Powered by Blogger.
This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, visit our disclosures page.

Can Having Too Many Books Become Stressful?

Wow, it's been three months since I've blogged. I can't believe how little I've been blogging. A lot has happened here at Homeschooling6 in the past six months.

One of the reasons blogging has slowed down is I haven't been inspired to write. I feel like there is not much happening (even though it's been crazy around here). Another reason is I have the worst luck with technology. For some odd reason, I can't get my photos from my phone or camera do upload to my computer. I have to upload them to Facebook and then download the pictures to my computer before I can use the pics. When I put them on Facebook I usually post them as a private picture.

In May I started a weird journey of me wanting to get rid of stuff - and I can't believe I'm saying this but a lot of what was on my heart to get rid of was my books, yup, can't believe I typed that. If you all have been reading my blog and "know" me you also may know how much I LOVE books! I have collected books since we started homeschooling in 2002. I have bought books from Sonlight, My Father's World, WinterPromise, Heart of Dakota, um, let's just say I have owned almost all the bundles from each company! So embarrassing!!!

But lugging them around has become too much and too stressful AND I can't believe it but I finally had to accept that my four younger boys do not enjoy reading as much as I do (and Annette & Josh). That was really hard to admit to myself.

In 2009 we moved from our 3500sft house to an 850sft apartment. We lived in that apartment for nine months, then moved into an 1100-1200sft house which we lived in for seven years. While living in these two places I had over 40+ standard size Home Depot/Lowe's boxes of books, stored, just sitting there.

In February of 2015, we moved in a larger home about 2600 square feet. We had books coming out of our ears. Even in this size house, we didn't have enough room. We had bookshelves everywhere. I had books on a shelf in two rows, some in the back and some upfront. We had to put bookshelves in the garage. We had books in bins and baskets. They were just all over the place and many of them getting dusty sitting on the shelves, bins, and baskets because nobody was reading them.

 Dust bunnies and books don't mix, it was really sad to see for this book lover. My books were becoming all-consuming to me, they were not only taking up space but stressing me out. I would stand and stare at them wanting my kids to read them (minus Josh and Annette because they read practically all of them). I would look over the titles and just be sad that my boys didn't see them as an adventure like I did -so many places to go and knowledge to learn.

Although I must say my boys do love audio books so they are listening to them but I can't replace my whole library with audio.

Part of the stress of my books was, what to do with the books? I wanted them to have a good home. I wanted them to be appreciated. I would have been happy to donate but where and how, so I started to sell them. At least this way they'd go to people who wanted them.

A video of some of the books that I had a hard time getting rid of.

In June of 2017, I started selling some of my books and curricula. It was hard for me to part with many of the books. I sold almost a $1000 worth of books. It was like a part-time job. I had to take pictures, write descriptions, be online answering questions, keeping the orders organized so not to mail to the wrong person, and so forth. One customer kept changing her order she wanted this book, no that that one, no I'll take the first one again (my brain was hurting) needless to say it was a lot of work, especially when selling the books at a low cost to just get rid of them. In the end I was making a few dollars an hour for a lot of my time and finding boxes to fit the orders in was another thing. I decided selling them wasn't worth it in the end.

My Facebook group that I created to sell my books and curricula.

I started taking them the Half Price. You don't get much but at least they were going to a place where other homeschoolers could get them at a low price. I also donated a lot of them to the Salvation Army type donation places. I just didn't want them to be tossed in the trash or anything like that.

I sold or gave away at least 20 boxes of books and curricula but ya' know what? I still had bookshelves left. Many of the books I sold/donated were books that were in boxes in the garage so my shelves were still full, ack! Never thought I'd use the word 'ack' with the word 'bookshelf' in the same sentence-what is my world coming too, haha.

Fast forward to May of 2018. We lived in a good size house yet it was kind of cluttered. I wanted an airy feel. My house was not that. I admit I didn't keep up with the dusting all the nooks. I'd forget about corners and even window seals and my books needed dusting too. When I'd finally remember certain corners I'd imagine these teeny tiny almost not able to see critters living there. It totally grossed me out thinking about it. I'd go in to spring cleaning mode. I'd get my vacuum and go crazy.

