By Contributing Writer, Shannon
Are you buried under piles of curriculum? Are you a secret hard-drive hoarder?
I am guilty of both! I have been collecting for 9 years. I have curriculum I have purchased, been given, and taken from free piles at our co-op. My computer is filled with eBooks, lesson plans, printables, lectures, etc. It can be overwhelming to own so much stuff!
It can also be hard to get rid of it. You might just use that bee unit study you downloaded 8 years ago–someday. I am going to challenge you to purge and be free!
First, go through the books and curriculum you already own and find them a new home if you aren’t using them this year or next. Sell them online or at a used bookstore if you can’t bear to give them away for free. There are plenty of places to find buyers if you put forth a bit of effort. If effort isn’t your thing, go ahead and offer the books to a fellow homeschooler. If your co-op or support group doesn’t have a “free” table, see if you can start one.
Now let’s deal with all that stuff on your computer. The first thing I like to do is make folders for each subject. I move all my files into the correct folder. Then, I suggest going through your scope and sequence for your school year. Try to match up any printables or eBooks with the lessons you plan to cover. Print them out. Now. You will forget about them if you don’t!
Whatever is left, honestly ask yourself whether you will use it in the next 2 years. I promise, you won’t use it at all if you don’t use it in 2 years (remember that bee study?). Go ahead and delete anything that is too young for your kids now. Are you really going to listen to all those “homeschool helps” mp3 files? Weed them out to just the ones you feel you will benefit from. Load them onto a device. Now.
The last thing I would suggest is to back up the files you can’t part with onto an external hard drive or an online service like Dropbox.
It can be so hard to let go, but it will make you feel so much better. You may find something you can use as you go through the process. You will be free of physical and computer clutter. You can let go of the guilt you have for not using something and the stress that too much stuff can cause.
You can do it! Use it or lose it!
How do you organize all the educational materials you have accumulated?