Saturday, March 6, 2010

Who Me? Organize????

The blog cruise questions keep getting harder.  This week's question:  How do you organize your space?

My initial response to this question was: Who me?  Nobody in their right mind wants to know how I organize!!!  I was going to simply pass on this week's question, and plan to read what everyone else posts in the hopes of maybe learning something from all these other amazing ladies.

But you know what?  While I may not have any pearls of wisdom to share here, maybe I do have some encouragement.  This is one area where I am the poster child for "If she can homeschool, anyone can homeschool!"

For instance:
  • We lose books.  All the time.  They usually end up being found, sometimes months later.  Under the couch, under the bed, or just under a pile of paperwork I was supposed to get to.  
  • Losing books (all the time, remember?) means that we quite often end up having to change our plans mid-stream.  Like putting All About Spelling on hold for eight months while we wait for the Silent E book to turn up.
  • Losing books is also one of the reasons I adore our fantastic library.  When Story of the World goes missing, I put it on hold at the library.  Usually I'll have a copy in my hand within a week, and most of the time the MIA item will reappear by the time the library book is due.  Or we'll be done with it.
  • Maybe it's because I threaten my kids within an inch of their life, but we don't tend to lose items we borrow from others.  I keep tighter controls, I guess.  But I don't have time to do that with everything.
  • Losing books is one of the reasons I love ebooks.  One of my favorite things about Math Mammoth is that I can print only the pages we will use today and not worry that I'm going to have to put math on hold for six weeks while we try to find a missing workbook.
  • Loving ebooks is one of the reasons I absolutely adore my laser printer.  We inherited it once upon a time, and it is a workhorse.  I don't think I could homeschool without it.
  • Losing books is one of the reasons I like some of the online teaching opportunities.  Explode the Code Online, for instance... because we tend to have to stop when we use the workbooks, as well, you know, the book would vanish.
There are some aspects of my out of control housekeeping that are a good thing for homeschooling though.  Like yesterday... even with company expected, the island in my kitchen was covered with cut up coffee filters and all kinds of household chemicals (a science experiment).  And the dining room table was covered with an art project.  There's a science experiment growing on the bookshelf in the kitchen.  There's a science experiment growing in one of our cupboards.  There's a science experiment NOT growing on the dryer.  There's an insect collection on the desk in the study.   There is a soap carving or two hiding somewhere (they were on the dining room table, not exactly sure where they moved to).  There's a model boat-in-process on a living room end table.

Since the house looks fairly completely chaotic anyway, why not let the kids have multiple projects scattered around?  

As much as I would love to be able to post here and tell you how together we are, and about the perfect system we have, so the kids always know precisely where thing are, I'm just not that mom.   

The TOS Crew Blog is sponsoring a question of the week every Tuesday. How Do You organize your space? is planned for 3/9. I plan to participate as often as possible.

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Shannon said...

I don't know if you remember me - We talked on the phone many years ago about mystery shopping. I met you on the Sonlight forum for preschool. My oldest is 12, next is 10 then four and a newborn. Thanks for being so honest! I just had my fourth child in January and am quickly learning that chaos is probably going to be the norm for awhile! I am getting ready to use Explode the Code with the 4 yo and had no idea it was now online! I'll have to check that out! Thanks again for your honesty!

Debra said...

Shannon -- of COURSE I remember you! Explode the Code online you can get through the Homeschool Buyer's Co-op (check the pink logo in the left column of my blog!) for less than a regular subscription. I like it because it makes my son go back and re-do the "pages" when he isn't grasping something as quickly as he should, and it is fewer books for me to keep track of!

I just cruised on over to your blog, and I am going to catch up. The baby is beautiful by the way!

Tess said...

I love you Debra... just had to say it. DEL is still missing here. Oh well. We'll get to it if it ever shows up.

Debra said...

Tess -- if I knew where my DEL was, I'd offer to send it to you. :) Actually, no, I'd be using it with one of my kids.

Angie said...

Love it, love it, love it!!! We are indeed kindred spirits! THANK YOU FOR SHARING (and thus making me feel more normal).

TerriG said...

I have one child who consistently loses books, I will tell show him this blog. Missing items right now...Math u see Zeta dvd, Balancing the sword, and Dinah Zike science adventures. Have you seen them?

heartmama said...

I try to keep a tight reign on the library books, but I have to confess there are currently two library items I keep renewing on the hope and prayer they turn up before I run out of allowed renewals. I haven't yet lost any school books, however. I keep them locked in plastic boxes with snap-closed handles in an area where ONLY I am allowed and the kids know better than to even *think* about touching school books outside of school time. During school time I keep a close eye to make sure they don't leave their designated "spot" for learning with any books in hand. I guess I'm less worried about library fines than about losing the hard to find/ expensive school books. LOL THANK you for sharing this honest description! It's so nice to hear I'm not the only mother whose home wouldn't fit into the pages of Pottery Barn! You said you thought you could offer encouragement and you definitely did that for me. :D Thanks!