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Free Printable Collecting

Are you a free printable collector? I didn’t mean to have a “collection” of free printables, it just happened organically. Like lots of moms, I was super excited about homeschooling! So I started looking into websites and books for help way before my son even started home preschool.

Free Printable Collecting

I found massive amounts of free printable packs and I downloaded them all. There is everything from pages to teach letters to seasonal worksheet packs to planning pages. You can bet if there’s a resource you are looking for, you can probably find a printable online and often for free. Well sometimes it requires signing up for a newsletter, but free nonetheless.

So Tempting, So Easy

I went crazy downloading page after page of what I thought was helpful materials. There was so much of it that I even had to spend time organizing it again and again. I had to do that so I could find things I was interested in using and had downloaded at some point in the past. It gets to be a bit like hoarding. There’s so much stuff you can’t find anything you need. My free printable collection quickly became a detriment instead of an asset.

Free Printable Collection
Part of my Homeschool master folder that still has tons of free printables cluttering my space even after several purges.

What I found was that when I eventually got to those ages to use some of that stuff, I had found and was using curriculum that went over similar material and no longer needed it. Or I completely forgot about those cute little seasonal packs until my child was older than the material was suited for. Most of the free printables I had downloaded were utterly useless to me.

What’s worse is that I felt like I had to use it. I mean I spent all that time downloading and organizing it all, if I didn’t use it I was admitting I wasted my time., right? And I hate wasting time. Hate it! In the mean time it was hogging up valuable space on my computer.

Free Pattern Block Printables
How many pattern block printables does one child need?

It took me several years, but I finally realized that wasting more space and annoyance on it was just as bad as the wasted time collecting it. So I started purging. I mean my child is 8 years old, do I really need that basic cutting pack for preschoolers anymore? Am I going to use those coloring pages when my child hates to color? The answer to these questions and more was a resounding, “NO!” And I was letting the fact that I didn’t use all of these resources I collected make me feel like a failure. Why do we do this to ourselves?

My Advice

So here is what I want to say about being a free printable collector. I know it’s tempting to download all the things, but don’t. I know you’re excited about starting your homeschool journey, but there’s plenty of time for that. Wait until you are closer to actually starting to homeschool. See what your child likes and dislikes. Maybe they won’t like coloring or need a different approach than you expect. There is no need to download 20 worksheet packs that teach the same thing just because it’s offered up for free.

Slow down, enjoy the journey and know that the resources you need will be available when you need them. There are literally hundreds of bloggers and small businesses out there that offer free printables. If you don’t download it right now, you will still find it when you need it. Save yourself some time and mental energy by not cluttering up your digital space with hundreds of things you’re never going to use.

Thanks for reading!

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