Friday Recovery List

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My house always seems to be deteriorating slowly by Friday afternoon. We’ve used it and it shows.

Organize your homeschool lists

If only I were as good at doing my lists as writing them. But this month, I’m doing the fun part: writing and sharing my homeschool lists. The more I follow my lists, the better things go, so maybe writing them out again and again is not an exercise in futility. One can always hope, right?

Bunches of Homeschooling Lists

Index: Get Organized with Homeschool Lists
Previous: Mom’s Daily Homeschooling List
Next: Evernote for Homeschool Planning

KEYWORDS

End-of-Week Tidy-Up

A week of homeschooling is hard on the state of the house. Often it’s more productive overall to let the toddler empty the plastics drawer and be safely occupied than to constantly redirect her or investigate a suspicious silence. The children think that putting something on top of the bin is equivalent to putting it where it belongs. Books, books, books, scattered everywhere.

So, for this school year, I made a list and I condensed it down as much as I could. I thought through what tasks would help me feel the week was “put away” and wrapped up, which elements of house-chaos bothered me the most, and what would be the biggest payoff for my sanity in the shortest period of time.

Yes, shelving all the books really does help sanity more than chocolate, though it never seems like it at the time.

Here’s what I came up with for me:

  • Reshelve (properly) all the books. This never takes as long as it feels it will, and it is a job that speaks to me.

  • Clean out my purse and tidy it up. Two minutes to prevent walking around with a portable clutter and garbage bag.

  • Tidy up the school cabinet.

  • Clear all the kitchen-area surfaces of all papers and books and LEGOs.

Your list might be totally different. The important thing is not the tasks themselves but figuring out how to get the bang for your buck in tidying things up at the end of the week.

Another helpful strategy might be to have people come to your house on Friday. Sometimes this works for me and sometimes I just look around and think, “Well, today is going to be an extra-authentic day now, isn’t it?”

Rejoicing in Repetition: Towards Joy in Housework will help you find the beauty in the mundane

Are you often frustrated with the repetitive nature of housework? Do you wonder if it’s even worth your time at all? Do you get angry when your work is immediately undone by your little ones?

If so, Rejoicing in Repetition: Toward Joy in Housework, a meditation on the beauty found in the mundane and repetitious, will lift you up and help you regain a clear perspective.

For the month of October, this $2.99 ebook can be yours for free.

Name:
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What do you do at the end of the week to wrap things up and prepare for the weekend and another week?

Mom’s Daily Homeschooling List

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There’s a lot to keep track of in a homeschooling day. Here’s how I’m currently tracking home and homeschooling tasks.

Homeschool lists! Let’s talk and share all sorts of lists this month during The Nester’s 31 Days series. I’ll share my lists, from managing day to day details to book lists to checklists to supply lists – rest assured, if it can be listed, I have listed it. So I pulled my best lists – yes, I had to abridge and combine the list of lists to bring it down to 31 – and I’ll be sharing them this month. I’m looking forward to it!

Organize your homeschool lists

I’ll be posting a bunch of posts for specific Shakespeare play resources we’ve used next week, so stay tuned and sign up so you don’t miss a single one:

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Innumerable 31 Homeschooling Lists

Index: Get Organized with Homeschool Lists
Previous: Homeschool Student Daily Checklist
Next: Friday Home Recovery List

I have my own home and homeschool management clipboard and I'm ready to share.

Daily Checklists for a Homeschool Mom

The boys have their homeschool checklists on a clipboard, and I have my own home and homeschool management clipboard.

I keep one sheet that has my “whole life” weekly overview checklist and then a separate sheet for my weekly school overview.

Here’s what it looks like:

checklist1

Most of it is a repeat of what is on the boys’ lists, but it is my at-a-glance of what is supposed to happen, in vague form – specifics are filled in after they occur. You know how it goes.

And, no, I have not yet managed to be consistent with Saturday preparations for the week, but it’s still helpful to have a quick reference there of what needs to be done.

I have more about my personal weekly overview page at Simplified Organization: Command Central Clipboard

The templates and instructions for creating a weekly checklist that fits your specific circumstances, personality, and needs are a part of my Simplified Organization eCourse, and you can also watch my show-and-tell video of my daily index card and weekly overview clipboard at Simplified Organization:

Get $35 off enrollment in Simplified Organization self-paced eCourse this week only with the discount code octoberlists.

Learn how to get organized, starting with your attitude.

Independent Work Checklist

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One of the most important lists in our homeschool is the elementary-aged students’ own daily checklist. Here’s what they do every day.

I love to make lists. I even have lists of the lists I have made and want to make. So, why not share all (well, some) of those lists during The Nester’s 31 Days series? Yes, 31 days of homeschool lists. It’ll be a ton of fun if you love lists as much as I do.

