Minimalist Homeschooling: Simplifying in the New Year
If you are feeling overwhelmed in your homeschool, consider minimalist homeschooling. Collecting quality resources for when it is needed can be a blessing in your homeschool. Still, it can also become a curse when the collection begins to grow and is then forgotten like the fruitcake left in the fridge at Christmas time. It seemed like a good idea at the time but is then abandoned.
The best way to ease the stress of clutter in your homeschool is to take care of it now. That’s right, now. It’s a new year with so much ahead. Get started on the right foot by organizing the upcoming year. Not the next ten years, not the next five years, but this year, 2022.
First, break up the year by month. Grab twelve folders that can fit into one large binder per child. Yes, one binder. If you want a minimalist homeschool, this is a great way to begin.
To help avoid clutter, make space for your binders. Clear off a bookshelf just for the binders. Is living in a small space or RV leading you to minimalist homeschooling? Dedicate one cabinet in your kitchen for the binders and supplies, which I will discuss later. Can’t find room in your kitchen? Find a thin tote that fits under your bed and store them there. Once you have storage for your binders, begin filling them. Using online resources such as SchoolhouseTeachers.com or TeachersPayTeachers.com, print out the content you will need for each month and place them in the correct binder. Print a month at a time, a semester at a time, or a year at a time. If you choose to plan a whole year in advance, be sure to leave room for flexibility! Do you have workbooks you like to use from certain companies? Simply pull out the pages needed for each month and place them in the correct folder. Also, be sure to include a dozen or two sheets of lined paper for spelling or writing practice. These pages also work great for working out math problems if an online program is used. All papers needed for each month will be placed in a folder and then placed in the binder.
Once the January folder is complete, grab a pack of sticky notes and paper clips. Divide the worksheets by day so there is a sticky note on the top page for each day outlining the day’s directions. If online programs are used, include the instructions on the sticky note. If specific pages of a book need to be read, write them down. Then, paperclip all of the day’s assignments together. Your binders are now good to go!
Use Online Resources
Now that you don’t have to fear your child’s math workbook getting lost under their bed or their spelling sheet being pushed under the couch, you can rest assured that your child’s papers are all in one place, and they will stay there. But what about books? If you love grabbing any and every book for your homeschool but find yourself living in regret for having so many piling up next to the bookshelf, change the way you read books. Remember, this is only if you seek a minimalist homeschool. If you don’t mind creating extra bookshelves to house your materials, go for it. But if you are seeking to downsize, remember that there are online versions available. Use books that are available online in the public domain. Use audiobooks. Take advantage of your library’s eBook collection. Simply find the resources online and write down what you want your child to read on their sticky notes and you are all set. You can save space and still have access to the same content.
If you don’t want to print out piles of worksheets for your binder, don’t. Use Google Classroom to store online content, create assignments, and help your child complete their online work. Almost every subject is available online so whatever subjects are not in your binder, you can have them take online. Simply store the information in your child’s Google Classroom. You can print out your nature study but have your child take an astronomy course online. Mix and match according to your needs.
Only Buy Craft Supplies You Need a Month in Advance
When it comes to crafting in your minimalist homeschool, stick with a month at a time. If you have room for multiple months, store small totes out of your child’s sight for each month. Work on the month at hand. Make it fun by taking your child shopping with you or ordering together supplies online from places such as OrientalTrading.com. In February, gather what you need to celebrate Valentine’s Day but don’t go overboard. Just enough to keep from cluttering your home. Think simple and cute but not drab and boring!
With a little bit of planning and organization, you can absolutely have a minimalist homeschool in 2022!