Minimalist Schoolbooks: Keeping what works

It’s almost fall and I am sorting through our homeschool materials from last year and things set aside for the future.

This is the first time I am tackling my homeschool materials the same way I do junk drawers and linen closets.  Three baskets:  Keep, Donate, Recycle.

Naturally the “Keep” pile are materials that are tried and true.  The “Donate” pile are things I will pass along to others that might use them.  Maybe post them on Craig’s List or our coop sharing list.  And the “Recycle” are items are usually paper items, workbooks, or old out-of-date textbooks that can’t be donated anywhere.

My natural tendency is to accept every offering to me.  I never know when a sack of textbooks will have a gem.  We have our favorites, and often I flip through a new workbook with a fresh approach to fractions or adverbs.  I can start saying “No” to other people’s cast offs of out-of-date used materials.

Saying “Yes” leads to clutter.  I have no idea what is in the neat stacks and organized file cabinet, because there are too many good things.  I spend too much quality time sorting through other homeschooler’s castoffs.   I use valuable home space to store materials that won’t get used for a few years.

In the end, 80% of the time, I am still using our favorites, 10% of the time creating or locating from the web, and 10% finding it in the filing cabinet.  If the book will be used this year, I can keep it, but if it is a few years out and not something that I am passionate about using, move it on.

I’m a veteran teacher, a decade long homeschooling parent, I can let go of the homeschool clutter and keep the best.

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