Saturday, August 22, 2009

Boxes, Binders, Bins and Bags! (Part 1)

While everyone else in the world seems to be starting back to school, whether it be homeschool, public school or private school, summer is still here at the academy. Where we live, public and private schools don't start until after Labor Day. So, even though some of our homeschool friends and most of our out-of-state family and friends have already started back, we are still enjoying the freedom to sleep in late, enjoy late night bon fires with friends, jump on the trampoline all day, cook wonderful feasts for the family, attend numerous Vacation Bible Schools, play football, swing, picnic, eat popsicles, etc., etc., etc.
Click on these pictures to enlarge them. Beany's expression in the popsicle picture is cute!

HOWEVER, as I am reading lots of school planning posts, schoolroom remodel posts, and other posts entitled "Our First Day of School" on various blogs, I'm thinking I need to get it in gear. Actually, I think about school all summer. I end one school year with books already ordered for the following year and to me summer means more time to plan. I start with a list of goals for each child then I plan a schedule, type up my syllabi, reorganize the classroom, and on and on. I love it! I guess I'm just a one of those people that enjoys planning.

So far, this summer, I have decided on academic goals for each of the kids, and ordered the curriculum that I think will meet those needs. We are enrolled with Mother of Divine Grace School and for the most part I use the books recommended by them. I do adjust things a bit for my children's individual needs, and I work with my consultant from Mother of Divine Grace to do that. It's a real blessing for me to talk to someone on a regular basis about what we're doing, the areas in which we are doing a great job, and the areas in which we are struggling.

Currently, I am working on various systems to help keep things organized around here. I think that is the most difficult part of homeschooling for me. We are blessed with a school room in the basement, but school stuff still manages to clutter the upstairs as well. I don't call books clutter - especially really good books. A stack or basket of books doesn't bother me at all. It's the paper, and the folders, and the notebooks, and the pencils, and the erasers, and the glue sticks, and the craft supplies!!! I could go on and on.

Besides organizing the stuff of homeschooling, I also need a system for planning. It's my plan for planning that helps me when I feel like there's so much to do and so little time to do it. This feeling usually hits about the second day of school! Over the weekend, if I can sit down, and in an orderly way go over my goals, write up the week's plans, make a list of the "to do's" that have to happen before Monday, and actually do the "to do's", life is so much more peaceful.

Reading posts like this one by Jen at Wildflowers and Marbles and this one by Dawn at By Sun and Candlelight are always inspiring for me. I really like both of their planning systems. The pretty papers make what could be a very drab stack of notebooks visually appealing. I'm not quite so creative, but I'm happy with how my planning system is coming along. I've decided to divide this post into a series because it is getting quite long. I will describe my planning system in part 2!

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