Articles for June 2016

Failed Minimalist Homeschooler

Most days I see myself as successful at homeschooling, and even more specifically successful at minimalist homeschooling.  images-7Thus my posts show all the great things that we have done while homeschooling, or my posts make life look easy on our minimalist journey.  However, there are many moments that I have felt like the “failed minimalist homeschoolers.”  I look around and think that I should not be writing our story for others to read, as we have so much progress to go.

Where do we stumble?  If I were to pick one area that we struggled and continue to struggle, it would be with mixing up frugality with minimalism.

I get caught up with being frugal and trying to hold on to everything, use everything up, or keep everything given to us.  I end up trying to force a curriculum on to our lesson plan, because it was given to us.  We should not waste it.  Or negotiating with myself that we don’t need to buy the other materials I really want, because we have this free stuff right in front of us.  images-3And so I struggle through with some yucky or poorly written curriculum.  But I know that there is something better out there, or that just simply sticking with the basics would be better than this junky program.

After weeks of trying to make it through the book, or glaring at it as it sits on the shelf over the schoolroom table staring down at us, I finally will remember (again!) that we don’t need to keep everything that is given to us.  Even if it was free.  Even if it was the best materials for my friend.  Even if it worked for the older child.  Or even if it is not the right match or the right materials.   Just let it go.

Pass it on.  Recycle.  Give it away or sell it.  Just remove it from our schoolroom.

I would think that after going through this cycle four or five times, I would learn.  But no, I still will get someone’s “super” book and try to use or adapt it, and feel horrible for not being more frugal by completing what I started.

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Minimalist is doing less “stuff”.  Buying less curriculum.  Using only the beautiful and best-practice curriculum.  Taking the programs that work and doing an incredible job, taking the topic deeper, carrying it just a little further.  Minimalist homeschooling is making the most of the resources around us, without keeping them forever in our homes or schoolrooms.
It’s using the library, sharing materials with other homeschooling families, or making use of a textbook and reselling it when we are done.

After a decade of homeschooling, I am not failing at minimalist homeschooling, but I have days that I forget my own goals.
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