Thursday, February 07, 2008


Kat has picked the subject of organization for Parenting University today. I can tell by her orderly personality she'll have some great advice to offer, but organization is not my strongest suit. However, there are two areas which work for me at this time- homeschool and meal planning.

Since I have four children in four different grades, I must find a way to keep track of all the books required. Each child has the following books of his or her own: language arts, vocabulary, math, literature, practice test taking, composition, and at least three teacher's guides per child. Every student has at least one novel to read at all times apart from the textbooks. We also have several references for history, science and Bible. In the course of one school day, that comes to about twenty eight books in use.
How in the world do we keep up with so many texts? I consulted with other homeschool mothers and borrowed their ideas. I've come up with a system which works for us. I've color coded each child's materials. Peace is red, because he is melancholy. Pooh Bear is purple, her favorite color. Tater is green being so very full of energy. Wise one is blue because he is serene and peaceful.
According to the person's color, I've bought painter's tape at Wallyworld to match. Each child's text has a strip of colored tape across the top spine and an inch around the sides. I tape two strips of colored tape to the bottom spine and side of teacher's manuals. If I spy a book with green tape on the couch, I know to call Tater to come fetch it. If Peace leaves me something to check, I know to find the blue taped teacher's manual.
Each child has a basket with a colored ribbon attached to catch sundry books and carry them around the house or out and about. It's fairly easy to take work on the road with a prepared basket. We have one assigned shelf where the baskets rest and another for books to placed in colored order when not in use or in the basket. The notebooks of paper I've purchased also match the child's color.
Around 1:00 in the afternoon, children, books and papers are spread all over the house on couches, kitchen table, homeschool table, breakfast counter, living room floor, my bed, my floor. It takes about five minutes to clean up the chaos at the end of the day.

Meal Planning
I don't like to cook or shop. I hate to think of "What's for dinner?". I'm always looking for new ways to make this work for our family. Currently I'm subscribing to a website which masterminds a five day dinner plan, shopping list, and recipes for each meal. Once a week, I shop big for breakfast items, bread, milk, yogurt, fruit, orange juice, snacks, and the website's list, and the deed is done. The recipes are fairly easy, so cooking is not too big of a deal.

There. you have my very best organizational tips. You might not want to ask about other areas of home order, because I have entirely too much stuff. I think if I was a rich woman, a library and office might solve every problem, because books and papers are the things in too great of abundance for our allowed space.


Kristin said...

good ideas.

I like the meal planning ideas. I've been trying to institute that as well.

The Secret Life of Kat said...

Meal planning is something I really want to work on. Thanks for the tips!

Carrie said...

If you want free meal planning ideas check out my blog at

truevyne said...

Dear Kristen,
glad you visited.
thanks for hostessing the University.
And Carrie,
I looked for a weekly grocerylist and weekly menu, but couldn't find one. Do you have those?

Milk in the Closet said...

Thanks for the meal planning website. I need all the help I can get.