How do you store your homeschool books?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,

When you get a few homeschoolers together, the conversation usually goes to what curriculum do you use? Then, my next question is, “How do you organize it?”
I am an eclectic homeschooler. Our homeschool curriculum is chosen with care depending on the student’s skill level and interest level.
My children are hands on learners, and I have one who is dyslexic. So I cannot buy boxed curriculum sets. I have found materials that work for a variety of children, and I have had to find specific materials to help my son learn to read, spell, and write in a way that worked with his dyslexia.
My kitchen is the main homeschool area, but you can also find my children spread out around the house doing school work. They use textbooks, workbooks, and the computer. So there are a variety of things that are pulled out for each school day.
Part of their training has been to get materials out for one subject at a time and put those books away before getting out the next subject. I check them right before they put them away. I do not have piles of books and materials scattered all over my house. When it is time to do school, their materials are in one place.
We each have different set ups for organizing our school books. I have a cabinet with doors that close. I love this! Before I had the cabinet, I used heavy-duty plastic crates for each student.
Some of my friends use rolling carts with drawers to organize. Some use file cabinets. Some use plastic tubs with lids. There is no shortage of ways to store your books.
Tell me how you organize your books.
Today’s Zone Mission is to toss old cosmetics and do a 27 fling boogie. Focus on finding 27 things to give away.
Your Home Blessing for today is to declutter paper and magazines.
My menu plan for Thursday is taco soup and a salad.
Have a great day!

My Daily Routines Bring Peace and Calm to my Home

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

 

Dear Friends,
Today I received a question, and it is probably one that some of you have been thinking. “How do you stay motivated to do your routines when you are doing the same thing every day?”
What I have found with my daily routines is that peace washes over me as I do my daily routines. There is security in knowing what the next thing in my routine is. There is a calmness in my mind when I don’t have to fret about what to do. There is joy in my spirit because I have let go of CHAOS and have embraced the routines.
Each morning, I am greeted by my shiny sink. It might not last long as the working folks in my house grab breakfast and pack lunch. They might leave a coffee cup for me to rinse and put in the dishwasher. I am thankful for their jobs, and they are trying to not make a lot of noise as they get ready for work. A few cups in the sink from them means that they have left for work and enjoyed a cup of coffee first.
Right after breakfast, I am usually in the laundry room assessing what needs to happen next. Sometimes there is a load of wash that needs to be moved to the dryer, or there might be a load of towels to fold. Most of the time, I just need to start a load of laundry. The routine of doing laundry is not difficult, and yet many people detest laundry. They get hung up (pun intended) somewhere in the process. Most of the time they stop as soon as they take it out of the dryer. Living out of laundry baskets is not peaceful.
Decluttering and blessing my home through vacuuming, dusting, sweeping, and mopping bring me peace. I like checking things off my routine list just like you do. I let perfectionism go and just do the best I can with my home blessings. They are not done perfectly, and that is okay. They are done. I hear from ladies who have not vacuumed or mopped in months. I talk to ladies who dust once or twice a year. These can be done in minutes if you just jump in and do them.
I am not bored or tired of my routines. I embrace them and love them because they bring me peace and calm.
Your Zone Mission today is to wash the bathroom rugs and do a 27 Fling Boogie. Focus on putting things away today.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe windows and mirrors.
My menu plan for Wednesday is homemade pizza with a salad.
Have a great day!

Using a BINGO Game to Declutter

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

 

 

