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10 Things to Eliminate from Your Homeschool

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With the new year barely past and the classroom all sparkly and clean from another purge after the holidays, our space feels more open and inviting. A friend recently shared a post on things to get rid of in the New Year and it prompted me to sit back and think a little more deeply on things that we need to eliminate from our homeschool.

Ten things to elimate from your homeschool - don't get bogged down by all the stuff

10 Things to Eliminate from Your Homeschool

Get rid of something? That seems almost sacrilege to say to a homeschool parent. Because there may be a moment – someday in the future – when you will NEED that exact item for…something!

I’m not the only one that has felt that way, am I?

The only problem is, all that stuff gather and multiplies, and over the course of the year (or years) begins to bog us down. The room feels cluttered and stuffed and when you really need to find something, it’s too buried to even know where to start.  

Here are ten things to eliminate from your homeschool – or at least take a good, hard look at and see if you need to make a few changes that will help bring a fresh perspective and motivation to your day!

Excess Paperwork

If you are anything like me and have a tendency to over save paperwork (both completed and not completed), you can take up a lot of room in your school room and storage space quickly. While it can be a daunting task to go through it all immediately, make a plan to review your papers every six weeks and toss out those daily handwriting papers, multiple worksheets, and extras that you do not really need to save, keeping key and important pieces that show progress or favorite memories.

While you may need to save papers for a portfolio or review, not every single paper is necessary. You can see how we organize homeschool paperwork in this post. At the end of each year take a bit of time to fully weed out the extra. Know how much you really need to save. Remember, you aren’t saving for a tax audit!

Unused Games and Manipulatives

They look useful when you pick them up at a used curriculum sale, or a friend hands them off to you, but they have never been used. Either put them to use with a learning jar or gift them to another family or your local thrift store.

Going through games periodically is helpful because your family may have  outgrown some, don’t use them as you expected, or really don’t like them. It can be hard to do at first, especially with games that have been loved at one point, but if they are just taking up space for the sake of being ‘there’ than they have lost their usefulness and need to find a new home.

What Isn’t Working

If it is a physical piece of curriculum or a method of teaching that isn’t working well with your child (or children), weed it out and move on. If you’re struggling with curriculum not fitting, be sure to read this post for some suggestions. Pull those textbooks off the shelf and sell them or donate them to a friend who will love them.

When it comes to a behavior from either you or your child, take a step back and evaluate what the root of the issue is. Coming back from a break often makes it easier to see what teaching and/or parenting ruts we have gotten in to and allows us a chance to step back and try some different techniques in the weeks to follow. If you are really struggling – talk to your spouse or a friend and get their input as well!

Books

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Giving away books can seem just plain wrong, but now is the time to look for duplicates, books you will never, ever read, ones you don’t enjoy, or ones that are falling apart at the seams (literally). Chances are if you ever need one of these books, the library or a friend will have them available.

Purge, purge, purge!

Art Projects

There are always projects that turn out even more beautiful than we imagine, but often there are creations that aren’t as lovely from our little Picassos. (I know I’m not the only one that struggles with this!) When Picasso Jr. is in complete adoration of his project, it makes it even harder!

Display projects and creations for a little bit, keep a few favorites and then take pictures of others for sentiments sake (and to keep the little ones happy). In today’s digital age, a little storage on a disk takes up much less space than in your school room or in a folder!

Unnecessary Commitments

Stretched a little thin on your time outside of the home? Feeling overwhelmed with over commitments is very common! Take a good hard look at the various co-ops, extra classes, sports, volunteering, and events you are involved in and evaluate if they are truly necessary.

We ALL need breathing room and running ourselves (and our kids) ragged is only going to burn us out in the end. You need to be the best mom (or dad) you can for your kids – and sometimes that means saying no to something that is good, but not good for you at the moment. This can be so hard, especially when there are many things that are beneficial – just maybe not in this season for you or your family.

Craft Supplies

Oh my heavens. Tissue paper, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, and GLITTER!! The stuff seems to multiply when your back is turned – or find a new home all over the carpet. Every now and then it’s good to go through your craft boxes and get rid of those extra items that you are hanging on to – just because you may need them some day.

If you can’t quite bear to part with them just yet, throw them all in a plastic bag and let your kids have a free for all one afternoon this week to make the craziest project they can (and then refer to the art project section above when said project is complete!).

Distractions

Every now and then it’s good to sit down and take a good look at what is distracting not only the kids – but myself. Maybe it’s a family member that calls around the same time every day (that would be my mom) or someone who knows you homeschool and thinks it’s OK to interrupt – whenever.

Maybe Facebook or Instagram is just a touch of a button away on your phone – and easily pulls you in. Or Candy Crush. You know your vices, so put them down, remove them from your phone, or do what is necessary to keep your focus on what is in front of you.

Maybe there are toys (like Lego figures and creations – cough) that are distracting certain children when there is work that needs to be finished. It doesn’t mean the classroom has to be all bare bones, but there is a time and a place for certain things. If an item is becoming more of a hindrance and distraction than a tool to help – relocate it.

Fears and Doubts

There are often days and nights when snippets of doubt will creep in looking for a home. Abilities are questioned and fear can hold you captive.  Doubts that enough isn’t being done. Thoughts that parenting skills are the worst in the world. Feelings of inadequacy.

And the list goes on.

This may sound silly, but write those fears down – and acknowledge them. Talk to a friend about them and then – speak the TRUTH over them. Fear and doubts are not truth, they are emotions. But do you know what is truth? God’s word.

For each of those fears and doubts, write a verse that declares the truth. Read this post (and the comments) for some great verses to write down and hold close to your heart.

Comparison

One of the quickest ways to suck the joy and life out of your homeschool time is getting stuck in the comparison trap. It all starts innocently enough with a few clicks on Facebook, seeing how gifted another child is, how clean another house is. Whether it be comparing our children to others, our homeschool to others – you name it – comparing this or that or ANYTHING, fixating on that issue, and letting it fester will destroy the joy of what you have been given.

God has gifted each of us with abilities that are unique to each one of us. Traits that are special and give us a special role. We are fearfully and wonderfully made {Psalm 139:14}.

10 things to eliminate from your homeschool

Can I just encourage you today? Be the person that God created you to be!! Know who you are in Christ and cling to THAT truth! Be yourself ~ because you are the only person who can be uniquely you.

Have you focused on any of the above areas in your homeschool?

What other things would YOU suggest to eliminate from your homeschool?

 

 


 


Another post you may enjoy….Why Your Homeschool Needs a Rest Time.

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This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy .


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Comments

  1. Great article! Here’s to purging and simplifying in 2016!

  2. I REALLY needed to read this now (or last month!), so thanks for writing it and encouraging me/us to let go of our junk – especially comparison, doubt and fear. Here’s to listening to the only Voice that matters!

  3. mamaprepper says:

    This was beautiful and timely. Thank you so much!

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