the non-diaper bag

homeschooling

Have I mentioned I’m a daydreamer? I know, a daydreaming homeschooler is such a cliche, but truly, words, pictures, ideas — they stir regularly in the space between my ears in such a way that I often have to will myself to be present, to be all here. And I do, only sometimes better than others. I see how this rich inner-life complements and enriches our home-education journey with the kids, dousing it with spontaneity and creativity and the love of learning, but often I find myself losing blocks of time, unprepared to succinctly move from one location to another. Sigh. When we have to be somewhere, it’s as though twenty minutes seems to vanish altogether — have I not learned anything about how long it takes to load kids [with shoes on and teeth brushed and water bottles or snacks on hand] into a car in almost a decade of parenting? Sigh.

Aware of all of my logistical “blind-spots,” I lean heavily on weekly planning during the weekend, doing my best to prepare for our many daily transitions and pitfalls, but I still have not successfully mastered the exit strategy. Double sigh. And yet, as the kids are getting older, we’re leaving the house more often, taking our work with us on the road, to the park, to the gym, etc. In effort to make our homeschooling more flexible in this way, I’ve reverted to diaper bag mentality. You know, everything you always need waiting for you in a bag neatly by the door so you don’t have to run through a list in the exact moment you try to exit. Only this time, I don’t have to think about diapers or pacifiers or bibs (success!). I’m sure none of you know what I’m talking about, but just in case, I thought I would share some of  the essentials in our homeschooling non-diaper bags:

1. tote or backback for each child ( I love the modern assortment from bagged + loaded) with the below inside

2. giant envelope to insert math or handwriting worksheets or coloring/cutting pages for Olive

3. stickers (non-essential, just fun and inexpensive)

4. water bottle (after it’s cleaned it gets returned to the bag, waiting for the next outing)

5. pencil pouch with pencils

6. colored pencils with sharpener (They won’t melt in the car like crayons or dry up like markers)

7. large sketchbook to double for coloring/sketching or a hard surface for writing. (There’s also a large pocket inside to hold stickers or papers.

Good luck, and happy outings to you!

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