It has been a very full day today. We had a total splurge of eating out at DQ. We all got kids meals with ice cream cones as our treat. Considering the fact that a small ice cream cone costs $1.89 and a kids meal costs $3.59, their kids meal with a cone is the bargain of the century. DQ has the very best ice cream in the world. The soft serve chocolate? Just as fabulous as the vanilla, IMHO. Then we went to the park and had our PATCH meeting. (One of my dear PATCH friends did not show up leaving Kayla and myself a little verclempt (spellcheck doesn't know so how do you expect me to!!), but we managed to build a bridge...and get over it.) It went well. I had the oldest kids there which was a wake up call to me that I am now the "older woman" Titus refers to. I was really happy to hopefully help some new moms get a grasp of the homeschooling journey and let go of unrealistic expectations.
I apologize if any of this is a repeat! I started the whole meeting by explaining that being organized does not always mean being neat. We homeschoolers REALLY live in our homes so it is hard to always be tidy. Add a few science experiments, timelines and maps and this is not very tidy!! Organized mean your home has a flow and/or system to it. You know where things are and they are housed in such a way as to be easily used. Organized means you can find a warranty. Lots of tidy people wouldn't even bother looking because it might make a mess. Monks would have them all filed by size, number of pages and color.
- All the paperwork on the flat surfaces in your house can be filed into three categories: ACTION, TO BE READ(but requires no action-a magazine article or newsletter, for instance), TO BE FILED. If you have some sort of open file system that you can put out within easy access and then file all papers into the correct file folder. We discussed today that the action file would need to be subdivided in many households (school, work, each family member, bills, to be signed,etc.). The best part about this file system is that you can take the concept and customize it however works best for you and your family.
- The above step does require you to have a file cabinet or filing system somewhere in your house. If you need help with that, BLINGO(click my link and then if you win, I win!) or google organizing or filing. This will come up with a bazillion links so don't lose yourself in the inter-world!!
- I know I already mentioned in a previous blog the index card phone/address file system. (How's that working for you, FRED?)
- Binders and folders. I keep my life filed away in binders. Once this summer, I lost my three hole punch and I nearly slipped into a panic coma. It was merely placed on a top shelf neatly beside my stapler and my rulers-a new home at the time. My main binder keeps all the crap I print off for lesson ideas/future and current lesson plans/world book's national grade level course studies for each of my children/Jason's extensive reading list/movies I want to check out at the library/menu plans/grocery lists/projects I am working on. Folders are used for my kids subjects, unit studies, whatever won't fit neatly into a notebook. I buy the snazzy indestructible plastic folders for my teacher keys/master copies so I can easily spot the difference. I label these folders and binders with shipping labels for the fronts and address labels for the spines. I can just rip them off and put on a new one if I need to change it OR put two and just relabel.
- We discussed organizing websites such as FLYLADY and menu planning websites like emealz (which I am totally looking into!!).
We discussed alot of other stuff too, it was so much fun to listen and interact with some ladies so new to homeschool. Enthusiasm is always contagious and I was about a quart low so it was good to be refreshed. I will finale with my all time favorite homeschooling website www.ignitethefire.com . It is a Christian homeschooling site and not all homeschoolers are, so please take that into consideration. However, the concept of seeing learning as a fire to be lit, then flames to be fed instead of a bucket to be filled is a concept that is useful to ALL educators!
How was that AMY? Do you feel like you were at the meeting? Oh yeah, Stalker Heather, EVERYONE got a door prize. I miss you darling. Come over, I will load your SUV up with door prizes.
Because of all the links, this post took 4 hours to write. I'm only slightly exaggerating!!