Erica is our oldest daughter and she has her hands around her daughter Destine’ who is my grand-daughter. Up top next to Erica is our 11 year old daughter Faith, next to Faith is me, Coach Angie, I have my hands on my husband shoulders, Overere. My husband is holding our daughter Victoria who is 5, but will be 6 in a month, and he is also holding our son Wisdom who is now 2 1/2 years old. Our daughter Blessing, who has her hands on daddy shoulders is 4 years old and will be 5 years old this year. Wow how time flies.
This is how my family looked when I started homeschooling Faith the second time around. This picture was taken over 2 1/2 two years ago.
I remember when I first started homeschooling Faith. She was in the kindergarten. I thought I had to do things like a traditional classroom setting. I put so much pressure on myself, trying to be the perfect homeschool mom. I tried to follow the curriculum to the T and it wore me out because I was always questioning was I during everything right.
I end up putting Faith back in school because I had a lot on my plate, When I was homeschooling Faith I had just given birth to Victoria and six months later was pregnant with Blessing, I was working at that time as well, so I closed my business, came home to raise my babies. Faith went to school in the 1st-3rd grade and then I was led to homeschool her again. While I homeschooled Faith, my 2 little girls went to an awesome childhood learning center for the first year I homeschooled her. I got pregnant again and had a son, so I was homeschooling Faith again with a newborn son and the girls were in school. After getting a feel for homeschooling again and during a lot of research and watching tons of youtube videos, I began to fall in love with homeschooling and was led to homeschool all of my children.
I wanted to be up on the latest curriculum and buy all the educational books, that I could find. I love books so that just drove me into a shopping frenzy. I hit up all the book stores like Barnes and Nobles, Sam’s, Walmart, Books of Million, Amazon, Ebay and the 1 dollar stores. I discovered that all the monies I was paying out to buy books I could find similar if not the same books at my local thrift stores like, Goodwill, Garage Sales, Craigslist and used book sales.
I would tell myself, these books cost less than the cost of tuition that I was paying out every month when I had them in school and over time I had accumulated tons of books that would take us years to read.
Yes I was a homeschooling novice, when I homeschooled my daughter in the kindergarten, I dedicated the basement room to my daughter classroom and decorated the walls like her traditional classroom setting. I have learned since then that for me having to much of anything if it is not being used it is just plain hoader-ism. So I have adopted a new homeschool philosophy. I not only adopted it in my classroom but I adopted this principle in every area of my life. Keep it Simple!
Keeping it simple is what I was looking for all alone, after trying countless of curriculum, what I found out is, there is not a one size fits all curriculum and every one of your child will learn differently and at their own pace. So do what works best for your children.
Another thing I discovered is, if you are homeschooling multiple children at one time like I am, it is best for your sanity to keep it simple for you and for them.
So I have narrowed it down since then, gave away some books and sold tons of unused educational tools and kept my favorites books that I think would benefit my family in the future and I bought curriculum for each child that covered what they need to know for their age and grade level and created a reference, reading and resource library in my home that can enhance and stir up their love and curiosity for learning.
This is what I ended up with down below and I am much more peaceful for doing so. I feel so in control of my day, and I am not overwhelm by too much stuff, although I still feel like I could pair it down some more, I am pleased with the results!
The first bookshelf which is the tall slim white bookshelf comes from Ikea, it houses my 2 year old son and my 4 year old daughter toddler flash cards, games, blocks, learning and reading books. It also houses a very small section of reading books and important educational binders for my business.
The second bookshelf, which is the middle cherrywood bookshelf, houses curriculum for my 3 daughters who are ages 11, 5, and 4. Each girl have her own shelf. This year I am using Abeka Homeschool Curriculum for my 4 and 5 year old girls. For my 11 year old daughter, I started off using a custom curriculum that I put together but end up switching to Ace Christian Homeschool Curriculum. I absolutely love it for her. It lets you go at your own pace, she can go as fast as she wants or she can take her time. The bookshelf also houses a caddy and basket for holding pencils/ink pens, color pencils, crayons, markers, stapler, glue, erasers, scissors and paper clips.
I got this bookshelf as soon as I decided to homeschool all of my children. It was waiting on me to pick it up. It was left on the side walk by a neighbor who just moved in the neighborhood. It had a tag on it that said free! It was in perfect condition and it is just what I needed. I was so grateful to my neighbor, who helped me get it onto the back of my truck and I was also grateful to God who always gives provision for the vision.
What I love about this bookshelf is that, it have 4 shelves for my four children that I homeschool. My 2 year old is not during real schooling yet but when it is time, I can add him at the bottom shelf. I also love that it has doors on it that close so I can hide all of their learning tools from my 2 year old therefore making it out of sight, out of mind for his beautiful eyes. The bookshelf is currently in my 2 year old room because it is close to the dinning room where my girls sit at the table to do their lessons and the bookshelf matches well with my son’s furniture in his room.
The last bookshelf comes from Ikea as well, and this bookshelf I deemed as our home library. It houses all of the educational resources, art supplies, reading and learning books. It also houses some additional flash cards and puzzles. Everything is categorized by subjects like math, reading, history, black history, science, social studies, health, manners, etc. I love the glass doors on this bookshelf because I can see where everything is, it is also a nice piece of furniture in my dinning room and the glass make the room feel open.
I don’t get caught up in buying a lot of books anymore, because I use our local library, but I have created a system for not becoming a curriculum junkie and this my system.
After we have read a book on our bookshelf, we place it in a bin for sale or donate. We can only replenish the book shelf with what we put in the bin. So if we put 7 books in the bin to donate, we can buy seven more new books to put in our library.
I use up all of the curriculum that I purchase for each one of my girls until it is gone and then, and only then, can I purchase a new curriculum for them. But before I purchase curriculum, I have to throughly research it to make sure it is a good fit for me and it is a good fit for them. So I would not be wasting money on curriculum that does not work for us.
On the weekends or when they are bored, I put together a fun pack for them and this is where I use the extra learning workbooks I have on my book shelf. When it is gone, it is gone, there is really no need to buy any extra workbooks because they already have curriculum that is teaching them what they need to know for their age and grade level.
My goal is to eliminate waste, use what we already have, manage and edit what comes in and what goes out.
Please leave a comment letting me know ways you organize your homeschool curriculum and your system for cutting down on curriculum clutter. Click on my Instagram to see more homeschool pictures about my kids homeschool field trips, co-op and more