Category Archives: Organization

Deal of the Day: Learning Folders

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Learning Folders is today’s Deal of the Day at Currclick. This is your chance to save 50% on a great resource for your children.

Learning Folders

Learning folders are part personal dictionary, part almanac, and part encyclopedia.  You can use this eBook to create a personalized learning folder that will meet the needs of each individual child.  This eBook includes a materials list, directions, and learning folder pieces for early childhood, language, math, science, social studies, arts and Bible.

This deal lasts until 10 AM CST tomorrow (5-21-2015).

Favorite Organization Links

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We are in the final countdown to starting a new school year. I am working on putting together geography and literature curriculum for Boo and getting the last of my assignments recorded. Next week we will do some cleaning and organizing in preparation for beginning on the 25th. With so many different supplies and books needed each year, I am always looking for tips on staying organized. Here are some of my favorite organization links:

 

My Organization Systems

Homeschooling Multiple Ages

5 Days of Homeschooling Organization

Pieces of Us

Small Space Organizing

Home Educating Family

Home Schoolroom

Mommy Minded

Crafty Homeschool Mama

Free Organization Printables

 

Happy Organizing!!!!

 

A Day in the Life

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Since I posted our actual schedule earlier this year, I thought that I would take you through what our day is like and how it is going.  I really, really like the way our schedule is working so far.  They kids are..ahem..less than thrilled about getting back into a routine, but the routine itself works great.

We start our morning off with chores.  I get the kids up around 7:30 and they are supposed to do all of their chores and be ready for Bible time at 8:15.  We aren’t always exactly on time, but we come close most days.  Here are our new chore charts that I made using this idea that I found on pinterest:

 

I put all of the chores I want done that day on the “to do” side and they move the pins over to the “done” side as they finish, so I can quickly check and see what has been done. 

Next up is Bible time, which lasts somewhere from about 8:15 until 9:00 and includes quiet time, together Bible study, and character lessons. 

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From about 9:00 to 10:30 we do language.  Buddy and I work together first while Boo does her independent work and then we do vocabulary together before we switch. 

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10:30-11:10 is Math time.  I start with Buddy while Boo spends some time on the computer.  Then, we switch again and Buddy gets his turn on the computer while Boo and I work together.

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Before lunch we also do our history or geography work from Explorations to 1850 and our Canada Study time.

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We have lunch at 12:00, followed by our literature time.  By this time it is around 1:00.  At 1:00 we do art or music, depending on the day of the week.  Starting next week , we will be going to Homeschool Co-op on Thursday afternoons.  We finish up the day with Science, Life Skills, and piano practice.

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My original schedule had us getting done around 3:30, and most days we are done about 2:30.  That gives us time to go to the Y and swim or have a walk before we get ready for our evening activities.  So far we are just back into Tae Kwon Do on Tuesday and Thursday nights.  Soon we will add AWANA on Wednesdays and piano on Mondays. 

I always enjoy seeing how other people schedule their days.  I hope you enjoyed a peek into ours!

The Card Box Chore System Available at Currclick

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I have used a cleaning and organizing system on and off for years that is based on both Flylady and Sidetracked Home Executives (S.H.E.).  I recently decided I needed to get “on” the system again.  I also created a chore system for my kids that is modified from the system I use.  You can see some photos of the system below.

My original system:

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The kids’ system:

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You can purchase The Card Box Chore System here at Currclick for 3.00.

Planning to Plan

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Hello!

I didn’t mean to drop off the face of the earth, but I have had several projects going the past couple of weeks.  Some of them I will be sharing soon.  I have two major projects that I am going to put into my store in November.  I have something else exciting that I hope to share soon and I am also helping a friend with a special project, too.  And keeping up with our schooling and the housekeeping as well, whew!  I’m tired just typing it.  Doesn’t it seem like everything always happens at once? 

I am also planning a blog series on…planning!  Smile   The planning series will start later this week.  I am going to talk about how I plan, from overall picture to daily work.  I have a list of topics I am “planning” to cover:

  • homeschool visions revisited
  • long-term goal planning
  • putting your child into a grade..or not
  • learning styles
  • choosing a homeschooling method
  • scheduling the year
  • choosing classes
  • choosing and ordering curriculum
  • breaking yearly goals into semester and monthly goals
  • Homeschool Tracker and how I use it
  • creating a homeschool planner
  • printing and filing
  • assessment and evaluation
  • record keeping
  • portfolios

If you have any other planning related topics you would like me to discuss, feel free to leave me a comment and I can add them to my list.  Everyone needs to have their own way of doing things.  I don’t know one other homeschooling mom that does things exactly the way I do.  But I love to hear how other people do things.  I get so many good ideas that way!  I hope this series will give you some good ideas as well.  I am also going to have several additional planning forms that I use as freebies throughout the series, so be sure to stop by!

