Before You Add, Subtract

Before You Add, Subtract

Growing up, I never understood why my parents did not like me saying I can’t find it. Now that I have children of my own, I get it.

Just yesterday, I ordered a garbage bag because the kids were going through the closet where we  keep school supplies and were unable to find what they needed. Yes, a garbage bag – because the first thing you must do when you can’t find something is start throwing things away.

Before You Add…

So perhaps in math, you get to add before you subtract, all you PEMDAS fans. But when it comes to curriculum or teaching styles or even for simple sanity’s sake, it makes sense to subtract before you add.

This is not just true when homeschooling in a small house. While it is necessary in a small house to keep clutter down, this is an effective tool no matter what size of home you have.

It makes sense to get into the habit or removing before adding in almost every situation that demands space – mental, physical or temporal.

Buying Curricula

It’s the time of year when many homeschooling parents are excitedly making lists, looking over other homeschooling parents’ lists and searching online for what to add to their schedule. I love research! And if some books and classes are good, more should be better, right?

Um, no. Let’s not drown the children in work just yet.

Before you add anything to your schedule, consider removing something else.

We Have a Rule

Because we have limited storage in our home, our rule for bringing anything into it is pretty strict – there has to be a place we can put it before we buy it and we have to eliminate one other thing. This is especially true of clothes and books.

We choose to donate an equal amount of each. So if I buy a bag of books from a library sale, I have to donate a bag.

While this is good for frugal reasons, when it comes to planning for homeschooling, this idea works wonders. This year, when you decide you want to add something – an activity, a workbook, a read aloud, consider two things: where will it go in your day and is there anything you can remove before you add it in?

Do that first. Before you add, subtract.

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Author: Purva Brown

Writer / blogger at - unapologetically blending two seeming opposites.

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