Category Archives: Organization

Makes Me Merry Monday #2

makes me merry mon

Hi there, moms!  I hope you had a fabulous weekend and that your Monday is merry!

In today’s post, I’m sharing a little way that we WASH LESS DISHES!  Yay!  Sounds good, right?

Have you ever noticed the top of rack of the dishwasher (or even worse– the sink) (or even worse– the counter!)  filling up before lunch?   Well, my very creative and crafty friend made a little priceless gift for me… personalized coasters!  The kids know right where to put their cups, and they never get mixed up.  They can use the same cups again!

p coasters

One cup for each kiddo and less dishes make me merry!

Look for a set of coasters with different designs or even label a paper towel or placemat with your kiddos’ names!  Less cups in the sink will make you merry, too!

Come back later this week because I’ll be sharing several fun ways that my kinders are

memorizing Psalm 23!  🙂

psalm23 bracelet2

Merry Monday to you!

Back to School: Checklist for Kids

I like lists.  I like seeing what needs to be done.  Lists keep me motivated and help me feel organized.  I love checking things off of my list.

Maybe my big kids would like a list for their work, too!

I’ve made a weekly student checklist that I can quickly fill in with page numbers and assignments each week after I write my lessons plans.  Then, I can file the completed lists along with any work that doesn’t go in our notebooks.

checklist with arrows

 ~ CHECKLIST DETAILS ~

Memory Verse –  We are studying character qualities and accompanying Bible verses for our memory work this year.  (More to come soon!) With the week’s verse on their checklists, my kids will see it many times each day!

By the way, my verse– THE VERSE–  for the year, is Proverbs 9:10!  

What GREAT homeschool encouragement!

4-M,  Monday Morning Meetings with Mom-  I purchased the Debra Bell / Apologia planner this year.  It suggested meeting with each student individually (Can you imagine?!) for a few minutes every Monday to talk about the week, set goals, look at assignments, and PRAY TOGETHER!  What a great idea!  I named our time 4-M.  🙂

Bible Time-  I’d love to do a post explaining what we do during Bible time!  We will be reading a new Psalm each month responsively.  By the end of the month, we should have it memorized!  We also sing!  The leader of the day will get to lead the readings (if he can read) and choose the hymns or songs and lead the prayer.  We also practice previously learned memory work during this time.

Other-  (art, picture study, music, poetry, nature study)  Something fun to break up the morning!  If I don’t make time for these, they don’t get done!

Extras-  I’ve left room to write in any extras for the week like chores, outings, habits to work on, GOALS, etc.  I’m going to write a riddle each week or note of encouragement!  (You can find riddles here and here!)

My children will not be working through their checklists independently, but I think it will be good for them to see what the day holds and what still needs to be done!

The big kids have new clipboard cases for keeping their checklists handy.checklist chalkboard

If you don’t have a checklist but want to try it with me, here is a blank one!  🙂

Here are some things I’d like to share soon:

  • Memory Verses and Activities for Littles and Bigs
  • Supplies
  • Encouragement for the Kids 🙂
  • What We Are Studying This Year (We’ve made some changes!)
  • And with all of the fuss I’ve made about preparing for school days, I’d like to share ways I am learning to better prepare for the Lord’s Day, the best day of the week!

Happy Homeschooling!  🙂

Back to School: Command Center and Grocery List Tip

command center main

Doesn’t it feel good to get organized and back into the swing of things?!  I have loved the slow, easy pace of summer, but I also like the routine that school days bring.  I’ve been busy planning, and I think we are beginning the new year next week…

With the new school year comes “back to school” blog posts!  It’s so FUN to get a glimpse into other homeschoolers’ plans, schedules, ideas, curriculum choices, and organization projects through blog posts lately.  I have gotten some great ideas from others, and I want to pass them on!  I am joining in the “back to school” posts and inviting you to peek at our preparations for the new school year!

Over the next week or so, I am planning to share several ways we are getting ready for homeschool!

My command center is really nothing more than a filing system in the kitchen, but it helps me stay a bit more organized!  Here are the details:

File for COMPLETED WORK

NO more completed work in a stack on the counter!  No more stuffing checked math papers in the back of the teacher’s manual!  I’m vowing to file completed math papers EVERY day!  😉  The file is right in the kitchen (our homeschool room) so filing will be easy!  I also have a file folder for my lesson plan book!  A place for everything and everything in it’s place.

files

Magnetic Board:

I used a poster frame from Walmart, a magnetic sheet from the home improvement store, and spray paint.  The clear magnetic file pockets came from the office supply store, and I found the cute file folders at Walmart!  Yay!

mag board main

In an effort to keep mail off of the counter and have easy access to papers I use often, I labeled the files like this:               (thanks to my BFF- the label maker!)

folders on board

I have a birthday calendar hanging on the side of the fridge.  I’ve forgotten several birthdays this year!  😦

Printable-birthday-calendar-mummy-babble-messpots

AN EASY GROCERY LIST:

I found this idea in an organization book years ago, and I’ve loved it!

