! We used the game Connect Four Shot for spelling recently. My oldest learner and I took turns providing one letter at at time for his spelling words…all while trying to get four in a row. We had fun and it wasn’t the usual “say the word-spell the word-say the word again” drill.
When we first began, there were tons of cool things to buy, awesome projects to try, and everyday I read about a curriculum that was supposed to be better than another…and I tried to do it all. It may have taken longer than I wanted, but NOW, our homeschool is relaxed and working. No more stress to buy this or that, no more rushing to finish the current project because there were several still waiting to get started, no trying this method of schooling and then flipping over to another method. We found our groove in the SIMPLE life!
I’d love to hear from you. How do you keep it Simple?