My schoolroom had so much stuff -it wasn't cozy or inviting. I had every corner taken up with stuff. And you know what? A lot of it had to do with my books/curricula. I asked the Lord to help me just let go of my stuff, my books, my things. I really started looking at all this and said to myself, "Is this stuff really worth my time, is it worth all the stress it's causing?" the answer was no, so I went into a tails spin (if you will) and got rid of over 60 boxes of stuff, just things, books, papers, anything that I wasn't using. I went into the kitchen and got rid of half my kitchen stuff, went to the living room gave away all the candles I hadn't used but were collecting dust and no telling what little critters that I could not see were probably living in the dust.

Then something happened and we were going to have to move again. This time to an 850 sft house. My new kitchen (we are replacing the stove and my boys need to finish painting the wall)

We were downsizing again. I told my hubby that I'm ready to get rid of my beautiful oak desk and other furniture. We gave them to my Sister-in-Law and our eldest son Joshua to sell. Again, I started donating.

We are now living (still moving in) in a small house. We do have a storage but I'm happy to say, a lot of the stuff is not mine, haha. We don't have a garage so my hubby's tools need to be stored. I do need to purge again and plan to take box by box and donate 75% of what's in each box. This is what I'm doing as I unpack too. I'm not always successful at getting rid of 75% but I really am trying.

In conclusion to this post, I thank the Lord that I don't miss all the books (and stuff) that I got rid of. It actually feels freeing. I am happy for the books I donated or sold because now they are in homes where people are reading them. They were meant to be read not sitting on my shelves collecting dust and getting old or even destroyed (like in 2016, the crazy hailstorm ruined tons of my books).

So the question is (or questions): can too many books (and stuff) become stressful? What are your thoughts?

Less Waste Challenge Week 2

Week 2 of the Less Waste Challenge (I still need to write week 1)

Summer Mama Goal

This summer I plan to get the schoolroom cleaned up. It has become a clutter room and not a good use of space.

I have books, papers, toys, and just stuff everywhere. I really would like to take as many books out and keep mostly what we are using but I don't know where to put all the 'extra' books.

Right now I'm putting them in boxes but after that, I am not sure where to put them. I don't want to put them in the garage because it gets so hot in the summer and cold in the winter.

The above picture is what my schoolroom looked like when I entered this morning.

My goal with this bookshelf is to put all our current school stuff here, in one place. 

I need to clear off this desk so Caleb can do school here. He loves having his own spot.

I originally wanted this bookshelf to be my Thinking Tree shelf but the journals were too heavy and the shelf was bowing. Instead, I am putting the curricula that I need to go through, that I might use this coming year or next. Curricula that I am not ready to part with.

Can't wait to get to this space, I didn't even touch it today. After four hours -by the time I 'left' the schoolroom, well, let's just say, there is still a lot to do.

I'm going through this drawer and either make a pre-k bin and/or give a lot of my pre-k stuff away. I mean, my kids are all teens now or beyond. 

Slowly clearing the shelves. The bottom shelf didn't stay cleared off for long. There are still lots of books.

I still need to organize this shelf but at least it has the books I want on it.

My new Thinking Tree shelf. I still need to organize them by subject but again, they are on the correct shelf, yay! The messy little in-between bookshelf space still needs to be cleaned.

That big drawer with some pre-k stuff is almost cleaned. Wahoo!

Some giveaway stuff. I'll see if my Sister-in-law who has little ones wants any of this (after I took this picture I filled it up with more - it's overflowing!).

Now I know this is not clutter free yet but it's a huge start. I have taken out hundreds of books, dusted under my desk (which you can't see, it was pretty disgusting). Threw tons of papers away, and rearranged some things. It really does look a lot cleaner. I spent 4.5 hours cleaning this area up.

