We all do it. We bring the inspiration overwhelm on ourselves. We keep searching and searching for the perfect resource when we already have all that we need.

Right here, right now, we have enough. We don’t always need more.

I think it’s really a stalling technique. (Well, that and lingering childhood messages of not being good enough!!!)

Once we’ve collected all of the resources, the stories, poems, handwork ideas, supplies, Pinterest images…it means that it’s time to really get down to business. To decide how and what and when we’ll present to our children. To Decide and Commit.

I have a quotation on my wall, “Clutter is postponed decision making.” For some of us, deciding and committing is hard because we are unsure of what to do next, or lack the confidence to know we are doing right by our precious children! This homeschooling thing feels like a huge responsibility.

For others, deciding and committing is hard because we aren’t sure if we have the best ideas yet. What if there is a better idea/book/project out there that I just haven’t found yet?

The truth is that the searching part is fun and the deciding and committing part is harder. It takes more courage, more vulnerability to put ourselves out there, to put ourselves on the line, to own it.

As my friend Sheila says, “You have enough, and you are enough.” 

But you know what? It all works out! Really, it all works out. And we only need a limited number of resources because we have a finite amount of time!

So how do we stop searching and start committing? I suggest you use whatever limiting strategies work best for you!

  • Set a timer and give yourself a fixed amount of time to search for (fill in the blank) and then be done.
  • Give yourself a deadline of say next Wednesday, or August 15th, or whatever makes sense to you, and then stick with it.
  • Estimate how many ideas you actually need! For example, if your block is three weeks long and you will be doing lessons three days a week, you’ll need eight stories. (That’s nine days minus one, since you won’t present a new story on the last day. And if you want to carry a story over from one week to the next. If you don’t carry over, you only need two stories a week for six stories all together.) Doing a four week block and four days a week? That’s eleven to fifteen stories, depending on how you work it. If you don’t want to overlap stories, you only 1/2 the number of stories as the days of lessons. So do the math!
  • If you do one Handwork project per block, you only need that many Handwork ideas! Six? Seven? Or maybe even fewer. If your children are young and/or learning a new skill like knitting, it may take you more than one block to finish a project! 

How To Avoid Inspiration Overwhelm

In the end, only kindness matters. (Do you know that Jewel song – Hands? Beautiful! Song and lyrics are here.)

So be reasonable in your search. And know when it’s time to move into the commit and decide mode. When it’s time, take a deep breath and jump in. You’ll try out a few things, tweak a little, regroup, and then try again. That’s the nature of homeschooling.

And really, it all works out. Because what your children really want and need is YOU.

Need some help sorting and sifting, deciding and committing? I offer Mentor Sessions to Parents just like you!

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    1. Oh, yes!!! We can so convince ourselves that it’s not procrastination but instead it’s part of the process. But in reality, we are just stalling because we’re uncertain. So much of this homeschooling is about our journey as Moms!

  1. Using resource procurement as a stalling technique?? Nope, not me, not ever, uh uh, sorry, you got the wrong gal… (looks away whistling)…


    Great, great post. You are speaking the truth with great kindness here, and it’s just plain good in every way.

    1. So glad the kindness comes through! Because we all do this…we just don’t always want to recognize it. Thanks for being here!

  2. Amen, sister!

    This morning, I went through some homeschooling stuff in the attic that I know I started collecting when Vincent was in 1st or 2nd grade . . . ahem, he is now in 7th.
    Commit and decide.
    I’m with you 110%.

    And thanks for the link love. That series kicked by butt to write, but I think it was bc it was so much that I needed to face. We only *think* we write for other people . . .


  3. I’m one of those other people who is actually so glad you guys DO write :>)
    Thanks for this post and the wonderful song! Love it! Could we sing it at Taproot?

    1. Such a beautiful song, isn’t it? “If I could tell the world just one thing, it would be we’re all ok.”

  4. Dear Jean, I know you wrote this just for me 🙂

    You’re absolutely right, I procrastinate and I know that I’m avoiding drawing the pictures (and searching for that right image is also spot-on) because I don’t feel confident/it’s too hard. Although I don’t hear my mother’s voice telling me, “You’re no artist!” anymore, and actually I think I’m not bad at all, it’s still really hard for me and I have to really push myself to get those pencils out and get started! It takes a lot of time and effort and I just wish it came easy to me.

    I also recognize my lack of confidence in teaching something I haven’t used in (lets not go there) years and have mostly forgotten, either that or didn’t learn in the first place. I’m certainly getting that Waldorf education I wished I’d had!

    I’m glad I’m not alone 🙂 Thanks for your post! Cathy

    1. Cathy, I wrote it for you! And for me! For all of us. It’s so good we’re not alone, isn’t it? And we really do have to push ourselves at times when it would be easier not to, when it would be easier to fritter our time away with other things. But when we do make the effort and have the courage, the view from the other side can be beautiful! We’re on this path together!!! Thanks for being here.

      1. My yoga teacher today talked about “balancing effort and surrender.” That really seems to apply to homeschool teaching as well. And life too!
        I (we) need these reminders.

  5. OMG! Thanks for sharing this scenario! This will be my 2nd year of homeschooling and suddenly I forgot how I did the first year! My girl will be 6 yr old in September and everything has change…so sudden! I have all I need but didn’t know how to put it all together… all because the terrible feeling of failure! And I thought I was an allien for felling like this! I am not! Thanks!

    1. Yes, we all think after some experience we’ll stop feeling this way! But we keep searching and questioning ourselves. Instead, we just need to know that we can do it and make a reasonable plan to put it all together, give it a try, and make adjustments. It’s always that way, year after year. The benefit of experience is that we remember this is how it goes! So glad we have each other to remind ourselves!!!

  6. Yes, yes, yes! The search for resources is really fun for me, but also exactly where I get bogged down. The deciding and committing is much harder. The reassurance you offer in this post about how everything is going to work out is right on.

    I also agree that kindness is all that matters; yet, extending it to myself comes less naturally than extending it to others. So remember: don’t forget to be kind to yourself, too!

  7. Thank you for this article! I discover your blog during lockdown homeschooling and I really like it.

    Although I’m obsessed and convinced by the concept of simplicity, including for homeschooling, I find myself worrying about not doing enough at homeschooling my kids.

    I keep looking for more ideas and inspiration on what to do with my kids, when in fact I already fell in love with a mix of concepts : project based homeschooling, unschooling and Waldorf education (most of which does not need much activities to plan anyway, except for the ones my sons want!).

    I keep looking for more inspiration and I worry we might not have the time to do all the amazing things homeschooling has to offer before schools open again! I know we could keep homeschooling after lockdown, I would actually like that I think, but I’ll let my son decide in the end.

    I’ll try to calm down on my researches of things to do, ways to learn, etc. And enjoy our time with what we are already doing instead 🙂

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