Friday, April 29, 2011

52 Weeks of Organizing Our Homeschool Challenge, Mini-Projects 9-11

Two weeks ago, I officially began participating in 52 Weeks of Organizing Challenge by focusing on Our Homeschool.

Jumping in on the initiative 15 weeks into the year meant budgeting a bit of extra time to “catch up”, so I might have a hope of actually completing 52 mini-projects to improve our homeschool organization by the end of the year. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, life's course and my plans did not mesh.

A week ago Wednesday, a stomach virus hit our home. It mandated that organization efforts make way for caring for sick children and doing crazy amounts of laundry. That is, until our Easter weekend in ER began, when even much of  the laundry had to be let go

Since we got home from the weekend, most of our energy has been focused on simply getting healthy and returning to a sense of normalcy.  That is till in progress.

Fortunately, there has been some minor progress on our 52 weeks, too.  I the past two weeks, we:

    1. Organized a Quiet Time and Bedtime BookshelfToo many books were only adding to clutter in the kids’ room, so we revamped a bookshelf to create a kid-friendly system to help with limits and living by the adage “a place for everything and everything in its place”.  (Now, we just have to apply that adage to the rest of our home!)
    2. Created an Accessible Kids’ Art/Craft/Office Supplies AreaThe kids and I hung a shoe sorter on the back of the door to house art, crafts and office supplies I want to keep accessible for the kids.  I decided not to fill it all at once, but to only put out a few materials at a time until the kids prove that they can use them respectfully, accessing them and putting them away by habit.  So far, so good. They are doing so with their crayons!
    3. Created a CGS Corner:  I unburied a piece of furniture to repurpose as “altar” space for a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd corner in our Play and Learning Space and have designated a nearby work shelf to house a rotation of CGS materials.  (Honest disclosure:  I am still trying to figure out where to store the materials that are not in rotation and would appreciate ideas.  Also, actually putting the corner to use is still more a want-to than an am-doing.  One step at a time...)  

      On a note-so-easy-to-admit note, I also returned to my bad habit of starting too many things at once.

      Yes, as I reflect back on the past two weeks,I recognize that I have begun, but have yet to finish, the following mini-projects:

      • creating a Sensory Activities Organizer
      • creating a system for tidying and purging the kids’ drawings
      • designating portfolios for the kids’ creations
      • beginning routines and rhythms binders for my eldest two
      • making a plan for work shelf rotation
      • culling and organizing assessment files
      • creating Assessment Binders

      What's the sense of starting something you don't finish?  It doesn't help to organize anything.  In fact, it can make both mind and home more cluttered.

      I know some may disagree, but I am discovering that multi-tasking does not always work!  Juggling a variety of projects at once always worked well for me as a Singleton, but as Wife, Mom, Homeschooler and Crumb Winner*, it doesn’t. Simply fulfilling the basics of each of these roles is multi-tasking enough!  When I throw working on more than one other project -even a related one - into the mix, things go awry.

      So it is that in the past two weeks, I realized that, outside of the regular juggling all wife-mom-(insert role)'s must do, for me, becoming a uni-tasker may be the most productive and pleasant way to live .  So, this week, my goal is to pick ONE mini-project to complete, before moving onto another. Whether that project will be one of the unfinished ones listed above or something completely new depends on how life unfolds.

      How about you?
      • What progress do you hope to make with your 52 Weeks?  
      • Have you recognized a need to change any long-ingrained habits? 
      • How are your own organization efforts going?
      As always, tips, encouragement, shared challenges and successes are always welcome. Do comment!

      *NOTE:  Daddy is the true breadwinner of the family; I just work for extra crumbs for us.


      Megan at declutterdaily said...

      That #10 was a real challenge for us for the longest time. It was so difficult to come up with an area that was accessible to our 5 and 7-year-olds, but not to our 19-month- old. We bought some special shelving that fit in the tiniest of corners near our table and the baby can't reach the top one, but the others can. They have a drawer with a baby lock too. With a little furniture rearranging, I finally don't have to get them down all the time for them.

      margo said...

      Sorry you had sick ones at your house too.
      I can relate to the need to focus on one task at a time as much as possible, even if it is just folding a WHOLE load of laundry or cleaning off the ENTIRE coffee table. When I finish I am always surprised at how little time it took to FINISH the job when I actually stay on task!

      Natacha said...

      Sorry to hear that not everyone in your home was feeling well laterly! Hope everyone feels better very soon! I am glad to see that you got some of your projects done nontheless:) You did a great job! Keep it up!!

      Michelle said...

      Sorry about all the illness in your home...hope you are all well soon!
      I agree about multi-tasking and not finishing projects! Maybe we can all figure it out together! :)

      Alexandra said...

      I'm glad you decided to join us in the 52 weeks of organizing challenge. I love your ideas for creating those great kid spaces. Keep up the good work.


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