52 Weeks of Happier Homeschooling Week 16: Simplify Your Options

52 Weeks of Happier Homeschooling Week 16: Simplify Your Options

Limit your choices, and you’ll be a lot happier.

Researchers have found that the fewer everyday decisions you have to make, the more stamina, emotional self-control, and judgment you have—and the happier you are.

This is one of the simplest ideas to implement in your homeschool. Instead of making breakfast a spur-of-the-moment affair with a range of options, have one or two signature breakfasts that you have every day. Pare down your wardrobe so that everyone has an everyday “uniform.” (I’m a huge fan of Project 333, but anything that simplifies getting dressed every day works. Hey, it worked for former President Obama, who took sartorial decisions off his daily to-do list by always wearing gray or blue suits.) Follow the same routine every morning so that you don’t have to figure out whether it feels like a good morning to do math first or whether you should add a science experiment. Make everyday decisions simple routines that you don’t have to spend lots of time thinking about.

Obviously this system works because you have the freedom to shake it up when you feel inspired. You’re not prohibited from spontaneously deciding to make it Pancake Wednesday or taking an all-day field trip because you wake up in a field trip kind of mood—you’re just freed up from the pressure of having to construct every single day as it happens. 


Your challenge this week: Choose one thing to simplify this week. (Breakfast is an easy place to start if you’re not sure where to begin.) See how your week comes together differently when you eliminate one piece of the decision-making process. Are there other decisions you could try to simplify?