I have lots of boxes with books, books on my kitchen table, books in the formal dining room, books on chairs BUT they are out of the schoolroom -HUGE accomplishment. I don't know where the books will go. I am designating one for all our Bible books: reference, study, Answer in Genesis books, maps, fold-outs, etc.

Not a huge difference but it's practically dust free, does that count? The bookshelf in the back, although you can't tell, is some-what decluttered.

It felt good to start this. Tomorrow I'll work on it some more.

Lamp + Light High School

This year with Lance (8th), Ethan (1th), Brent (11th), and maybe Caleb (12th) I decided to use Lamp + Light Homeschool curriculum.

Lamp + Light for High School

I haven't actually received the guide yet but I do have the four-week sample so I'm gathering my books and supplies. Thankfully I do have many of the books.

Here is what we are using for Volume 1/Year 1 -I'll put an asterisk * next to books that I am adding but is not part of Lamp + Light Homeschool. In this post, I will share the tracks we will use with L+L

Required DVDs or to stream (Netflix/Amazon):

The Bible Season 1 - Core Text or in this case a series =)
The Word audio dramatized Bible -  OT recommended but not required -(we might purchase this)
Superbook Season 1: In the Begining (part of History)

Book List (required core text): I'm not exactly sure when or what subject these are scheduled in (I'm thinking as part of the history may be) but once I have the guide I'll label accordingly. With that said, the four-week sample shows Ancient Times in the history section.

For history Lamp + Light has four tracks. We might go with Track 1 or 3 because I have all the books. I actually have most of the books in all the tracks so it's just a matter of choosing which route.

Track 1. -is to use Lamp + Light history which from the four-week sample looks to be the Bible and the above books which will also include notebooking and such. There are more instructions in the Guide but the above books are (from my understanding ) will be used.
Track 2. - is to use the Good & the Beautiful
Track 3. - is to use Notgrass American History, Notgrass World History, Economics for Everybody by R.C. Sproul, and Constitutional Literacy.
Track 4. Masterbooks -American History, British History, World History, Economics for Everybody, and For You They Signed.

***Tracks 3 and 4 are NOT scheduled in the Lamp + Light Guide -I thought they were going to be scheduled in for me but once I received the guide I realized they are not.

You can read more about Lamp + Light at their site HERE

Science: there are different tracks. These courses are in addition to L+L nature study. -I chose to go with the 101 series. Caleb will use Physics 101 and the rest of the gang will use Chemistry 101. I know Indescribable by Louie Giglio looks a bit young but I'm willing to give it a shot (see video review of Indescribable). Jane the author has it listed for ALL students -even the older ones.


Here is the breakdown because I had a hard time deciphering from the L+L website. I put them in grade levels according to the site.

***9th Grade- Master Books (9th) General Science 1: Survey of  Earth & Sky

***10th  Biology choices: Devotional Biology, Biology 101,

***11th Chemistry 101, Master Books Chemistry, Berean Builders Discovering Design with Chemistry, (lab kit & audio too)

***12th Grade Physics 101 (as shown above)

*** not scheduled in the Lamp + Light Guide - I thought they were going to be scheduled in the guide but once I received the L+L Guide I realized they are not. Only the first two tracks are scheduled (same with history).

Mom Reads: I'm excited about this part. I love that Lamp + Light Homeschool (L+L) includes mom school! I haven't read Triggers so I'm looking forward to that one (it's the first one scheduled).

I will admit I am not too excited about Teaching from Rest. I've read it and it was okay but I'm willing to read it again. Maybe this time around I'll like it. It's recommended by many moms -maybe I need to go into this book with a better attitude.

Free to Learn is another one I'm not too thrilled about but again, I'm willing to give it a go. I think since I only have six years left of homeschooling I feel like it's too "late" for this type of learning but hey, I'm sure there is something in this book for me. It's all about the attitude, right?

Year Two Mom Reads look way more interesting to me, so I might actually read those this year. If any, I'll read A Gracious Space: Fall. I think that is more of what I need this year than a few books mentioned above. Just because that's where I am at right now. I'll post the other's for Year Two just in case you are like me and might read them this year too (and then again next year).

