Guest Blogger: Melanie Nichols
This March, we are sharing a special series of blog posts from Melanie Nichols. This series was originally posted in February 2021. You can find Melanie and her blog here. If you would like to submit to our blog, please email us.
Raising and teaching children in today’s highly digital and fast-paced world can be busy, complicated, and messy. Too often we find our kids and ourselves feeling overworked, overtired, and overwhelmed. Without a reprieve, these feelings threaten the relationships we work to build with our kids and their ability to learn and mature into the best versions of themselves.
At its core, simplicity in our homes and classrooms means getting rid of any extra mental and physical clutter so that we can have more time for the things that truly matter. The first step is identifying and actively prioritizing the things that matter most to us. What culture do we want to create in our classroom? What environment do we wish to establish in our home? For many teachers, this means focusing on soft skills like communication, problem-solving, persistence, teamwork, and school or district-identified grade-level essential standards. For families, these priorities might be positive relationships, moral standards, responsible citizenship, and personal accountability. Once we focus on what matters most, it becomes easier to see where we can eliminate clutter and simplify life for our children and ourselves.
Simplicity often requires less – less technology, less on the schedule, and less stuff. But in a culture that glorifies busyness, it also requires more – more willpower, more focus on what is important, and more intentionality. Simplifying our homes and classrooms is an act of courage and great love that protects our children’s mental health and lays the foundation of a future built on what matters most.