Organize your homeschool lists

Tons of Homeschooling Lists

Index: Get Organized with Homeschool Lists
Previous: My Favorite Books on Education
Next: My Daily Lists

A Kid's Daily Homeschool Checklist

My elementary students each have their own clipboard with a checklist to work from. Everything they need to do for school is on that list. So while I’m working with the early reader children or changing diapers and moving the laundry, I can tell them to do their work and they know where to look to see what their work is.

I really, really would love to have a daily flow where I work one-on-one with each student in a rotation while the others are doing their work or play independently. I could sit at the table, help one student while the others are occupied, then call the next and so on, just getting up to refill my coffee mug.

Life doesn’t actually work out that way at our house. Someone stalls on every item on their list and can’t wait their turn (and thus disappears to play LEGOs, making me wonder if it was an honest stall). Younger kids squabble or hurt themselves and need attending to. And the amount of one-on-one attention each child needs is a crazy variable, sometimes all converging on everyone being high-needs all together one day.

It’s just a muddle. I make sure there’s enough time budgeted for everyone to have some one-on-one time, and I try to make that time available to each one, but most days are just going to be a muddle. I would prefer us to all run on a whistle system like the Von Trapps, where everyone marches to my bidding, but that’s not actually a good idea. What’s required is wisdom, not automation.

What’s on my 9yo & 11yo’s daily homeschool checklist:

They don’t have to do these in order, except that morning chores come first.

  • Morning chores
  • Exercise (so far this has been to walk the baby down the length of our street and back or run to the end and back, which is probably about 3/4 of a mile round-trip)
  • Read Bible (I want them to have the habit, but I don’t micromanage what or how much they read)
  • Piano practice
  • Writing (they outline, write, & revise a paragraph a week, though we’re about to bump that up)
  • Xtramath.org math fact practice
  • MUS 100% (Math-U-See work page; there’s time to get help if they need it, and then we keep going at it until they have 100%. It’s either 100% or not done yet, but one page of MUS is about 1/3 the workload of a Saxon lesson)
  • 2 lines cursive practice 3x a week, 1x a week fill out country names on a continent blank map, 1x a week fill in books read this week on Goodreads
  • Latin vocabulary practice on own
  • Latin work with Mom
  • EHAP your stuff (you’re not done until it’s all put it away)

What’s on my 6yo’s daily homeschool checklist:

  • Morning chores
  • Play outside
  • Math 100%
  • Reading practice & read-aloud with Mom
  • Xtramth.org

I wouldn’t have a checklist for the 6 year old except that she wants one because her older brothers have one, and I can tell already she’s going to be a list-checker. I also wouldn’t have her do xtramath, but she wants to. My basic philosophy is that the 6-and-under crowd should practice phonics and have stories read to them (including the use of audiobooks), and everything else is just doing what they want to do – at this age, they often want to do more than they want to do when they’re 8-and-up.

When everything goes swimmingly, we don’t start late, math isn’t a struggle, and no one fights their work, then we can get it all done by lunch. So, yeah, that doesn’t happen too often, but it is possible and I’m fond of reminding the children that it’s only their own free afternoon play time they’re using up when they dawdle or complain.

Rejoicing in Repetition: Towards Joy in Housework will help you find the beauty in the mundane

Are you often frustrated with the repetitive nature of housework? Do you wonder if it’s even worth your time at all? Do you get angry when your work is immediately undone by your little ones?

If so, Rejoicing in Repetition: Toward Joy in Housework, a meditation on the beauty found in the mundane and repetitious, will lift you up and help you regain a clear perspective.

For the month of October, this $2.99 ebook can be yours for free.

Name:
Email:

Other 31 Days series I am reading:

A List of My Favorite Homeschooling Books

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Our full month of homeschooling lists is nearing an end. I can hardly believe it. I’m joining up with The Nester’s 31 Days series and sharing 31 homeschool lists with you! Everything from sanity strategies to book lists to managing life details: I’ve got a list and I’m sharing it.

Organize your homeschool lists

Homeschooling Lists Galore

Index: Get Organized with Homeschool Lists
Previous: Essential Pantry List for Simple Meals
Next: Student Checklists

ed-books

Just as I decided to make the tough calls and limit my picture book list to the best 12, so I’ve made myself narrow my top homeschooling books to the best 5.

Educating the Whole-Hearted Child by Clay & Sally Clarkson

This was my favorite book for starting out without stress and with perspective in the young years. It’s a holistic, well-rounded and well-grounded approach to learning that doesn’t limit what “counts” to worksheets and checkboxes.