Again, I'm really excited about Year Two Mom Reads. Just by reading the titles I know this is what I need. I purchased them all and will see if I can fit these in my schedule. Maybe other moms will be reading Year Two during Year One as well!

Art (required core text) :

Art Notebook: The first book pictured below is the one Lamp + Light recommends which I think is beautiful and totally worth the money if you know for sure you will do the watercolor portion of the program. I will be honest. I am not sure how much or serious we will be so I bought a pack of watercolor paper at Hobby Lobby. If we do well with watercolor art then I will definitely invest in the nice Art Notebook.

The Art Notebooking will be used for history, science, and at times Bible. It will be a place to hold beautiful pages of notebooking which is focused on art and will include writing, copywork, and self-written essays.

The Field Watercolor Notebook (the Visual Journal spiral notebook) is for nature study and learning watercolor techniques and according to Lamp + Light may or may not be used every year (each volume). I already had lots of smaller watercolor paper from Hobby Lobby so we will use that instead.

You can use any watercolor pencils I'm sure but here are the ones recommended by L+L. I purchased some from Hobby Lobby during their 50% off sale. I also own Derwent but those are expensive (my kids will use the Hobby Lobby ones -smile).

For the Joy & Wisdom Journal, any notebook will work. The first notebook below is the one I bought for the boys because it's a good price (under $10 -but I think has less pages). The other two are a few that Jane (the author of L+L) suggest but again, any notebook will do.

The Joy and Wisdom Notebook is like a commonplace notebook. A place for quotes, scripture, poems, lyrics, thoughts, etc. It will be a keepsake something you will want to save.

You will also need a spiral notebook for grammar, spelling, rough drafts, dictation, and other things that you most likely don't want to keep forever and ever. Just any type of spiral notebook you find at Wal-mart or you can find prettier ones online (and at local stores).

Lamp + Light for college-bound students suggest using Essentials in Writing (this is not IEW) and L+L has this listed as an English supplement. I believe English is listed under Language in the L+L Homeschool Curriculum. From my understanding Language will have dictation, reading literature, writing activities and so forth within the L+L curriculum.

L+L Language section pretty much follows a Julie Bogart style of writing: free writing, poetry tea time, conversations etc. Lamp + Light also pulls from other subjects to interweave  Language Arts throughout the program.

Poetry (part of the English course) - we will use a combination of some Thinking Tree* (Thinking Tree is not part of L+L) and Lamp + Light suggestions: Where the Sidewalk Ends and Falling Up. L+L has more book suggestions. You can use your own or go with L+L, it's up to you.

I am not sure if we will use Poetry Teatime Companion. I'm still deciding. It's recommended and I think a great addition to any homeschool library. I just have lots already (18+ years of homeschooling = we have lots of books).

There will also be Memory, Language, and Music. Math will be your choice. We will use Learn Math Fast. Our goal is to use all the levels to graduate. I just put a few below so you will know what math I'm writing about.

*Lance will do a different history than what the boys will use. I chose to use  The World's Story 1.


Instead of using Lamp + Light Language -I chose to use Literary Lessons from The Lord of the Rings. This is something I've wanted to use for years and years but have been kinda intimidated. I also have The Good & the Beautiful which is one of the tracks that L+L uses but I may skip that this year. I'm still trying to figure out our year.

I need to have the older boys complete a speech course and Logic course. I guess once I actually have the Lamp + Light Homeschool program I won't know.

I created a few Facebook Groups to keep me accountable. If you are using L+L and/or Lord of the Rings Literacy program please join us (for moms only).

Lamp + Light High School (and Jr. High) Facebook Group
Literary Lessons from The Lord of the Rings FB Group.

Recommended but not required books (not scheduled in the L+L Guide): I actually own these (need to find them now, ack!) but never implemented this. My heart was there but my physical self just never did it. This is one reason why I'm excited about using Lamp + Light -it will get me using many books I have but didn't use because "free" ranging it is hard for me. I do better with something to follow.

That is some of what we will be using this year for our 2018/2019  school year. What are you using this year for high school?