More with Less: Minimizing the schooling, and Maximizing living.

School is only a small part of each day.  School is really only a very short period of most people’s lives.  School can get in the way of learning and living.

I woke up this morning and read yesterday’s post ending with a litany of Less becoming More.

Homeschooling in this sense, was not about “minimalism”, but maximum success, maximum quality, and maximum relationships.  By doing less, we gained more. . .  Less birthday parties with kids we don’t really know.  Less homework-busywork.  Less “mandatory-volunteering” (oxymoron!).  Less illnesses coming home.  Less expenses for designer clothing mandated by peers.  Less fundraisers.  Less back-to-school shopping.  Less carpooling or bus stop waiting.  Less bad language coming home.  Less “adult” content being explained.
Instead we have gained more.  More deep friendships.  More books read.  More time practicing instruments.  More mastery of our favorite sport.  More exposure to the arts.  More relationships with variety of ages.  More time developing a second language.  More time playing.  More time in academic instruction.  More time eating healthy lunches.  More time sleeping (less time waiting for a bus!).  More time in childhood.  More time with the family.
~Why Are We Still Homeschooling? 1/20/2014

I love the “more” we are getting out of life.  I spent about 30 minutes yesterday letting go of two stacks of school books.  I had stashed these in a clever magazine display box and forgot them on the shelves for two years.  Daughter Emily is now two grades beyond them and I am not going to make her go back and finish the workbooks.  At the time, we had just discovered that her eyes were not tracking and the reason she was struggling to do paperwork was the exhaustion on her eyes.  I set the books aside for later and we focused on eye therapy and oral-auditory education.

Now Emily is reading everything, above grade level in her subjects, and these workbooks are so below her.  For a moment I held on, ” . . . maybe I could use them with one of my tutoring students . . .  NO!”.

Living more, learning more, is about not having to wade through the clutter to find the lessons.  As I keep unearthing “treasures” like these and letting them go, I am finding more time to focus on the schooling we do enjoy.  In the early years with our first child, Andrew, before the accumulation of projects and lesson books, schooling was a breeze.  Our classroom was clutter free and the supplies were just the basics.  Lessons wrapped up and we spent time learning from the experiences in our lives; working at a neighbor’s farm, walks in our small town, visits to the big city.

Over time we have stored away for a later day, all the ends of the current project and now we spend so much time sorting through the drawers and shelves for the item we need in the moment.

This past year has been more about homeschool-living than being locked into the schooling-at-home.  Less with More . . . less clutter means more time for the experiences, more time for instruction, more time for inspiration, and more time for learning.

I’m loving this return to simple homeschooling.





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