Classical Education and the Homeschool by Doug Wilson & Wes Callihan

This is a brief and straightforward overview of classical education and an outline of the sort of hard work it will take to accomplish. I especially appreciated how “imagination” was a key principle developed.

A Philosophy of Education by Charlotte Mason

Volume 6 is the volume to begin with if you want to know what Miss Mason actually taught and why. It’s her overview of her principles and methods, and it is rich.

Leisure, the Basis of Culture by Josef Pieper

This book is deceptively short. I wish there were a better translation available, because his meaning is clouded in places due to translation and the fact that he’s writing to a very specific audience that is foreign in culture and in time. Still, it is well worth the effort it requires. This is the book that introduces scholé to the discussion.

Norms and Nobility by David Hicks

I loved this book. It’s a dense read, but it is the book that taught me classical education was so much more than “trivium as stages.” It is a tradition that we can join.


There are several education books in my to be read stack that might supplant these. I bet Ravi Jain’s The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education will replace Classical Education and the Homeschool when I finally read it. I also really need to read Beauty in the Word: Rethinking the Foundations of Education because I’ve heard so many good things about it.

But the book I’m so excited to read is by Karen Glass, and it’s now available: Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition. Whether you’re coming from the Charlotte Mason angle or the classical angle, this book will address your questions and show you how education has a long tradition that we can return to. If you want to know what Miss Mason drew on to form her principles, this is the book for you. If you want to have an overview of the leading ideas on education from the ancients through Christendom, this is the book for you.

The forward is by David Hicks – that same David Hicks who wrote Norms & Nobility, mentioned above. This is a book for classical educators and not just Charlotte Mason fangirls.

If you want a book that covers educational philosophy but is clear and straightforward, this is the book for you.

Karen graciously sent me a digital copy of the manuscript before it was edited, and it was fantastic. I hear that she’s improved it even more based on the feedback she received from those early readers, and I ordered my “real” copy today.

You should, too.

Essential Pantry List for Simple Meals

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Meals might not seem like part of homeschooling, but it’s all part of the package of making life happen. And I have lists to make it easier.

I love to make lists. I even have lists of the lists I have made and want to make. So, why not share all (well, some) of those lists during The Nester’s 31 Days series? Yes, 31 days of homeschool lists. It’ll be a ton of fun if you love lists as much as I do.

Organize your homeschool lists

A Bunch of Homeschooling Lists

Index: Get Organized with Homeschool Lists
Previous: Simple Meals for Homeschool Days
Next: Independent Work Checklist

Master Grocery List

I used to try to make a grocery list at the same time I menu planned – sometimes the magic synergy happened and sometimes it was pulling teeth. I needed to pick dinners to fit the amount of time and energy available for the days of the week, work that week’s grocery store specials, match up recipes from my various collections, double check I had all the ingredients I needed, and write it all down adequately enough so at 5pm each day I knew what I was supposed to do.

Yeah.

After baby #3, I decided this method was simply madness, and I had other projects I could do if I wanted to coordinate details. I decided what would be in my fridge, freezer, and pantry; I decided that I wanted to be able to buy any meat that was on sale at the store and know I could do something with it that didn’t require any extra or special ingredients. Then I decided to simply throw away all my recipes that didn’t match up with this new philosophy.

I used to try to make a grocery list at the same time I menu planned - sometimes the magic synergy happened and sometimes it was pulling teeth. No more. Now I have a mastery grocery list.

This is what I came up with as my master pantry list:

  • bell peppers
  • cabbage & lettuce

  • carrots

  • cilantro and/or parsley (fresh or dry)
  • garlic & onions
  • potatoes
  • vegetables & fruit (seasonal)

  • zucchini
  • basil
  • cinnamon, ground
  • dill
  • ground mustard
  • garlic powder
  • ginger
  • oregano
  • paprika
  • peppercorns or ground pepper 

  • thyme
  • baking powder
  • baking soda

  • beans, black
  • beans, chickpea

  • beans, pinto

  • beans, split pea

  • beans, white
  • cornmeal
  • cornstarch
  • dried cranberries

  • flour, whole wheat 

  • flour, white
  • oats, rolled
  • pasta
  • popcorn
  • raisins
  • rice, brown
  • salt, garlic and/or seasoning
  • salt, sea
  • sugar, brown

  • sugar, powdered
  • sugar, white
  • tortillas
  • walnuts and/or almonds

  • yeast
  • extract, almond
  • extract, lemon
  • extract, vanilla

  • honey

  • jam

  • ketchup

  • lemon juice
  • lime juice
  • mayonnaise
  • molasses
  • mustard, dijon and/or grainy
  • oil, canola or coconut
  • oil, olive, extra virgin
  • oil, sesame
  • peanut butter
  • salsa

