I’m not “there.”
I don’t know that anyone ever reaches the end of simplifying their life. Everyday is a challenge as more stuff enters the house and more requests are made on our schedule.
The same is true about homeschooling.
Everyday there is a new catalog that shows up, things I have never considered and look so incredible. The promises made are a homeschoolers dream. But we can’t follow every publisher or manufactures promotion.
Finding the core desire to our family’s desire to homeschool has been a process. Every year we reevaluate why we are homeschooling. We come back to the foundation of what we wanted homeschooling to look like.
For us, which is different from many of our friends, it was about quality education. Many friends homeschool for political or religious reasons, and we saw that we could traditional school at a private faith school four blocks from our house. An incredible school with solid education, but the academics shifted from grade to grade and year to year. The families spent incredible amounts of time in one building, parents spent hours away from their children working at jobs to pay for the school, and the evenings were filled with more time doing the homework required by the school.
We wanted a solid curriculum that would persist from the start to when we finished, adjusting to our child’s needs and our family’s challenges.
Every new catalog tries to convince us that we NEED their product to get to our education goals. WE don’t NEED all these products. We don’t NEED to go into debt to educate our children. We don’t NEED to spend hours chasing 20 different subjects.
We want depth. Focus. Quality. Relationships. Culture. Language. The Arts. Music. Healthy bodies. Strong Academics. For centuries, good tutors brought these qualities to their pupils through time spent tutoring, basic supplies, reading from the sources, study from the experts, and concentrated time on the topic. Simple and solid.
We have libraries. We have on-line Encyclopedias at our fingertips. A stack of notebooks. A cup of good quality pens and pencils. Quality curriculum guides that inspire critical thinking and meaningful assignments. And Time.
I’m still not completely there . . . I still have a few too many cheap and junky workbooks that appeared in our school room. I feel compelled to finish them, and I am wondering why the nagging feeling. We accept too many hand-me-down curriculums that I flip through and hang on for a later day, knowing that they are just not our style. This is the year to purge and keep what fits our objectives.
Each day on this minimalizing homeschooling path, I am looking at an item in our school room and evaluating it for its purpose, beauty, and whether it distracts us from our foundational goals or keeps us on track.
Today I plan to look at our history basket. Look through each book; keep, donate, or recycle.
We are always a work in progress.