Dear Friends,
It’s Plan and Play Day! This is a great time to work on your homeschool lesson plans, menu planning, or paying bills. Spend 15 minutes on one of these tasks, and then reward yourself with 15 minutes of something you love to do.
Most Tuesdays, I spend an hour playing FlyLady BINGO online with the FlyLady Premium members. It makes decluttering fun, and when you are done, you can see the progress you made in a short amount of time. Here is a way you can play it at home:
First, I will assign a zone to each letter in the word BINGO.
B – Zone 1 – The Front Porch, Entryway, and Dining Room
I – Zone 2 – The Kitchen
N – Zone 3 – The Main Bathroom and One Other Area
G – Zone 4 – The Master Bedroom
O – Zone 5 – The Living Room or Family Room
Next, write these down on five note cards. Put them in a bowl or basket. Turn on some upbeat music, and get your timer out. You can do 5 minute missions for a 30 minute game, or you can do 10 minute missions for a 50 minute game.
Draw one card at a time, and spend your designated time in that area. You can declutter by putting things away, throwing things away, or putting things in your give away box. The goal is to take care of the hot spots in each of the zones and have fun at the same time!
If you play this game just once a week, you will find that you have less and less to do each week. You can include your children, too. Send them on specific missions to get rid of clutter and trash. You could assign the BINGO letters to different areas of their bedrooms.
You could use cues such as pick up your floor, clean out from under your bed, declutter from the tops of your dresser, toss the trash from your desk, change your sheets, pick up the stuff from the bottom of your closet, pull out any shoes or clothes that don’t fit.
If you need to clean a large area, such as a basement or garage, you can use the BINGO game there as well. Just pick 5 things to do in those areas and assign one thing to each letter. You will have fun, and you will know that there is an end to the game.
When you finish, reward yourself and your children with a fun activity.
What area(s) do you need to declutter today?
Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.
Your Zone Mission for today is to check your bathroom supplies and do a 27 Fling Boogie and put away 27 items.
My menu plan for Tuesday is Soup and Sandwiches and a salad for me.
Have a blessed day!

Tossing Perfectionism and Clutter from Your Home

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
What area in your home needs decluttering? This week we are decluttering and detail cleaning in the Main Bathroom and another room in your home. The FlyLady has missions suggested for you in your Guest Room.
If you do not have a Guest Room, you can choose another room for these missions. We are going to do one 27 Fling Boogie per day Monday through Thursday. On Friday, we will do the flooring in that room.
If you are new to the 27 Fling Boogie, it is simply a way to put a value on the number of items you are tossing or giving away. Find 27 things to throw away, and don’t get picky about it. Let it go! Then, another day you will find 27 things to give away. Another day, you will find 27 things to put away. Don’t let your perfectionism hold you back!
Here are you missions for the week:
Zone 3 Missions: The Main Bathroom & The Guest Room
Monday – Clear off Hot Spots in Bathroom;
27 Fling Boogie in Guest Room – Toss Clutter
Tuesday – Check Bathroom Supplies;
27 Fling Boogie in Guest Room – Put Away
Wednesday – Wash Bathroom Rugs;
27 Fling Boogie in Guest Room – Give Away
Thursday – Declutter Old Cosmetics;
27 Fling Boogie in Guest Room – Give Away
Friday – Scrub Bathroom Faucets;
Vacuum Guest Room
Set your timers and then take a break when it goes off!
If you have a lot of paper clutter, the 27 Fling Boogie is a great game to help you toss a lot of paper in a short amount of time. Seeing paper leave your home gives you instant gratification, too!
Here’s your recap of the Weekly Zone Missions.
On Monday, you are going to clear the Hot Spots in the main bathroom and toss 27 things.
On Tuesday, your mission is to check your bathroom supplies and put away 27 things.
On Wednesday, you are going to wash the bathroom rugs and find 27 things to give away.
On Thursday, go through your cosmetics and toss old items and find 27 more things to give away.
On Friday, your mission is to scrub the bathroom faucets and vacuum the guest room.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.
Your Zone Mission for today is to clear off the Hot Spots in the bathroom and toss 27 items.
My menu plan for Monday is BBQ. Salad for me.
Have a blessed day!

