Minimalist Homeschooling

As my kids grow up, I’ve been getting the urge to unfeather my nest. We seem to be moving into a new phase of life, and a lot of the old stuff seems unnecessary. Maybe it never was necessary. But I’m taking a hard look at where I want to be and how I want to live these days.

Minimalism has been a growing trend, especially as so many books and blogs have been written about “doing more with less.” I’ve always been curious about this, in the past reading such books as Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Elgin, The Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs, “The 4 Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss, and of course “Walden” by Thoreau.  Simplicity definitely seemed like something to aspire to, but I was so busy with life as usual that I didn’t follow through with it (excuses, excuses).

Recently I’ve stumbled upon a blogger named Ev Bogue who got me thinking about it again. He’s conveniently been writing about things that I’ve been trying to figure out – like how to use technology to help me simplify. I feel like the old way of doing things and buying things is rapidly becoming obsolete.  Going digital has the potential to eliminate so much clutter, although it could potentially add clutter if we’re not careful.

For instance, why do I have a giant box of old VHS tapes? Because I was saving them to someday convert to DVD (although I don’t have a machine to do that). But why would I want to have a bunch of DVDs around when it is possible to store movies on a giant hard drive? Or stream from the Internet?

The same goes for all of our music CDs. I didn’t like buying music from iTunes because they make it so hard to sync music between our families’ computers and iPods, so we bought CDs instead. But then came Pandora, Spotify, and other music streaming websites. Why buy a disk to store and dust, or a handcuffed music file, when I could just pay a monthly fee to listen to an enormous library of music anytime and anywhere?

I also want to try digital scrapbooking instead of paper scrapping. I want to ditch my hefty paper planner in favor of planning/calendar software. I want to stop buying newspapers and magazines, and read them online instead.  And books . . . good grief. I love my books dearly, but we must have a thousand pounds of books – and that’s just nonfiction reference. That doesn’t even count the fiction and other books we’ve borrowed from the library over the years. Wouldn’t it be great to get a lot of that on a Kindle? Or borrow ebooks from the library?

Technology has changed everything, including homeschooling. If I were starting homeschool all over again, I would buy much LESS stuff.  Looking at my groaning bookshelves now, I wonder, “Why did I buy this?” It seemed like a good idea at the time . . . But now I would (and will) rely on the Internet for so much more. I’ll tell you how in future posts.

Do you have any clever ways to use technology in your homeschool or life? I’d love to hear about them – just leave a comment below or email me. Thanks!

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One Response

  1. Amanda says:

    I agree. Good article.