  • soy sauce
  • vinegar, apple cider

  • vinegar, balsamic

  • vinegar, red wine
  • vinegar, white
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • olives, canned

  • pickles, whole

  • pineapple, canned
  • salmon, canned or packaged

  • tomato paste
  • tomatoes, crushed and/or sauce
  • tomatoes, diced
  • tuna, canned
  • butter
  • half-and-half
  • cheese, cheddar
  • cheese, mozzarella

  • cheese, Parmesan
  • cream cheese

  • eggs
  • milk
  • sour cream (or sub. yogurt)

  • yogurt, plain (or sub. sour cream)
  • meat, whatever is on sale

  • broccoli, frozen

  • green beans, frozen

  • orange juice concentrate

  • peas, frozen


You can get a pretty printable of this list to use as a master grocery list (I also have a post on how to make a grocery list here) along with a menu planning sheet at Simplified Pantry.

The great thing about having a basic list like this is that even when I forget my list, what I buy as I do my route through the grocery store is pretty automatic, and I know I will use these items I frequently buy, so even if I end up buying an extra, it’s ok.

Simplified Dinners eBook

I began menu planning at 11 years old when my mom delegated one dinner a week to me. Marrying at 19, I’ve had a lot of practice over the years. But between growing and homeschooling my family, meal planning often requires brain power and creativity that just isn’t there any more. Simplified Dinners is my solution to take the effort and thought out of healthy, frugal cooking. And now it is available for you, too! Use the discount code convivial to get $3 off through October only.

Simple Meals for Homeschool Days

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Dinner has to happen every day, whether we’re ready or not. I’ve had to seriously simplify this part of my day, and here are the go-to meals I’ve made a regular part of our rotation.

I love to make lists. I even have lists of the lists I have made and want to make. So, why not share all (well, some) of those lists during The Nester’s 31 Days series? Yes, 31 days of homeschool lists. It’ll be a ton of fun if you love lists as much as I do.

Organize your homeschool lists

And, if you do, then please do sign up so you don’t miss a single one:

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A Bushel of Homeschooling Lists

Index: Get Organized with Homeschool Lists
Previous: Elementary Fun-Reading Book List
Next: Essential Pantry List

Dinner has to happen every day, whether we’re ready or not. I’ve had to seriously simplify this part of my day, and here are the go-to meals I’ve made a regular part of our rotation

Quick, Simple, Healthy Meals for Homeschool Days

The thing that really makes a meal take less energy is being able to go into autopilot to put it on the table and to know how to flex the meal to work with what you have on hand. For most dinners, exact proportions don’t matter too much, and you can add diced zucchini to almost anything or simply use the amount of onion that suits your family’s taste. Go with your tastes and your supply and practice-into-habit a few basic meal types so you can vary dinner without recipe-browsing and reading and thinking through instructions the whole time.

These are my

  • Skillet chicken, either potatoes mashed or roasted or pasta tossed with butter and cheese, and a green salad
  • Homemade “no mess” (i.e. no sauce) pan pizza & salad (and no-crust pizza for me)
  • Potato hash with either ground beef or sausage (or sausage and sweet potato hash is a great variation) with a roasted or steamed veggie
  • Frittata or oven omelette with glazed carrots and biscuits or roasted potatoes
  • Taquitos or enchiladas with leftover chicken or roast, if there is any

And I’m so happy soup season is just beginning. Soup + bread + salad is the best, especially if I can get the soup in the crockpot during breakfast.

All these are in Simplified Dinners, not surprisingly. It really is the primary dinner-creation method I use every week. I rarely have to pull it out any more, because most of them are internalized now, but I know my handy reference is there if I’m totally brain-dead.

Make This List Useful For You

By 4 or 5 in the afternoon, I often don’t have enough creative energy left to make dinner the way I used to. Dinner – or any kind of cooking or baking – can be a creative outlet, but sometimes there are seasons where that’s not what works anymore. It’s ok, and it is likely only a season.

To get through a season like that, take as much of the thinking out of the process as possible and don’t feel bad about serving nearly the same things every week. Ma didn’t serve much variety, either. Changing up small details like the sort of marinade used for chicken can add variety while still keeping the process untaxing.

Simplified Dinners eBook

I began menu planning at 11 years old when my mom delegated one dinner a week to me. Marrying at 19, I’ve had a lot of practice over the years. But between growing and homeschooling my family, meal planning often requires brain power and creativity that just isn’t there any more. Simplified Dinners is my solution to take the effort and thought out of healthy, frugal cooking. And now it is available for you, too! Use the discount code convivial to get $3 off through October only.