My Meal Planning System

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Hello!  It’s about that time of year again.  While schooling doesn’t completely stop for us in the summer, we do take longer breaks and we do a much smaller amount on the days we have school.  When we start up our full schedule in August it always takes a few weeks for re-entry.  I’m sure that no one else has that problem, though, right?  Winking smile  We also are heading into starting our evening activities.  Our kids go to AWANA and participate in Tae Kwon Do.  Boo also takes piano and we occasionally add a class at the YMCA.  Buddy will play Flag Football in a few weeks.  I don’t think we would try to have so many activities if we also had the kids in school all day.  Because I am neither musical nor sports-oriented, this is a way to make sure that they learn those skills from someone who knows what they are doing.  It does take some organization on my part, though, to pull it all off.  My husband comes home from work around 5:15 and most of the evening activities start at 6:00.  If I don’t have a meal plan we either don’t eat until almost 9:00 at night or we end up eating a lot of fast food.  I thought I would explain my meal and grocery planning system, because it saves me tons of time…and I am always on the lookout for some extra time!

A few years ago I purchased several clear business card holders (the kind you put into a binder) and some blank business cards.  There are ten spaces in each business card holder.  I wrote the days of the week under seven of the spaces on five sheets and then numbered the sheets 1-5.  This way I can plan for five weeks worth of suppers.  I went through my recipes and found all of the ones that we liked and used.  I wrote the name of the recipe and its location on one side of the card. On the opposite side of the card I wrote the ingredients and any sides for that meal.  Every time I find a new recipe I do the same thing for the new recipe.  I currently have about 70 different cards.  When they are placed into the holder, it looks like this:

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I also have a few cards that say things like “Away from Home”, “Eat Out”, and “Leftovers”.  One day a month I sit down and do my meal planning.  I look at the calendar and put the non-recipe cards into any day that we will be away from home or eating out.  Then, looking at my calendar, I start placing meal cards into the pockets.  If we have a day that I know I will need a quick meal I choose an easy recipe.  I also look over the week to see if I have too many of any type of food.  If I see that I have three Mexican meals in one week I might quickly switch some cards around. 

As you can see in the lower, right-hand corner I also include one recipe a week for a special homemade dessert. 

Next, I print out my grocery list.  I created my own with items that my family uses organized the same way our grocery store is.  It looks like this:

Copy of Grocery List 2011

I grab a highlighter and then flip my business card holders over so that I can see the ingredient side:

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Then I use my highlighter to mark anything on my grocery list that I will need.  If, for example, it is something like a pound of hamburger I also add a tally mark each time I see “hamburger” in the ingredient list.  Soon, my list starts to look like this:

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When I am in the store, I make a checkmark in each box as I put the item in my cart:

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My menu plans hang on the refrigerator so that I can easily check them to see what I need to thaw or where the recipe is located:

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I used to plan my menus out on paper, but this cards system saves me SO MUCH time!  I don’t have to look through my recipe books or box each time I plan the menus.  If we don’t eat one of the meals sometime during the month or if something comes up and I need an easier meal, I can just switch cards around.  It used to take me most of the afternoon to plan my menus and write out my grocery list.  When I did menus and groceries earlier this month using my cards it took me less than half an hour. 

I am offering my grocery list for free today.  I have the Excel file which would allow you to use my format but modify it for your family.  I am also putting a link to the pdf form in case your computer doesn’t like my version of Excel.  You can find the Excel file here and the pdf file  here

Creating a Homeschool Vision

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When we first started our homeschooling journey I believed that it was God’s will for us.  In spite of that, I worried, as I’m sure nearly every parent does, whether my children would learn everything they needed.   I did some reading and some researching.  I started teaching our daughter Preschool basics.  By nature, however, I am not a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of person.  I like to have a plan.  So I did some more reading on planning goals for your homeschool and a lot of praying, and then my husband and I developed a homeschool vision for our family.  This plan really helps to take some of the stress and worry out of homeschooling.  I know where we are going.  I know what I want it to look like when we are finished.  It helps me to stay the course on those days that things are just not going well.

In order to write our plan, I collected questions from various sites and books and wrote some of my own.  I created a worksheet to help me think through what was right for our homeschool.  I filled out one worksheet and had my husband fill out another.  Then I used those to develop our homeschool vision.  I know that I searched for and read homeschool visions posted by other families and I worked to create ours.  I thought it might be helpful to you if you could see ours.  I also have included the worksheet that we used.  I hope they help!
Our Homeschooling Beliefs-1

Our Homeschooling Vision and Goals Questionnaire-1