Is it just me, or does every homeschooler set up a curriculum museum?
I have finally realized that this is the only way to describe the vast expanse of resources I'm housing on far too many shelves in our school space. I have Instructor's Guides. Workbooks. Catalogs. Manipulatives. Science kits. Notebooks. And, of course, more books than you can shake a stick at.
I have a collection of books--both fiction and nonfiction--that rivals many small town libraries at this point. I am a bibliophile by nature, and homeschooling books have become my weakest spot. I collect books on any topic of real interest--or potential interest, for that matter. I have a whole section on microscopes, and have had to subdivide my books on animals into phyla. I collect "math adventure" books because they are hard to come by. And let's not get started on historical references ... but if you ever need a good book on slavery-era folktales or on the animals France's Charles X collected, let me know.
It's kind of sinful, to be honest. I look at those books and sometimes I realize that I have forgotten that I owned something on a particular topic. Many's the day I have put a library hold on something that already graces my shelves. Sometimes I don't even realize it until the book is at home and one of the kids says, "Hey, we already have that one!"
This doesn't even begin to catalog my collection of "I'll need that eventually" resources. Books on Victorian history that are way over Jo's head. Math videos explaining advanced Calculus. A course outline for high school biology. And what about the things I know I'll (probably) come back to? The outgrown phonics readers. Computer software for learning the alphabet. And all of those Sonlight Cores ...
The hilarious thing is that I didn't buy a very good chunk of whatI house in my collection. My cousin has been exceedingly generous over the years, and has passed on more valuable curriculum (and advice) than you can imagine. I have benefitted from multiple "going out of business" homeschoolers, too, who have passed on their stuff as their children have gone on to public school or graduated into the real world. And then there are those library sales ...
I'm putting together a curriculum swap for my homeschool group, and many of the items I just haven't used will probably find their way to the swap table. I'm also fairly free in lending out homeschool stuff, although I've reigned that in since I found that not everyone shares my idea of stewardship. But the vast library of resources on my shelves is still something I am looking at and wondering over. Is it necessary? Should I pare it down? If I do get rid of something, what's the worst that will happen when I discover I need it again? Can I live without a room lined with shelves that are brimming over with homeschooling resources?
How about you? Do you have too much of a good thing? IS there too much?