I had an FMOO (Freak Moment Of Organization) before starting homeschooling this year. (My son is in kindergarten and the younger daughter is in preschool. My oldest daughter is in 3rd grade at a Spanish immersion charter school. Love dem kids!)
I created a binder with (most of) my important stuff in one place. So brilliant, no? And I even got all nerdy by using those clear plastic sheets so nothing gets wet when my daughter spills her drink on it. (Already happened.)
You must know that I am hit and miss when it comes to organization, but I figured I’d share this in hopes of inspiring other organized wannabes, as well as hearing what you OCD ladies do…
It goes without saying that you need be neither a homeschooling mama or even a mama at all in order to make use of this idea. Just a girl who wants her horizontal surfaces to stop looking like this:
I decorated the front by slipping a Praying in Color drawing into the plastic cover that I did at a women’s event when we first moved here. (Note to self: Should probably do another one for this year to get me all inspired and such…)
Then I started with a blank, 1 page Master To Do List (entitled “List Madness”) at the very beginning which I edit, add and refer to often. It includes such titled categories as: To Do, To Contact, To Get/Buy, Groceries, To Make, Blog List, and “Craigslist” (Craig, his list, and I have spent lots of time together over the years.)
In my school section I have grade level standards, blank work record sheets for our co-op, a 100 numbers chart, small laminated US & world map, my daughter’s school year schedule, and a classic children’s book list to take with us to the library. I just added a sheet with our state’s recycling redemption prices because we plan to make and learn about money by recycling our plastics, glass, and aluminum at the local recycling center. (We’ve already earned over a buck fifty!)
In the all important food section, I have my grocery shopping list, meal ideas, and lunch box options. These are all lists that I’ve recorded over the years of oft-forgotten successes and ideas that I can refer to when the people around here still insist on eating – even though I’ve already fed them.
And in a miscellaneous section, I have date night in ideas (so the hubs and I don’t default to staring at separate screens during that couple of hours we have together after the kids go to bed) and my “Boredom List.”
And here are some of my inspirations from other (more organized) mamas:
Kelly over at Imperfect Homemaking has free, cute printables including weekly planning sheets and a planning sheet for bloggers.
Kat at Inspired To Action might be my all-time favorite mom blogger and she has free, inspiring printable resources including a Motherhood Mission Statement exercise and 31 day prayer calendars for kids and husbands. Also, her Maximize Your Mornings challenge has changed this night owl’s life – when I have the discipline to follow it… *sheepish grin*
Many of you have probably heard of the Fly Lady for home organization/cleaning tips. I have printed out her Eleven Commandments to have something to put in my organization/cleaning section. So far they are just there for looks…
Jolanthe over at Homeschool Creations has an amazing set of free calendar printables that include recording of the daily weather, time, temperature, and even weaves some practical math into it. Uber creative…
And Donna Young has all manner of homeschool planning forms.
I am sure my Mom Binder will continue to morph – and parts may get neglected, ’cause that’s just how I roll. But right now, I’m flippin’ ’round in da ting and crossin’ stuff off ma lists, and pattin’ myself on da back!
I would love to hear what pages some of you “binder-oriented peeps” have that others would also find useful.
Wow, Praying in Color! I’m all over that now. Thanks for the tip! I love your post and am challenged this way. I love doing all that and have noticed that it never lasts more than 3 weeks to a month as I’m more productive once I get organized and then don’t think I need it. Then something happens and I’m all in a slump again. Thanks for the inspirata.
Glad to inspire, Krista! And yes, Praying in Color is awesome. They even have a book for kids! (BTW, I think “inspirata” might be my new favorite word…)
These are all great resources! I love Flylady, because she keeps me on track (especially at Christmas time).
Have any of you heard of The Ultimate Homeschool Planner, by Debra Bell? It includes teaching tips, record-keeping, and pages to document God’s faithfulness throughout the year .You can take a look at it on Amazon. I’m wanting to get it. The planner looks like a great resource to have for the home and school!
One blog I enjoy visiting is “Confessions of a Homeschooler”. She has planners from school to meal planning. Good little resource, and it’s always fun to see how other people are organizing their home!
One last blog I read faithfully is “A Holy Experience”. Anne just seems to resonate with me in the morning. She is so much calmer than I, and reminds me to stay focused on our one true love. Jesus!
I hope these are some good little nuggets for you to ponder! Happy School Year, and many blessings to you and your family!
Mel, You rock! I’m finding that the more stuff I need on the go that I can have on my phone, the better. I know, I’m such a techie : ) We still miss you!
I LOVE this topic…here’s the 2 cents that I can share….
I have a similar binder. I’ve also included prayer requests or things to pray for each of my family members, Rob, Caleb, Alannah and others/friends. I have a section for each person with dividers that have pockets each had a gift wish list or a goal. I have the homeschooling stuff in this binder – course of study/scope&sequence/field trips/workshops/seminars I’ve attended. It’s okay to be a bit nerdy or OCD ;oP
For my Teacher Binder, I use this
which has calendars, course of study, school subject planners, attendance sheets, meal planners, etc.
and I keep copies of grade level standards
and I second the fabulous resources at inspiredtoaction.com. I’m doing the Hello Mornings Challenge and am feeling so much more organized and focused.
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