Being organized is about making the process work for you efficiently, not about maintaining a neat and tidy row at all times. Here are some ways I’ve tried to make the processes work more conveniently so I can spend more mind-space on the children and less on the stuff.
Our File Box for Elementary Lessons
Just like I have the math stuff all put together in a portable crate, ready to pull out when we all sit around the table for math time together, I put all the books and papers we need for our elementary lessons with the older kids together.
I use a Sterilite file box for this, partly because I really like them. I think they are the perfect size. I figure if what I want to do doesn’t fit into this box, I’m probably planning too much and need to cut back. :)
During our twice-weekly afternoon lesson time with the big kids – the elementary-aged kids – we do Young Peacemaker, Covenantal Catechism for Bible, Story of the Middle Ages with coloring pages and a Book of Centuries for history, and A Child’s Geography: Exploring His Earth for Geography/Earth Science (with coloring pages, drawing, and written narration, but no experiments). Sometimes we do an artist study, but that’s with a library book from the library bin. And next term we’ll swap Geography for some Shakespeare!
- Type of container: File bin
- Organizing materials: Hanging files
- One hanging file per lesson type
- In each hanging file is the book and a manila folder with any papers or coloring pages needed
I like this set up because
- I can grab it (and my teacher tote) and have everything I need to start. Getting stuff ready, then, doesn’t take thought or effort.
- It is a visual, physical limit for what we’ll spend our afternoon doing.
- It fits on the kitchen cart home.
So often getting started is the biggest challenge. Setting things up so it’s easy to say, “Let’s go!” is a helpful thing to do!
Also, check out my eBook Paperless Home Organization, which lays out step-by-step instructions for creating a home management organizer & planner digitally. Make that smartphone, tablet, or iPod touch a useful tool of your trade!
During the month of October, you can use the discount code organizing for $1.50 off the $3.99 retail price (pdf only).
Moms have a lot of details to keep track of. Here’s how to make your technology work for you, using only your mail program and 2 free apps.