I am very much impressed by the people who regularly set aside time daily, weekly, or even monthly to get their school stuff in order and laid out. As a planner, it seems like I should be able to do the same. However, I have come to grips that I am an administrator, a big-picture thinker, and a synthesizer/creator/planner, but not a task- and detail-oriented person. I can make an amazing, beautiful checklist that incorporates all the right things in just the right way, but I balk at using them. I jump into big, oversized projects with zest, but don’t keep my eyes on the ball to follow through on the daily repetitive necessities.
Today we wrap up the planning series and prepare our minds for action. More school organization, philosophy, and curriculum reviews will be forthcoming over the next few months, though, so stay tuned by receiving Simply Convivial posts in your inbox.
Tasks to be done between terms
Although the bulk of the planning is completed before school begins, there are still some things that must happen between terms. Between terms I reorganize the shelves and papers and desks and bins, as well as swap memory material in our Circle Time binders. It helps to keep the list of what to do between terms complete and handy, so I don’t have to rethink it every 6 weeks!
1. Declutter from completed term
- Clear every bin & shelf & desk out and resort
- Collect library books to return
- Make sure all books read are logged
- Make sure the records are filled in
- Make sure all papers are either tossed or filed
- Fill in an analysis/progress sheet (yet to be created or used)
2. Prepare for next term
- Check out library books needed
- Update loaded playlists on iPods
- Update Circle Time binders with term’s new material
- Go over the overview to remind yourself of goals, etc.
3. Related tasks
- Update schedules, chore charts, etc.
- Have a kitchen day to prepare dinners or lunches for the freezer
- Have a cleaning day
- Have a fun day
As I’ve been putting my plans and papers into order, I’ve had one passage from Loving the Little Years continually pop up in my head:
If there is one thing I have learned in the course of my fast and furious mothering journey, it is that there is only one thing in my entire life that must be organized. The kids can be running like a bunch of hooligans through a house that appears to be at the bottom of a toaster, and yet, if organization and order can still be found in my attitude, we are doing well. But if my attitude falters, even in the midst of external order, so does everything else.
It is so, so true.
So, how to keep — or get! — that organized attitude? I have no magic, no formula, no real answer. But remember that it is not something we can manufacture all on our own, pulling ourselves up by our own attitudinal bootstraps. I’ve tried it. It doesn’t work.
It’s a work of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit. It is a promise that peace, joy, and all the rest are ours when we ask and believe — when we actually want to receive it more than we want to wallow in our sinful bad attitude. A bad attitude about a house or plans or — get this — children’s attitudes gone awry is a sin I often cling to, feeling justified in keeping it as a pet rather than repenting and receiving joy.
So prayer and staying steeped in God’s Word are essential to keeping attitudes organized and perspectives maintained.
Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 45, question 116: Why do Christians need to pray?
A: Because prayer is the most important part
of the thankfulness God requires of us.
And also because God gives his grace and Holy Spirit
only to those who pray continually and groan inwardly,
asking God for these gifts
and thanking him for them.