Monday, January 29, 2007

There Is A Method To My Madness

As haphazard as I may seem, it appears that I have been getting more organized this year. I knew something had to be up if I could coordinate the children's over-lapping activities not once, but twice in a week. Not only that, but I don't believe we've been late for hockey nor have I forgotten Brian at work.

This marvelous piece of equipment is the family calendar. It lives on the fridge. The kids' activities have little stickers - colour coordinated - and I write them in every week. Even if I think I won't forget, I write them in. You can never be too careful. Since I have been keeping the calendar up-to-date, Brian has been able to keep up with our running around. I like having him around for our outings.

I've been reading about Household Notebooks. Many a stay-at-home mom are using such a system to keep track of housework, menus, activities, spending, family holiday plans, etc. The idea is to have the notebook set up in such a way that someone could come into your home - cold - and keep your household running the way you like it to run. Of course, you probably have to have a pretty good system of running said home in place for such a magical thing to happen. I'm not there yet.

This colourful little number is a beginner's effort. That is a table of contents of sorts on the left. Each coloured tab is a section with a corresponding divider.

2007 Schoolwork Goals
Lesson Plans
To Do's
Read Aloud Books & Resources
Menu Planning
Household Miscellaneous

So far, this has been a very easy binder for me to open every day. I have refused to get fancy by printing off pretty pages to fill the sections with. I add loose leaf where I need it. Lessons plans are scrawled on half a page. When we do that lesson, I write the date and highlight it. Then I know it's done. Menu planning has been a challenge for me. Now, every couple of days, I spend a minute and write down what we've been eating. I figure after about three weeks, I should have a pretty good idea of what we like to eat, what we should be eating more of and realistic quantities to shop for.

The binder has a calendar on the front. Inside the calendar, I plan the particulars for our school work. I'm a little freaked out by being so 'schoolish at home'. The kids seem to be excited about knowing which lesson to expect on a particular day of the week, so we'll stick with it for now. I'm finding more time in our day. I think I feel less overwhelmed with providing interesting things for the kids to get interested in each day. Each day, we have one lesson expectation. If we get to it, great. If not, then we can move it to tomorrow. The kids are looking forward to adding 'Daily Work' to the weekly plan as their math books are due to arrive any day.

You may be able to see the little tags on the inside cover. There is a tag under each weekday telling us which lesson we do that day (science, hist/geo., errand day, music, language, family meeting/calendar). The small colourful bars I made for Raiden's benefit. There is so much that he wants to do in a week, although he frequently complains that we never do anything. We can add a bar to each day and we make sure to get to that activity: craft, field trip, skating, hike, magazine day, library, treat, family dinner out, board game, card game, baking, workbooks, swimming, etc. The whole page is attached to the month by two brads at the side. At the end of the month, I just pick up the whole thing and flip forward to the next month. I like it because it's colourful and I am getting some use out of the scrapbooking supplies that mom and I split on this summer. The kids like it because they get to plan their month.
I suppose it is true that you need to find a system that will work for you. For me, at the end of the year, I'll have a fairly accurate account of the things we've done - schoolish, extra-curricular and family. Just thought I'd share.

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