Spring is in the air and our mail boxes are bursting with curriculum catalogs, book catalogs, and all other sorts of curriculum helps. I have to admit I’m a sucker for such things. The glossy pages showing cute children absorbed in a book or activity, or a family having fun together with a new game around the kitchen table. It all looks so inviting, so necessary.
Let’s face it, this year is drawing to a close and it’s fun to imagine all the possibilities for the new school year. I love to peruse blogs this time of year and read “curriculum talk”. I love to read about what others are using in their homes and have found some excellent resources this way. What I do need to do however, is to reign myself in a bit. Now, it is getting a bit easier as we are about to embark on our 7th year of home education. I have a better handle on what works for my children, what works in our home, and let’s be real – what works for me!
My plan this month is to stack my newly received catalogs neatly in a corner for later. First, I’m going to earnestly go through all the curriculum, books, hands on stuff and other resources that are already filling my shelves. I’m going to see what I can piece together and use for our next school year, particularly for my younger children. It’s not so much a crash diet for my homeschool budget as it is a crash diet for my brain. Too much “stuff” makes me feel bogged down and not like the most effective teacher/mentor for my children. I’m positive I have some great items tucked away that may not have worked well for a particular child or a particular season, but may now be just what I’m looking for.
With some hours well spent upfront, I believe I can save time and money in the long run. Nothing worse than purchasing an item that I already own (!), or wasting precious time hunting around the shelves for a book that was put in a “special spot”. A freshly spruced up educational space can provide just the boost I need, and I can confidently begin thinking about the next school year. I can pass along the things we aren’t using and not have to feel guilty every time I push them around to a different spot.
So, my spring time goal is no new items, no perusal of those tempting catalogs, until I’ve gone through all the items that we already own. I’m looking forward to entering our new school year leaner and more streamlined. Oh, I’m positive I will make some new purchases, but only after taking stock of what is already sitting on my shelves.