Written by Purva Brown of The Classical Unschooler.
I‘ll admit it. I wasn’t always a minimalist. In fact, I resisted that title as much as I could, even arguing against it on my blog.
But I have come full circle.
I’ve found that minimalism, far from taking anything away, actually enhances our quality of life and our homeschool. Here’s how.
We have always lived in a fairly small house. We did have a brief stint where we lived in a large home, only to decide it was far beyond my ability (and desire) to take care of.
When we recently moved, we found that we were able to load all our belongings in just a few hours. I love the freedom this gave us.
When it comes to homeschooling, we don’t have a lot of clutter lying around.
I don’t feel the need to save textbooks or build shelves for books. We tend to use workbooks, but they’re consumables and get thrown out after use, with the exception of some samples and tests.
We do have a closet dedicated to homeschooling supplies. We tend to make a mess in there off and on, especially if I slack on cleaning, but I get to close the door to that closet and turn off my mind for a bit in the evenings.
It’s nice not to see work everywhere I look.
As a homeschooling mom who spends most of her time at home, it is important to me to have mental space.
I don’t know when it happened, but sometime after having children, I was no longer a slob. It didn’t used to bother me to have things lying around until three other little beings started throwing their own things around as well. That was when a switch went off in my head.
I decided (overnight, it seemed!) that I needed counters to be clear, laundry to be put away and trash to go out every night.
While the children do help around with chores, the biggest thing minimalism does for me is leave room in my mind.
When my physical space is cluttered, it’s like it takes up room in my head. I find myself not being able to think creatively or function positively. Having fewer things and being able to put them away leaves me with the freedom to create new ideas.
“A place for everything and everything in its place” is a line I am definitely teaching my kids.
The less time we spend taking care of our stuff, the more time we have to spend with each other.
Homeschooling shouldn’t be just about work and chores, but when the kids are little, that’s all it seemed like it was. As they get older though, I am learning the importance of having them grow into good, caring people with a deep connection to each other, their Creator and other people they love.
Having fewer things makes this easier. When we are not spending so much time cleaning up after ourselves or maintaining what we have, it gets easier to look outward and think of others.
Minimalism makes our life more meaningful, which is part of homeschooling after all – the ability to teach purpose and perspective.
I understand now why minimalism bothered me in the past. It was because I thought it was something to pursue for its own sake. Owning less just for the sake of it is not something that attracts me.
But when put in the service of something greater, a purpose outside itself, minimalism really shines.
I have chosen to put minimalism to use for our family and our homeschool.
When we are happier and healthier mentally, physically, and spiritually, our perspective changes. We are not spending our time simply putting out fires in constant emergency mode.
Minimalism makes our family less harried and more intentional.
And that, after all, is a big part of what I want my children to remember about their childhood.
Tell us in the comments- which methodology did you give up on and then come back to because you saw how it helped your homeschool?
What’s Your Homeschool Mom Personality? Take Jamie’s quiz now and receive a free personality report to help you organize your homeschool based on what your personality type needs most!