Nov 21, 2007

So, now that I am relieved off my efforts to manage my sister's life,
(Thank you,Jill,for your wise and Godly council) I have *so* much free time again, freed up to take on tasks that I have just not otherwise had the mental energy,or time,to do lately~ and the first on my list for today is Tackling Some Of This Home school Clutter! Books,folders,papers to log,pencils,markers and pens abound,taking over my kitchen table,my desk, my dreams...*Sigh.*
I guess it's finally time to find a place for all of this 6th grade and Kindergarten stuff. But where? I,alas,do admit to having a nice home school cabinet... that is filled to the gills with stuff already :o! And that's after pruning through it all to bless others with some of it! There are just so many projects, so many ideas,that would be fun to there hope for a pack-rat homeschooler like me?

Thank you God that today Your word spoke so well to me,as it does every day...
Matthew 5: 14-16: "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand,and it lights up the whole house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven!"

So much of what we do in our homeschooling adventures is fashioned to bring glory to God, from Math to English to Science... all of it shows God's wisdom, His order of creation, His mercy, His grace! We don't have to hide all of that under a basket to have a neat, orderly, God-glorifying home~ we can put it on a stand,let it shine,and let it light up our whole house! Oh, how I am having visions of wall-to-wall bookshelves wrapping around our house,showcasing all of our good books, our children's papers full of facts glorifying God,our globes and our microscopes and our bug-houses and ant farms and aquariums, filled to the rim with Learning and Love! Of course, that would require quite a lot of work for my now-working 2 jobs, tired and scheduled-to-the-max husband, so this dream will probably have to wait for a good while. But,in the meantime,I can get to glorifying God by making what is not neat, neat and by organizing a few of the most glorifying pieces of work around the house, for our and anyone else's, encouragement...

Thank You God that you also
reminded me of this home school -organization link I had posted to utilize at another time,

The article is copied and pasted below, for your convenience as well.

God bless and Happy Thanksgiving!

Conquering the Home school Invasion
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Organizing the clutter before it takes over the house
by Monika Downey
Friday: Clean and Organized

It begins to creep in slowly and then seems to overtake you--stacks of books, math manipulative's in the bathtub, colored pencils in the silverware drawer. And the papers...ALL of the papers. Your kitchen begins to look like a mad scientist invaded it and you can't find the door to the fridge because of the layers of Art Projects and A+++ reports on "Birds of Prey." (Thank heavens they outgrew that topic!)

If you are realizing it's time for all out warfare on the Home school House Invasion, you may be looking for some ideas on where to begin and how to reclaim your house.

1. Shelves, Boxes and Bins--Organize flashcards in shoe boxes (the clear, plastic ones are wonderful) and cut up subject dividers to keep them separate. Keep large containers with lids for crayons, pencils, stickers and other items. This allows for quick cleanup. A box or milk crate for each child makes transporting to another room or location handy and keeps everything together.

2. Keep a "return" bin handy for books and videos that need to be returned to the library or school.

3. Consider putting up a large bulletin board for papers and clearing the board at the beginning of each month. Keeping a bulletin board in each child's room also gives them a place to hang the real "masterpieces."

4. Find a closet or set of cupboards that you can devote entirely to school materials. Lots of shelves are great for organizing and stacking. Putting all your home school materials away at the end of the week forces you to keep on top of the piles that easily build up.

5. Keep on top of housework by assigning chores. Spending a half hour making beds and picking up before school makes a huge difference. Even the youngest can empty a small garbage can or feed a pet.

6. Make children clean up in small spurts during the day so you don't end up with an enormous mess at the end of the day. Allow kids a break between lessons but only after they clean something up. (Sure it's a bribe but it works!)

7. Buy a small, 10x12, whiteboard for each child to keep the paper buildup down. Kids love them and they are great to work math problems on or practice a new cursive letter.

8. Invest in an inexpensive three-hole punch that makes any paper fit into a binder. Make it your child's responsibility to get papers into his notebook.

A home school house gets a lot of use and a real "lived-in" look. Many veteran homeschoolers have learned that you may just have to lower your housekeeping standards a little. Face it, if you choose to home school you will probably not end up featured on the cover of Martha Stewart Living. However, you will have embarked down an adventure with your children that they will never forget. In the end, your children will probably not remember how clean your house was, but they will remember that you were the only house on the block that had a chemistry lab in the kitchen and a mom or dad more powerful than Bill Nye the Science Guy.


Freelancer Monika Downey's work has been featured in the San Jose Mercury News, Family Circle, Woodhall's Backpacking Magazine and many others.


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