~ Make a blank grocery list with:

~ headings for items listed IN ORDER OF THE AISLES in your store

~ Make / print multiple copies to keep on hand

~ Fill in items under headings as you run out and when planning meals

~ Your list is already in order and ready to go!  Yay!

I just typed a new list!

grocery list sample

The next time you shop, jot down the order of the aisles.  If you are a mom reading this, you probably already know the order of the aisles at your store!

I like to shop for about 15-20 dinners at a time and return to the store for milk and produce (or ask Dad to pick up milk!).  I am not organized enough to plan out the days we will eat each meal, but I post the list of meals on the bulletin board and decide each morning what meal I will cook that night.  Having an organized grocery list helps when I’m shopping for so much!

I have a quick list for Sam’s, too. 🙂

The inspiration for the command center came from a post at Achieving Creative Order.  You can click the super cute picture below to go there:

Family command center

I love “back to {home} school” days!

By 8:30 {am} Checklist/ Chore Chart

done by 8-30

I have shared a post on our chores before…  a long while ago… back when I thought I knew what I was doing!  😉  Now I know that I don’t!  Ha!  We had a great little system working out.  We completed morning tasks that helped get our day started and also afternoon jobs that contributed to keeping our home tidy.  Everything went well… until Christmas break.  {Maybe chores shouldn’t stop just because school does!}  In January, the kids did their morning jobs in such a leisurely way, that it was difficult to start school on time.old chores

What’s a mom to do?  I needed a way to help the kids stay attentive and diligent long enough to get themselves ready for {home}school without me right beside them.  The chore list was no longer working.  I stumbled on this post and thought a flip chore chart might help.  Things aren’t perfect.  The Von Trapp children don’t march out of their rooms each morning single file, perfectly dressed at the toot of a whistle.  Sometimes, I still need to encourage the kids to stay on target, but this has helped us move toward independence again!  We use this chart as our “By 8:30 Checklist”.

chores 3

What I like about this chart:

1.  There are no pieces that might get lost.  If we had a chore chart with moveable magnets or a pocket chart with cards, something would be MIA within a week.

2.  The children can do the chores in any order that works best and be good stewards of their time.  “I can’t brush my teeth because someone else is in the bathroom.”  When we used a chore list or chore tags, the kids worked through the jobs in order. With the flip chart, kids can go on to another chore and make the best use of their time.

chore chart 2

3.  The children can easily see what still needs to be done.  With a chore list, it was easy for the kids to leave things out.  Now they can see  if the pj’s haven’t been put away.  “I haven’t fed the dog.”  “I only have 1 chore left!”  It helps the kids to have a picture of progress!  It’s a great motivator!

I used file folders in order to have a chart that would flip up or pull down.  What I had on hand wasn’t cute. 😉  Colored folders would be great!  I had to overlap two folders and glue them together for each chart in order to have a chart long enough to accommodate the pictures I found.

Inspiration for our chore chart came from several places.  The original (cute!) chore chart was made using colored card stock from My Name is Snickerdoodle.  She has a great tutorial on how to make the chart!  Click below to visit her site.

SimpleChoreChart

Please click this picture to view the chore chart tutorial from My Name is Snickerdoodle.

I also love this Before 8:45 checklist from Everyday Homemaking. I found it through a post at  Hodgepodge.  This picture is from a post at Habits for a Happy Home.

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I still love the resource from Titus 2 that I shared on my first chore post.  It helped in putting together a chore system, but we do not use the chore packs.

One day, getting ready to begin the day will be a habit for my kids that won’t need a chart!  We are getting there….

If you’d like to print the circles we used for our chore charts, click the picture below.  The circles include:  brush teeth, wipe the counter, make bed, get dressed, put away PJs (We wear ours 2 nights!), tidy room, comb or brush hair, and feed the dog.  There are some extra blank circles, too!

print chore chart

Soon I’ll be sharing…

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… and more Excitement in Exodus!  🙂

Spring (un)Cleaning Inspiration

Now is the time to get things done…

time is of the essence

Of course, God doesn’t sleep, but isn’t this a sweet reminder?  

(In case you are wondering, I AM planning to tackle some spring cleaning.  There is a constant balancing act between my duties in the house and my time with the people who fill it, and  I know I can’t just leave out the cleaning all together.  I love to organize and straighten and neatitize 😉 things, but I’m just not a huge fan of deep cleaning, removing and washing bedskirts, vacuuming draperies, etc. I saw this super cute spring cleaning checklist in my reader.   I love checklists!  Maybe a cute one will help me????)

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In all the spring cleaning fuss, I don’t want to lose sight of the best things!  I mean, who would want to miss flower picking and spring sledding without snow?

sled in spring.

ms flowers

“The wisest of women builds her house…”  Prov 14:1  I want to spend the most time building the things that matter the most!

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Here are two other poem posts you might enjoy:

Wall Marks

Does Your House Have an Echo?

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Last week, I added a new page to the blog!  Click here or the picture below for some cute videos and to read about the things that make me smile!

(non-matching) PJ Love

(non-matching) PJ Love