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Today I’m going to talk about a topic we’ve never covered here at MamaBearMartin.com- homeschooling. Did the very word “homeschooling” send shivers down your spine as cluttered walls, bookshelves, and craft projects gone awry flashed through your mind’s eye? Yeah- same here. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Really.
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Simple. When you have fewer options it is easier to make decisions. You won’t feel overwhelmed or like you’re digging yourself into a deep hole of information that you’ll never have enough time to cover, or items you’ll never have enough time to use properly (much less organize them all).
When you have simplicity in your life you also have the ability to focus, accuracy in decision making, quicker decision making, time to dive deeper into topics to explore them thoroughly. Less “stuff” evokes creativity by forcing you into using what you already have on hand. Your time also isn’t wasted on excess or frivolous things just for the sake of variety.
– Purchase products with intent. I know you want the large multicolor drawer system, Sheri, but if you buy it you’ll find something to fill it up with. Is that what you want? Do you want to allot 20 minutes of your day every day to digging through those beautiful ROYGBIV drawers looking for googley eyes? I didn’t think so. Put the credit card down.
Instead of immediately purchasing an item when it pops into your brain start a list and only allow yourself to purchase something after a set amount of time. I have to do this in my own home because our financial budget is very tight, and I often discover that even my small wish list has several items I’m able to X out after waiting a couple of weeks.
– Learn to say ‘no.’ It seems like everyone and their mother wants to give away odds & ends school supplies. While that is WONDERFUL (really!) don’t take items you don’t know you’ll use. I’m looking at you, Betty, with the 10,000 sentence strips in 12 colors. You don’t need those!!!
– Buy items that can serve more than one purpose. For example, I purchased a set of Arctic animals like these from our local Dollar Tree. I bought them to use while we were studying letter A, but I figured they would make great manipulatives while we made snow in January for sensory play. We’ve also used them in a sorting game, animal environments, studying hibernating, winter, or even just for bath play. The kiddos love them, and I think that’s because they are the only animal figures we currently own. I doubt these toys would hold their interest as well if we had 100 more lying around. Choose wisely.
– Pass on items that you no longer use regularly. Those Arctic animals I just mentioned? Yep- you guessed it. They’ll be leaving as soon as they’ve outlived their usefulness. If the item you have in question is one you are wary about, keep in mind that you can purchase it used later at a discount if you regret re-homing it. In the meantime your home will remain clutter-free.
– Follow your child(ren)’s interests. Personally, it took me an entire year to learn that most of the toys brought into our home were brought there because I thought they were cool, and NOT because my kids were actually interested in the items. It took a lot of introspection to get to that realization.
I say that in order to also say that you shouldn’t allow yourself to do this with homeschool supplies. Just because you are supposed to have paint dotters, a calendar, cube manipulative, and play dough doesn’t mean you have to have it. I bet you’ll be just fine without them and you’ll actually find a way to make homeschool that much more interesting to your little. If you follow your child’s pursuits then the hard work of teaching (catching their interest) is already done for you. <3
Keep your eyes on the blog for an upcoming post where I share our favorite homeschool supplies. The items we love might not be what you’d expect!
How do you keep homeschool simple? Let me know below in the comments!