March 2010 {Focus of the Month} Voluntary Simplicity

March 2, 2010

After having a family meeting and discussing what we’ve learned over the past few months, we all agreed that the most pressing matter at this time is our environment. Not as in our planet (well, yes, that too), but as in our home. Our current home environment is not conducive to the successful homeschooling of five children. Therefore, our March 2010 {Focus of the Month} is Voluntary Simplicity.

autumn table.yellow roses.SofiasIdeas

“What?!? Simplicity again? Haven’t you guys been doing that for like ever?!?” Absolutely. And we’ll continue for as long as it takes. And although we have spent a lot of time teaching the children “life skills”, we have not necessarily been teaching those skills from a simplicity mindset.

What is Voluntary Simplicity?

  1. Living in a way that is outwardly simple and inwardly rich.
    In the words of Duane Elgin, author of “Voluntary Simplicity” (available in my shop)
  2. Material simplicity and ecological awareness.
    Time and mental and (eventually) financial freedom. Read more here.

Why Voluntary Simplicity?

  1. This philosophy or way of life is in alignment with our family mission statement.
    We want our children to be focused on developing their characters, their unique talents & abilities, their connections to the planet, and the relationships they have with those who dwell on it.
  2. The status quo is just not conducive for what we want to accomplish.
    As I said before, we need to set ourselves up for success by creating the environment needed, having whatever tools might be necessary readily available, and doing a little planning. This post by Simple Homeschool is so timely (and puts into 3 easy steps what took me 10!).

How do we execute Voluntary Simplicity?

I want to start by saying that I hope this to be a lifelong experience for all of us, but we do have to start somewhere. So, we had our family meeting to discuss our plan. Everyone had an opportunity to contribute their ideas on the subject, and what they would like our reward to be for this month. Once agreed, we posted our Focus of the Month next to our Track & Reward chart.

  1. We will purge, clean, and organize the house, room by room.
    As we move through each room, we will be taking inventory of our needs versus our wants. We will set up each room in a way that fosters simplicity, creative flow, and independence.
  2. We will be turning our garage into our homeschool/playroom.
    We all agreed that one of the things that is sabotaging our success is not having a separate area in which to focus during “school hours”. The children also revealed that when they do their independent studies at their desks, their bedrooms are too full of temptations & distractions. We hope this will remedy that problem.

I am very excited to say that our family has a really great attitude going into this and I am loving this collective energy! Everyone seems to be really committed and enthusiastic. So stay tuned as I will be keeping you abreast of all the goings on! Voluntary Simplicity is definitely in alignment with Sofia’s Ideas on Simplicity, Frugality, and Frivolity… all with an Eco-Mentality!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }


I think it is wonderful how you get your whole family to be part of it as a team, as opposed to just dictating “this is what we’re going to do”. That makes it much easier for everyone to cooperate and enjoy what you’re doing.


Sofia's Ideas

Well, I used to do that. I used to do that A LOT! But then I asked myself, “And how is that working out for ya, Sofia?” Not so well. Not so well at all. THIS is much better. Why did it take me a decade to figure it out?



Right now, it seems that each time I even think about sitting down and starting new things like this with M, something gets in the way. Like I said before, though, the more I think about it, I am still leaving part of my life/household open for his dad, but I am trying to get away from that. I think I need to fully accept that he has no place in my life with the way he acts and once I deal with that, I’ll be ready for newer traditions and goals that are just me and M. Now, if only I could learn to deal with things. It’s been almost 4 years and I’m still leaving the door open.


Sofia's Ideas



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