Playing Games to Clean Your Kitchen

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Happy Friday! As we end the week, how did you do with your missions in your kitchen? This is the heart of your home where you nourish your family. You deserve a decluttered area to prepare your meals. Email a picture to me at homeschool@flylady.net.
One day this week, I played a 30 minute game with the FlyLady Premium members. We did quick 5 minute missions in the kitchen, and it made a big impact. We kept it short and fun, and before they knew it, they had handled the Hot Spots, decluttered the counters, wiped the counters, shined their sinks, and emptied the dishwasher.
If you did not get all of the missions this week completed, I want you to get out no more than 5 pieces of paper. Write down 5 things you would like to do in the kitchen today. Fold the papers and put them in a bowl or basket. Set your timer for 5 minutes and turn on some music. Draw a number and get started.
I have heard from ladies this week who had to run more than a load of dishes through the dishwasher to catch up. I heard from ladies who had a lot of pots and pans to hand wash. These ladies used their timers and got caught up with their dishes.
Some of the ladies sent me before and after pictures of their kitchen counters this week. I know first-hand how quickly kitchen counters can get out of control. That is why I do a Hot Spot Fire Drill mission daily with my kitchen counters.
Kitchen cabinets and kitchen drawers are sometimes overlooked when you are cleaning in the kitchen. If your children help you with the dishes, your kitchen cabinets likely need a little straightening every month. Since the kitchen renovation last year, the boys have not adjusted to some of the changed locations for items. Sometimes I find things in places that are different than where I would put them.
One of your 5 minute missions might be to just check your cabinets and drawers for things that need to be put where you want them to be.
Friday is the day I do my grocery shopping, so I will be looking in my pantry as I make a menu plan. I will use the items I have on hand, and I will use that as a spring board for my menu plan.
Finish up your missions and enjoy your weekend.
What are you doing for family fun day this weekend?
Today’s Zone Mission is to sweep and mop the kitchen.
Your Home Blessing for today is to empty the trash, sweep, and mop.
My menu plan for Friday is take out.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Start your school supply shopping at home.

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
It’s that time of year. Back to school supplies are on sale and calling your name. The past few weeks, I have reminded you to make your lists and to be prepared for the start of your homeschool year. Now, we are going to use this list.
Take a look at your list, and then I want you to check the supplies you already have on hand. Shop your supply closet before you shop the back to school sales. Homeschoolers like to buy school supplies, especially when they are a great deal. But they are not a great deal if they are not used, and you likely have some supplies left from previous years’ supplies.
Over the past 18 years of homeschooling, I have purchased my fair share of school supplies, and I know what products we like and what we don’t like. I have given away extra supplies the past couple of years in order to have more room in my cabinet.
When I look at my needs for the new school year, I check our pens, pencils, and paper supplies. When my children were younger, I also checked the status of my supplies of crayons, markers, glue, and construction paper. I also kept paint and scissors on hand, but I kept those items locked up in a cabinet.
After you have checked off the items you already have on hand, then take your list and check the sales. When you go shopping, stick to your list. If you impulse buy when you are out shopping, you will have more stuff to store, and you may be purchasing things you won’t be using all in the name of getting a good deal. If you can shop the sales online, that is even better. It will prevent you from impulse shopping.
We should be wise purchasers and save money when we can. I do not want to deter you from going out and getting good deals on your school supplies. The goal is to save money and only buy what you need.
Tell me what you found in your school supply collection that you forgot about.
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter and wipe down your kitchen counter tops.
Your Home Blessing for today is to toss papers and magazines.
My menu plan for Thursday is chicken and a salad.

Have a great day!

Motivation for You and Your Children

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
August is the month that many of us start back to homeschool with our children. Some days it’s hard to find our motivation to motivate our kids. They hear us, and they see our body language. They know our moods. So let’s purpose this year to find JOY in our days.
When our days start out with whining children and a tired mama, it’s hard to find joy. It’s hard to get motivated. When you are getting ready for bed at night that is the time to start thinking and praying for the next day. We need energy, enthusiasm, creativity, flexibility, joy, and more.
Take care of your evening routine. That is the one thing that will help you start your day off on the right foot, and it will save you time right off the bat when your kitchen sink is clean and your clothes are laid out and ready to go.
Set your coffee pot up the night before, and you will have coffee as soon as you get up. This is my next favorite thing after waking up and seeing my shiny sink.
If your summer schedule has been loose, you can expect some resistance to begin with as you transition into your school schedule. Make sure everyone is getting to bed at a decent hour the night before. Establish boundaries for games and electronics.
Encourage routines and school schedule adherence through rewards and fun activities. What do your children enjoy doing? Use this as the carrot at the end of the stick to motivate them to do their morning routine and school work without dawdling or whining.
Keep doing your basic routines. Don’t stop decluttering or doing laundry. You might have to find different places in your day to do these things, but these two routines help you keep chaos at bay, and that makes your homeschool day go better.
If you have little ones and struggle with everything, involve them in your routines as much as possible. Give them something to do near you as you fold laundry or do the dishes. Have play areas set up for them during your school day.
All summer, I have given you tips and strategies to take care of yourself and your home. It’s time to use these tips as you start your school year.
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter leftovers from the fridge and wipe the shelves.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe windows and mirrors.
My menu plan for Wednesday is soup and sandwiches with a salad.
Have a great day!

