How to Manage the Muddle of Daily Life

Homeschool life is a muddle, there’s no denying it. I think we are all familiar with the feeling of being overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done and frustrated by how quickly everything needs to be done yet again. We’re always wondering if what we’re doing is right or the best way or if there’s some magic sauce we’re missing that will smooth the path for our daily business and daily interactions. I’m sorry. I have searched and searched, … Read More

The frustrations of tidying up

I set the timer for fifteen minutes. Surely in fifteen minutes, I thought, I can make a difference in this room. The room was mine. The mess was an assortment of laundry, books, accumulated junk, out-of-season kids’ clothes, and random bits. I knew there was no way I was going to finish cleaning the room in fifteen minutes, or even that day, but I had to make a start. Tip 1: Starting is the hardest part. Setting a timer is … Read More

Dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.

This post is adapted from the transcript of the Introduction video in the Work Your Plan Video Training We really must begin with organizing our attitude before we organize anything else. We might think that making a plan and working a plan is all about the planner, the app, the method, but the truth is that how we think about our planning going into it matters tremendously. I remember very vividly being struck by a line of poetry once quoted … Read More

Interval Planning for Growth

The problem with much of the productivity and planning advice out there is that it begins with a vision for a 5-year outcome. When we as mothers at home try to do that, we are rather at a loss. We might not even know how many children we’ll have in 5 years. If your oldest is 5, you’re not likely to accurately foresee what it’s like to have a 10 year old – and the same is true if your … Read More

Why do we make plans when they rarely work out?

All my writing time and energy has been spent in my upcoming video training: Work the Plan. So, I decided to both roll with that and yet not neglect posting by simply sharing some of that writing here with you as a sort of preview. The following is about half of the script I wrote for the introduction video to Work the Plan , and I think it addresses something that any planner-type will resonate with. Listen to this post! … Read More

Clean house with the end in mind

If you’re like me, you try – at least occasionally – to become better, more effective, more competent in your roles and responsibilities at home. And then after a period of trying, you peter out because it turns out it’s quite exhausting to grow and change and fight entropy and bad habits. We have to become accustomed to and accepting of small change over time: faithful application, faithful repentance, day in and day out. Rather than huge life overhauls that don’t … Read More

EHAP: afternoon tidying to the rescue

We have a small practice that saves the state of our house, almost every day. It’s simple and effective – as long as we do it. When I keep the time in the late afternoon regularly carved out for it, I can handle the intermittent chaos that descends as the kids work and play throughout the day. I know order will be restored, so I can take a deep breath and let them strew blankets and play food everywhere. I call … Read More

How do you organize Evernote stacks? | Saturday Q&A

So, there’s no doubt that I love Evernote. I’ve been writing a long series about homeschooling with Evernote, I include tips and strategies for using Evernote for home management in Paperless Home Organization, and Evernote is simply my external brain. Everyone should have an external brain of one sort or another, and Evernote is mine. Michelle recently emailed me with some Evernote questions: I have been reading, and rereading, your posts on using Evernote for homeschooling. I’ve been trying to … Read More

An education based on harmony

If you’re reading Afterthoughts (and I’m assuming you are, of course), then you might start getting the feeling that you really should read The Liberal Arts Tradition, and you’d be right. Where Karen Glass’ Consider This nudged Charlotte Mason devotees toward the classical tradition, The Liberal Arts Tradition nudges classical educators toward the Charlotte Mason – because these are actually channels within the same stream, not different streams. Charlotte Mason took the classical education principles she learned — by her … Read More

You need time to reset your perspective

Here at Simplified Organization, I like to talk about how organizing your attitude is the most important thing you can organize. One key concept that helped me clarify how to do this was Jennifer Fulwiler’s definition of survival mode: If you don’t have at least a few blocks of time per week that are both predictable and uninterrupted, where you can prayerfully get your priorities in order, you are in survival mode. Many of us live in survival mode for … Read More

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