Becoming a minimalist home-school
Here we are approaching 2019. Can you believe it!? December flew by in a blur of shopping, baking and favorite family activities. I’ll be putting up a blog post soon with links to all of the wonderful recipes and activities that inspired me throughout the holiday season.
Now that Christmas is behind us, I’m ready to set my sights on 2019. I’m not generally a resolution maker. However, I am a planner so I’m setting a plan for things I’d like to accomplish in 2019…so is that actually a resolution? pfft…samantics.
Regardless of what you call it, I took December off to really explore what direction I want this blog to go.
Preschooling without pressure
This blog was originally created as a fun outlet to inspire other parents who homeschool their preschoolers. I am still very much committed to that. Personally, I believe that parents are the most important teachers in a child’s life, but often I need a little inspiration for how to connect on a level that fully engages their little minds.
With that intention, I found Mother Goose Time and embraced their curriculum. I still 100% recommend this curriculum for anyone that wants a well rounded and fun preschool experience.
Having said that, we are choosing not to continue with that curriculum and here’s why.
The amount of activities you get with the monthly curriculum’s is AWESOME! There are detailed crafts and math activities, reading and writing experiences, math counters, new books. Each day brings new fun and learning opportunities.
The challenge for me is that we are refocusing our family routine in 2019.
Outdoors is the Best Classroom
In October I hosted a blog party with a theme of bringing nature into the preschool homeschooling environment. I was completely inspired by all of these amazing homeschooling parents who are creating dynamic learning environments for their kiddo’s. These wonderful mom’s and instructor’s created simple learning activities from science to arts and crafts to language arts from everyday nature items.
My husband and I talked extensively about how we want to focus our family’s energy. Along those lines we bought a small RV. (A different post on that soon as well.)
I realized that the amount of stuff I am collecting from Mother Goose Time is a little outrageous for our size home. The problem comes from the reality that I hate wasting things or filling up the landfill with my trash.
Throughout our time with Mother Goose Time we have received an amazingly well rounded curriculum that has helped both my daughter and I grow. It has inspired me to find new ways to connect on her level and open up learning opportunities that she will embrace.
But now I have this overwhelming amount of things. There are boxes full of manipulatives and craft supplies, a full filing cabinet of days we skipped. If you are a structured 5 day a week homeschooler than you won’t have that problem.
We are not. I believe in weekly field trips and supplementing with story time and 1 weekly group class for socializing. As soon as we take a day off, we have a day that isn’t getting used. Most often that day requires some of the product from a different day. As well as the Teacher’s Guide.
I could just throw it away, but that is so wasteful. So now I have a room full of various pre-schooling supplies that aren’t getting used as I continue to get new ones.
Our Un-schooling Preschool 2019
Un-schooling is kind of a catch phrase among the homeschooling community. It means something a little different to everyone.
For me, it means that I am not following a specifically planned out full curriculum. One of the great (best) aspects about Mother Goose Time was that it really didn’t require much in the way of my time for pre-planning.
However, that lack of pre-planning led to an excess of stuff as the generic plan didn’t always fit our schedule. So now, I’m going to set aside time each month and each week to fully plan out our week. I rely heavily on a few bloggers and resources to help cut down on my planning time.
However, I am actively working to ensure that we are utilizing the tools and toys we already have on hand. Finding new ways to use an old product opens us both up for a lot of creativity. A little pre-planning on my part means less stuff in the landfills and in our house. Win Win.
Also, as my daughter gets older it becomes more and more apparent the values she is forming. I don’t want her to grow up believing that being wasteful and only using things once is the standard. Add on the idea that creativity is hugely boosted when you take an everyday object and continually find new ways to use it.
Our Preschool Plan
- Rely more on dramatic play. Create dynamic and open ended play opportunities that encourage creative thinking.
- Ensure that our weekly class embraces social skills and fun, while building confidence.
- Be purposeful in multi-faceted learning opportunities created from everyday activities around the house. Gardening, cooking, sewing, etc.
- Minimize the amount of learning materials we introduce. Instead, find new ways to incorporate the toys and tools we already have.
- Create a flexible weekly schedule that helps keep us focused and ensures we aren’t falling into the trap of too much screen time.
- Ensure that we are including a science element each week.
- Continue building healthy habits through activity and outside time.
- Have dedicated reading and music time on the schedule each week.
Please note, that I have fully enjoyed the time and activities that we have gained from Mother Goose Time. It is simply not a great fit for us any longer as we move into a different focus in our family of trying to minimize our excess things. Again, if you are able to be focused on a structured 5 day a week curriculum and have an avenue for disposing/sharing of the surplus than it will be a great fit for you.