Sunday, October 3, 2010

Blog Cruise: SisterT's Talking About Puttn' It ALL Together!

O r g a n i z a t i o n.

It can be a frustrating and overwhelming situation.  It definitely takes some form of organization to homeschool, and I find it such a challenge!

When I think about organization, I get a little knot in my gut~just little one~because we are in humongous flux right now...and have been the last couple of years...

We've made a cross-states move in addition to a cross-city move within the last two years and continue to remodel our home...Did I say we are remodeling?? LOL!  Add this to the mayhem of teenagers, schedules, jobs, health appointments, grandma moved in and ... ... well,  

HOW DO I pull it off?

Sometimes it's a PUSH, PULL, TUG or TOW situation~we are shoving ourselves and everyone forward...dust and junk flying as we go...

It has taken some time to figure it all out~because just when I have it ordered~AND I TRY to be ordered,,,all my factors change!! But an orderly pursuit is what I strive for with our home...

I make a schedule.  OK, it's not really THAT, but more of a list of what needs doing and when...maybe it's more like goal setting...I do that too...The end results of an activity or series of lessons or adventures...

I prioritize.  Mostly it's by due dates...and even predetermined schedules such as the curriculum schedules for testing.  By subject I figure out which days we are going to do WHAT...and then I list them down...

It loosely looks like this:

My son schools with subjects that he is personally working with me on...
They include: reading, vocabulary, writing, and any note taking I will need to give him.
My daughter is off on Sunday unless she decides that she is going to let some of the Saturday work spill over to Sunday in order to accomplish other things...Like this weekend her new bedroom is finished enough for her to occupy it so she spent a great deal of time moving into her new room today...

Daughter goes to Drama Club as a Crew (Hair Styles) Leader  (I'm the driver~sooo I'm out of pocket too!)
Son:  He does the subjects he does independently:
Science~Study Questions (for the test on Fri)

I will school all the children together and work with them independently as the other works on their own...
This is about five hours in duration.  We hit it hard on these days so when the Drama Club schedule takes up into an everyday routine, we will be ready and a little a head of schedule.  This will happen the end of the month through mid-November when the play, Sarah, Plain and Tall is performed. 

School 10:00AM-12:00PM
School 12:30-5:00PM
Youth Group/Church 6:30PM

Same except for no youth group...
I do have a meeting 7-8PM each week on this night.

Same schedule~
Vocab and Sci are Friday testing days.  The other subjects vary...
Sci is every other week.

My son goes to Drama Club and my daughter does the schooling she would miss on Monday and either completes it or finishes on Sunday.

I don't keep a  particular order of daily subjects.  I do them as it seems best in that particular day.  If one of the kids is having a bad time with something or is in need of a break, we either switch gears or take a small break.  I'm also prone to chunking school (very very rarely) in favor of appointments or other pressing needs.  We don't follow the public school schedule either, so we are likely to be working away while others are on holiday, but also to be traveling or out for a break while they are in.  Flexibility is a great advantage to hsing, I think.

I have the TOS Planner that I use to help me with lists...I make a running grocery and household list of things I need to pick up. I do this with most supplies, clothing, groceries, medications, pet items, garden things, ect...whatever needs to come from a store, I will list the store where I intend or LIKE to purchase it and put it down...I keep a huge binder with all my papers such as homeschool intent, letter of excuse for public school mandatory attendance as well as other supplies and plans in this has tabs and page protectors...

My books are categorized on a deep bookcase which I have shared about HERE that is double bookcase thickness. They are there in a certain order and cataloged in Excel but this will change as I am going to utilize the Collectorz system and let you all know what I think. Since my books are already cataloged for the most part I am going to give it a hard look to see if it can improve my life a make me more readily organized in this area with an easier search and "rescue" of my books.  Unfortunately I do have some books that need putting into Excel, so I will just put them into the new system!

A note about organization has to include that while we have been remodeling, the goal has been to increase our living effecincey due to the original condition of our repo home when we bought it (totally torn up!).  It's also an older home, 1919, and we had little storage in it...There's been loads of building going on around here~whew!to create the much needed storage. 

I pull it together by committing my time and energy to focusing on what needs to be done and using a list and calendar to keep up with it.  I have a running list of coming reviews by date on the sidebar to keep up with reviews, and a list of subjects for each day.

My kids are individually organized into notebooks.  They have notebooks for science, geography, history, and writing that are three ring binders. Spiral notebooks are used for vocabulary and math.  They have pockets in a large binder for the other subjects' papers/handouts/lessons.  I have an old silverware box with a handle that I keep pens, pencils, stapler, glue sticks. scissors, color pencils, highlighters, etc.. in. These are kept on a shelf or two on the bookcase.  I keep the pencil box (what I call that caddy) NEAR BY me so I can grab what might be needed.  Our laptops are near us, and we don't have desks preferring to school on the couch or in a recliner.  But if the need arises to use a table, the kitchen table is handy.  We also have small portable end-tables that we've been known to move around to where we might need them.  Generally kids are snuggling up with their cat (one per kiddo) on a couch or chair.  In order to help my son, to SEE just what he is doing, I will bring him close to me so I can eye his work as he's going. It's disaster for him to get too far and need redirection. Seeing a problem early on avoids unneeded frustration for him if I can stop him before he gets too wigged out...we have come soooo far! I am proud of his tenacity! So basically my ORGANIZATION is accomplished with very little tools.  IF I have to juggle a lot of stuff, it becomes too much for me~the calendar and list work best~

I am sooo interested in learning about what the rest of the crew is doing to stay afloat! LOL!! These gals/guys (Don't wanna forget our brothers!) are AWESOME! Head HERE to read up on 'em!


Guiding Light said...

What a GREAT post! I can soooo relate...and I don't have the "excuses" you do! :-) Have a wonderfully blessed day! Dawn

Vickie said...

Great post! I'm still going to figure out how to utilize that double bookshelf thing you have going.

Samantha said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and reading my post about organizing our homeschool. Wow - moving and renovations??? I think I would go batty dealing with all of that stress. We built our house and were able to move in about 9 1/2 years ago and we are just now hanging the very last of our pictures!

I really liked your idea of having a master list of some sort of all of your books. I have so many books and I have to admit that once or twice I've purchased the same book again! A master list I could access on my computer would be great.

Lots of great ideas!