Minimalist homeschooling as I have stated in other posts doesn’t always mean how much you have, as a second-generation homeschooler with five children of my own I know that every day needs to be effective and sustainable, MINIMALIST HOMESCHOOLING IS CREATING A SIMPLE VALUES BASED APPROACH TO YOUR TIME AND EFFORT IN YOUR HOMESCHOOLING.
My homeschooling vernacular is simple is best.
So, while my collection is progressing from my first year as a homeschooler, I still have very few items and I don’t intend to change that.
This is a basic guide as to what you can look for in your homeschool curriculum that offers a great education as well as the ability to be as flexible as you want to be.
Collect what makes you happy.
What does a minimalist homeschooler own and use?
For sure it’s up to you as a mother, parent and homeschooler, you have to take the time to find what works for you and your child.
In this post, I outline my own eclectic curriculum made up of everything that works for me and that I think honestly would be a grat addition to anyone homeschool, as they are simple, timeless and effective.
Tips to find your effective & minimal homeschool curriculum.
- Focus on concepts, what is the quality of the concepts taught to reach the goal of a self-learner and critical thinker.
- Create a sustainable time frame for daily consistency, school smart hot hard, don’t let a curriculum keep you from enjoying homeschooling, it should be a daily rhythm, not a draining marathon.
- Create short term plans with concept mastery in mind, choose a curriculum you can control the pace and the goal.
- Choose your why and work around it, set your effectiveness according to your priorities and long term academic and life goals for your children.
- Place extra focus on reading aloud to your children, no matter the age, this is the most informal but effective form of education any child or adult can include in their daily lives.
For a successful home education. Introduce new things from time to time. Some will work, others won’t.
Make use of your read alouds.
With all other extracurricular as either read aloud’s or once a week short lessons based on a good collection of books that I can use over and over as I move through my children.
My minimal collection is based on effective learning, with the core values, I want to pass on to my children.
For now, my trusty minimalist reader basket is my go-to, every day, it’s pulled out, the contents are simple, easy to teach and time-efficient.
What’s in my homeschool basket?
I use Mcguffies readers. Tried and true, they are simple to teach, from kinder to advanced reading.
Each page as they progress has new words and sounds that you can master before moving on, the stories are wholesome and they come with a teachers guide that I found really helpful in the first year of teaching.
Along with the readers. I use Phonics made plain
These are a set of flashcards with the alphabet and every sound each letter makes and every combined sound in the English language.
The McGuffey readers work alongside these and for the first year of teaching to read, these two items were all I used. They together are diverse and thorough and I would highly recommend them to anyone teaching to read.
I also own a set of colourful flashcards with only the short sound for each letter and a corresponding picture.
A for apple, B for Bear, C for cat and so on, this is an easy way to get your preschoolers to recognise the letters, as they will quickly associate the picture to the sound that the letter makes.
the ones I use have a train you can make with one set, and it’s very useful and helps them learn the correct letter sequence. (the links for what I use are below)
handwriting skills are a must, I am not overly dedicated to getting every letter correct when they are very young, but as they get older you want to start honing the skill of good handwriting.
Good penmanship is a skill all children should have, and from early pencil skills to cursive writing, copy work (writing their own copy from spelling, poems and books) should be included in an effective education.
I have in the past used, the Good and the beautiful, and as far as budget goes they were worth it, simple and easy to teach they are a good way to ensure that young children start off the right way with correct letter formation.
You can buy plain penmanship books from most office supply stores, as well as downloading free templates for pages you can print off which is what I did with the good and the beautiful.
I am this year (2022) using the handwriting without tears series for all my children, and while the year is young and we are only new to the books, so far they are a family favourite, and all my children from Preschool to year 3 are living the time spent on these books.
you can buy them on amazon.
My printing book 1st grade
printing power 2nd grade
learn Cursive 3rd grade
cursive success 4th grade
As a learning tool, you can use any writing books you like, I used the good and the beautiful, they have penmanship from kindergarten to high school and are all very budget-friendly, especially if you can buy the ebooks and print at home. (link below)
Another Good and the beautiful item I use but doesn’t fit in my basket, is the language arts, again from kinder to high school and for super cheap they are a great minimalist homeschool addition, for an extra lesson once or twice a week.
I buy the ebook and print it at home, and it has been a great addition to my routine and has helped my boys with multi-faceted learning of language and reading.
Another great addition to the minimalist homeschool loop schedule Is the BUILDING WRITING WORKBOOK SERIES from learning without tears.
Simple, and easily adaptable to current read aloud and imaginative writing, I like the way the workbook gives you questions and you can give context.
Your child can become a fluent speaker of good language as well as a writer, I include these books once or twice per week for my eldest learner who loves to spend time writing short stories with a grammatical concept in mind.
Read aloud’s are another great way to extend learning and language. I tend to base mine around factual stories, we read a lot of bible as well.
Books by Susan Wise Bauer are a good addition and can be purchased in Audible as well as hardcover and listened to when doing something hands-on like painting or lego, I find it a good way to get good language and grammar into ears of any age.
I use, math U see. It’s the most expensive thing I buy each year, but for young children, it’s 100 % worth it.
The books come with teachers manuals and you can buy an integer block system which makes teaching math a breeze. (you can get cheaper versions of the blocks on amazon)
We do our maths daily and have yet to struggle with any concept, they are taught so well.
A minimalist approach to extra curricular
twice a week I pull out a nature anatomy book by Julia Rothman, it’s a little American, by that I mean, some of the native animals and plants it talks about are not very relatable to us here in Australia, but otherwise, the text is engaging with many relatable lessons on all things nature.
The pictures are fun to recreate with our own watercolour paints. Once we have finished this book I will definitely buy the others in the collection.
. (note it does have vague naked drawings) It’s one that they never get bored of, and frequently ask to do a project from it.
the planetarium will be the next one I pull out as it looks just as engaging for young children.
as well as
These books are all fantastic for creating projects, you can buy one or two a year and use them as a great read aloud, and just to have on the bookshelf for children of any age to read and learn from.
simple is best.
For me, that’s my basics.
It’s years worth of homeschooling for around five hundred dollars, not that that’s the point of this post but I do not lack for anything and everything I have does a fantastic job at helping me to give a hearty education.
It’s a bonus!
I am careful to curate a collection that fits what I want my children to learn and it fits my lifestyle.
I hope this post helped, and I encourage you to add your own little additions, things that bring you Joy!
Homeschooling, minimalist or otherwise is a long business but it doesn’t need to be boring!
Here are the links to what I own.
Some are Amazon links and I make a small commission at no extra cost to you
the flashcards and the readers are very good value from amazon unless you can find a cheaper used set on eBay or Etsy.
All the other non-amazon links I am not at all affiliated with.
water colour with me in the forest by Dana fox. (my absolute favourite water colour book and Dana has others you should check out!)