Monday, December 28, 2009

De-Cluttering Your Homeschool

Clutter Be Gone!

Image by evelynishere via Flickr

I’ve scheduled this post to publish while I am on vacation.  Well, maybe vacation isn’t exactly the right word for what I am doing right now.  I’m spending two weeks DE-CLUTTERING!!

That’s right.  My New Year’s resolution is starting a few days early, and I am getting rid of excess “STUFF” from our garage, basement, attic, and each and every room of our house.  All year long I have felt the weight of “things” on my shoulders.  I can’t pass a closet without wondering how good the hinges are and whether they are going to hold up against all the contents stuffed in them.

No one needs a bunch of items they never use and have long since had sentimental value cluttering up their house or their lives.  This is so true with homeschool as well.

A new year is the perfect opportunity to take a closer look at the homeschool materials you have accumulated.  How many of them are things you bought in the excitement of the moment, but quickly discovered they were not a good fit for your child or his or her learning style?  How many are things you have already used but have been hesitant to part with?  How many are things you have borrowed but have forgotten to return?

These things can quickly become homeschool “clutter” that can not only take up valuable space in your home, but also become a source of discouragement if you feel obligated to hold onto them “just in case.”  Why not make a clean sweep of every homeschool-related item that you aren’t absolutely, without-a-doubt, going to use in the next two years?

For all the rest of it, evaluate where it should go, then dedicate an entire day to getting it there!  Gently used materials and curricula are a great way to get some post-holiday cash back in your pockets.  Using online auction sites, or used homeschool curriculum swaps, you can often get back a decent percentage of what you put into the materials.  Items without enough value to sell can be donated to your local library, thrift stores, or a local homeschool curriculum lending library, if your community has one.  And of course, all those borrowed items need to be returned to their rightful owners. 

Following “the purge”, your homeschool room or area should feel cleaner, more manageable, and far less overwhelming because now you are able to concentrate on the curriculum and materials that you know are designed for your child and your child’s learning style.

And isn’t that a great way to start off 2010?

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