Examples of Minimalistic Homeschooling

What are some specific examples of what minimalist homeschooling might look like? Most points in the following lists are things I’ve tended to do in the 17+ years of homeschooling, so I know they work well to result in a comprehensive, practical, AND fun home education!

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Many of these points are ALSO supported in the curriculum resources I design and the ones we preview and recommend! We purposely do NOT offer just a variety of homeschool resources of any style but rather carefully choose only ones we feel can truly help in having a simple, sweet, sufficient and successful homeschool!

Please remember, these are only examples! Other people who have a minimalist approach to homeschooling might not agree with everything mentioned here and they would have other examples of what this style looks like in their family.

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Let’s begin! Each heading reflects an area of our homeschool lives which shows a measure of simplicity and minimalism of time, resources, space, or stress/frustration, in comparison to what other families might choose to do. Hopefully these lists will help encourage someone who wants to get some starting ideas! 😊

Of course, if you haven’t read my blog post entitled, Minimalist Homeschooling and How to “Prune, be sure to do that for some general tips! 😊

Preschool Minimalist Homeschooling

Pre-School

(Kindergarten, Pre-Primary, JK/SK)

Household

Household

General Homeschool Examples

General Homeschooling Examples

Reading

Reading

Writing and Grammar

Writing and Grammar

Math

Math

Science

Science

Geography

Geography

History

History

Relationships Matter!

Relationships Matter!

The ultimate success of education is not a particular style/approach. It instead rests on the quality of relationships.

This is why parents and students find that interacting together in home education becomes more satisfying compared to online learning all day in front of a virtual teacher or game app. “Canned” lectures or cartoon characters are devoid of a good relationship with the learner. Online school-at-home is not the same as real homeschooling. Successful homeschooling is more than just providing study material, even though yes, a loving relationship will show their care by encouraging and providing good things for students to learn.

I’ve read of an elderly pastor and wife who were asked what they thought about the idea of education at home in the context of when it was about correspondence lessons via cassette – where the child would listen to a teacher provide educational content and then mail-in written responses. While they could see the helpfulness of home teaching in some situations, they were rightfully concerned with the idea of a piece of technology as an influential substitute of a relationship with a real person.

“Wouldn’t it be great, five or ten years [after schooling] to say, “I would like to have you come over and meet my tape recorder. She was a great teacher.” Wouldn’t that be awful! Teaching is more than just saying things. It’s a personality…” (p.104, What Does the Bible Say About…? by Dr. Howard and Lucile Sugden, Kregel Publications, 1987)

In our current cultural trends, one attraction to the term “minimalist homeschooling” may come from overwhelmed parents who want to (or need to) have their children at home for school-days BUT do not want to put much or any effort into guiding their children’s education. In other words, they’re searching for “what can we do that’s easy so that our kids are successfully educated but where parents don’t have to do much.” They almost seem to view their role as parents as programming a computer, hitting a start button, and seeing the end result happen automatically while their life’s focus can be elsewhere. Yet God has designed people, including young people, to thrive in building relationships.

One of the roles of a parent is to nurture good relationships with their children (any age) so that they understand in real examples what a good relationship is.

I understand what it is like to try to balance a part-time business and my priority is to my family. As an example, I focus more on designing curriculum since my kids are helped by that; I’ve spent much less time on marketing products or business opportunities. I’m a mom and then an entrepreneur and blogger, not the other way around. I don’t expect to work full-time these homeschooling years in addition to being a good parent caring for children – God made me only one person. Some days my kids need me more and other days less, depending on a variety of factors as they go through life, so I work at “Peppermint Stick” when it makes sense. But I want to be there for them, treating them how I would like to be remembered, living without regrets. There is no point in having a any homeschool style if it doesn’t benefit those being homeschooled. The reason it is an option is to serve the whole family, not just the parents.

Aiming for being a loving wife and mom means that I spend some moments of thinking time to set aside “the things that don’t really matter to us” instead of just following what the crowd does. It means a mom might need to say “no” to some good opportunities (e.g. studies, activities, or as much time in the adult world) in order to do well with the better or best opportunities. When we aren’t as concerned with doing or having “everything” the world offers, we learn to increase our contentment and relax from unnecessary expectations and stressors.

As moms, relationships matter to make us better people too. We need to grow in knowing God personally (see a post I wrote about this here in context of being a parent with children around), nurture our marriage, and enjoy mom-to-mom time with good friends (e.g. Proverbs 13:20a, Titus 2:3-5). When we are experiencing good relationships ourselves, this delight overflows so that we can pour out to others, such as our children, and refresh their days!

Here’s my definition again, from Minimalist Homeschooling (and How to “Prune”):

 “…it as a style of education where the wide array of choices for “what to include in a normal day” is purposely limited and prioritized for a simpler lifestyle and for a greater practicality of use. Families might aim for fewer physical supplies within a learning space, fewer subjects to focus on at a time, the choice of multi-use or reusable items, and/or the careful planning of how often and how much depth or detail per topic (or even if they think it is worthwhile to include at all). The idea is to provide a great educational experience which is not dependent on “all the bells and whistles” marketed in the education world.

The result is often a more relaxed way of homeschooling. It seeks to take steps to avoid overwhelm. It aims to use time and possessions better and not waste them on something that isn’t of personal interest if it is not helpful or needful, in order to free up greater time, space, or energy for things which benefit, encourage, and/or are important for the present or future life.

There’s truly an abundance in sweet simplicity! We’re touching the palates of our kids with important things to know and do, explore and experience, design and make – all effectively taught through building good relationships.

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I hope you’ve found some “encouragemint” reading this series of blogs and minimalist homeschooling! (As always, you’re welcome to send your questions, comments, or suggestions by contacting me through this page.

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For more understanding about what I’ve called a “Peppermint Stick” style/approach (which to me is very similar to a minimalistic style), please go to this link – “Our Twist” and of course, our online shop!

Have a sweet and refreshing day!

Joy

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