I am getting ready for a move. We are only moving about 20 minutes away, but the thought of packing up all our books and homeschool supplies is giving me nightmares. I am not even kidding. Last night I dreamed that I couldn’t get to class. See? Nightmares.

Anyway, I have been decluttering the past few weeks, and as I get closer to putting things in the moving truck, more things are finding their way into file 86.

Let me explain.

Do I need that essay that my daughter wrote comparing and contrasting the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia? (I really did find that today.) No. She is in college now. No one cares. SHE doesn’t even care. How about the entire binder of Freckle Face’s science homework from last year? No.

“But wait! Maybe he wants to go to college!”

He does. But does any college want to see the work he did in 8th grade? No. Let me repeat that. No.

But what if someone comes knocking at my door demanding proof that we homeschooled last year? That was last year. I have a transcript. I also have proof through my planner. And if they really want to, they can test him.

How much stuff from previous years do you have clogging up you space and mental capacity? You know, the Explode the Code workbooks. Or maybe math papers upon math papers of Saxon 5/4. Do you really need to hang on to all these papers? Are you worried that you may forget that your kids are doing their work? What is the attachment you have to old school papers?

Do you want your old school papers? Do you want to see the story you wrote when you were 7 years old? I actually have one. It was bound up real nice for me. I attended the Young Writer’s Conference in second grade. My dad still has the book. You know what I think when I see the book? This is so ridiculous. Do you know who it is a memory for? My dad. I have the memory of the conference. It is blurry, but it is there. I really don’t want the book. (yes, Dad, this gives you permission) My mom gave me a bunch of my school papers one day before she died. I had fun looking through them. Then I threw them all away. There were really her memory. Funny how that works.

I am here to give you permission to toss 95% of their work. Especially their elementary course work. Save a sample if you need to save some. If your kids are in high school, save some of their best work in order to send it to a college if they ask for it. (My guess is they won’t, but you never know.)

What if you are having trouble throwing it away? Ok. Here is a good baby step. Buy yourself a good size bin. Not one for each kid. One. Put your favorite papers in this bin. If the bin is full, you are done. You can’t save anymore. If you want to add more to the bin, you must throw something away. This will keep all your school memories in one place. Now, you have more room for Christmas decorations!

Remember, you always have pictures. Take pictures of your children when you go on field trips. Take pictures while they are doing their work, making their lunch, or any other time that they are just being sweet. Those are the memories that matter. The ones you will all carry in your heart. It won’t be the math or the essays. It will be the time that you spent together.

P.S. Get rid of the curriculum that you aren’t using! It is sitting there collecting dust and making you feel guilty for not using it. Sell it. Give it away. Free up your heart to do what needs to be done and what you want to do. If you don’t have time for that Critical Thinking Press book, get rid of it. No guilt. I promise they will still be able to go to college if they want to go.


The Homeschool Fairy.