Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Getting My Act in Order...

There always seems to be a lot of things for me to work on in the beginning of the school year - and this year more than others.

I've spent a lot of the last two weeks in the basement, getting rid of things and getting things in order (yes, inspired partly by the mouse problem - which thankfully seems to have diminished/disappeared but also because the annual rummage sale where we take care of most of our clothing/furniture/household needs for the year is coming up in just a few weeks). The place looks a LOT better, but definitely a work in progress.

I've been re-tweaking our daily "learning and helping" list for each of the kids (it comprises a two-page spread in a binder, so it's quite easy to deal with. We started out with three major segments for the day: "Table-time", "Other Learning" and "Misc." This wasn't a bad start and the "Table-time" emphasis (four subjects each - varying according to what the kids have a harder time focusing on, etc.) really helped keep the day in order and get the basics done even when the afternoon was full). The problem was that certain important items on the "miscellaneous" list were getting forgotten on busier days. SO, I added some new sections. Now everyone has a before table-time list (including taking care of pets, making beds, etc.) and a middle of the day chore list. We'll see how it goes. I have a tendency to over-do these scheduling things and then get overwhelmed and give the plan up entirely. I'm striving for a reasonable balance here.

Any reader of this blog probably knows that I love to read. I think it's also true that I love to start books. Naturally, this can get a bit disorganized after a time. I just discovered GoodReads at Melissa Wiley's site and it looks like it will be a nice companion to my LibraryThing organization. Where LibraryThing is intended to keep track of the books you own, GoodRead is for tracking what you've read, what you're currently reading and what you're planning on reading. I opted for the side-bar widget of books that I'm currently working on. I also cleared off most of the mantel in our 'dining-room' (which never gets used as a dining room, but we continue to call it that anyway) so that I can have those books-in-progress handy and try to keep each of them moving along a bit.

One book I've been particularly neglecting is a retreat for mothers by Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity which was recommended by my spiritual director. We haven't met for a few months because both our schedules were crazy towards the end of summer. It's amazing how an upcoming meeting can already start getting me back on track. :)

Also, I joined the Catholic Homeschooling "full circle" group. You can find links to the groups' most recent posts at the bottom of my links page. (It's a long list, so I needed a slightly less obtrusive place for it than the sidebar).

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