- Do you find yourself frustrated with all the homeschool stuff cluttering your home?
- Do you feel like you are constantly rearranging and organizing?
- Do you wish you could downsize and rid yourself of the overabundant, ever-growing stockpile of school supplies and materials?
Me, too! But there is hope!
For many years I drooled over the school supply catalog and bought every dollar-spot deal I came across. My schoolroom overflowed with all-the-things I just had to have.
Honestly, it became an overwhelming task to keep things organized and manageable. Eventually I grew weary. I had to do something to change our homeschool environment.
Our recent cross-country move presented the perfect opportunity for me to simplify our homeschool and live with less. If you are at the point where you feel like you need to simplify your homeschool life, I want to offer you five ideas that helped me make this change.
1. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
The number one thing I have found to be true is that when we compare ourselves to other people we are more likely to add to our homeschool resource collection.
When you look at gorgeous Instagram flatlays or breathtaking schoolroom setups on Pinterest, you are more likely to be bitten by the “I-gotta-have-that” bug. You know the one I’m talking about—the one that won’t leave you alone until you give in and chase after what you drooled over.
I’ve been there. It’s real. But that itchy bug can be stopped when we refuse to compare ourselves with others and instead choose to be content with what we have.
2. Set a Homeschool Budget
Having a budget is elementary but critical. With a budget to rein in our spending, we are more likely to succeed at keeping our homeschool simple. If we spend money on extras every time we see something we love, our goodies will pile up and create more chaos within our home.
If you're married, work together with your spouse so you have accountability to stick with whatever dollar amount you set. Setting a budget will also help us to stick with our choices and not curriculum hop when what we're using is working well but we have an itch for something new.
3. Pass On or Sell Unneeded Material
I always end up with unneeded items at the end of the school year.
- I may have bought something I thought would work for our kids, but it was a flop.
- There are other things we loved but have outgrown.
Each year before the new school year starts, I identify the curriculum and resources that we don’t need, want, or use anymore. Then I either sell them or donate them to a family who can use them. I achieve a simplified homeschool environment and get to bless another family in the process!
4. Store and Organize Material
When we buy new Sonlight curriculum for our oldest child, we buy it with all of our children in mind. Because I know I am going to use each level with my three younger children, I never part with my Sonlight programs. I keep each set, grouped together and organized for use at any time.
If you don't have the room to store your Sonlight curriculum on bookshelves, I recommend storing them out of the way in plastic tubs until you need them. This methods helps you simplify your space and save money at the same time.
5. Schedule Regular Purging Days
When you take the time to forge a simplified homeschool environment, make sure your hard work is not in vain. Schedule a time twice a year (or at least once a year) to purge and declutter your homeschool-related resources and evaluate whether it’s something you really need.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I used this item on a regular basis?
- Have my kids outgrown this item?
- Do I have room for this item?
- Do I know someone who could benefit from this item more than my family?
- Has this item made a difference in our homeschool?
If you walk through these questions and you feel like the item needs to go, let it go quickly before you change your mind. Wink, wink!
Simplifying your homeschool environment may take time and effort, but once you’ve done it, the reward is so worth it. I want to encourage you to simplify your homeschool environment so you can experience the joy of less.