Are you taking care of your health?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
You are a busy lady. Most of you reading this are homeschool moms. You have a lot on your plate. Are you taking time to take care of your health?
We need to be aware of our health – the good and the not so good. The way to determine if we have a health issue usually means we need to make an appointment with a care provider and have some blood work done.
What are some important appointments? A well visit annually and blood work. This is how I originally found out that I had an issue with my thyroid. During this time, I also found out that I had low vitamin D levels and low potassium. These conditions are important to treat, and my care provider keeps and eye on these numbers regularly.
Even if you feel good, a blood panel can help pinpoint issues before they become bigger issues.
Regular dental care can also help you pinpoint other issues with your overall health and your dental health. Many people do not see a dentist regularly for a variety of reasons from money or lack of insurance to fear of seeing the dentist.
I encourage you to look for a dentist you like and have your regular visits. If you are having an issue, don’t keep putting off an appointment.
As we age, certain screenings are recommended. This is between you and your care provider. Research and read about these procedures and make an informed decision on whether or not you want to have the screenings.
As an infant I was adopted, and I have no medical history. I use a proactive approach to my health care. I also do what I can to take care of myself through eating healthy, drinking water, exercising, and resting. I also do certain screenings at different points in my life to give myself and the doctor more information about my health.
Are you taking care of your health and making needed appointments?
Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.
Your Zone Mission for today is to wipe down the fronts of your kitchen cabinets.
My menu plan for Tuesday is spaghetti. Veggies and salad for me.
Have a blessed day!

Are Mondays Hard for You?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Are you ready for another fantastic week? Several years ago, I did not enjoy Monday mornings, and I learned I had to change my attitude toward Monday morning. Monday morning can be challenging, but when you have your FlyLady Routines in place, you can fly through the morning and enjoy yourself, too.
This week we are going to declutter and detail clean in our kitchens. This is an important part of your home, and when you have it decluttered, it makes meal prep a breeze.
Here are you missions for the week:
Zone 2 Missions: The Kitchen
Monday – Dust along the ceiling and light fixtures
Tuesday – Wipe down the cabinet doors
Wednesday – Declutter leftovers from the fridge and wipe shelves
Thursday – Declutter and wipe counter tops
Friday – Sweep and Mop the kitchen
Set your timers and then take a break when it goes off!
If you are struggling this morning, sit down for a few minutes with a cup of coffee or a cup of hot tea. Just breathe, even if the kids are loud around you. I want you to close your eyes and let yourself relax from the top of your head down to your toes.
Now, get out your favorite pen and notebook. Write down no more than 10 things that you would like to accomplish this week. Keep them small or divide into steps. Each day, I want you to do 2 things from this list. You will feel accomplished as you are able to check things off daily.
This morning, do your Morning Routine fully as soon as you finish this list. If you are not dressed, I want you to do that first. If your kids are not dressed, tell them to get dressed, too. Set the timer and make it fun!
While you are in your bedroom, make your bed if it is not made unless you are washing your sheets today.
When you are in the bathroom, do a quick swish and swipe.
Go back to the kitchen and check your calendar for today. Is there anything on your calendar that you need to do today?
Start a load of laundry.
Check your menu plan and see what’s for dinner. If you do not have a menu plan, check the pantry and freezer and make a plan.
With that, you have completed your Morning Routine. Set an alarm to go back and switch the laundry later.
Here’s your recap of the Weekly Zone Missions.
On Monday, you are going to spend 15 minutes dusting along the ceiling and fixtures of your kitchen.
On Tuesday, your mission is to wipe the outside of your cabinet doors.
On Wednesday, declutter leftovers and science experiments from the refrigerator.
On Thursday, declutter the kitchen counters and wipe.
On Friday, your mission is to sweep and mop the kitchen.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.
Your Zone Mission for today is to dust along the ceiling and light fixtures.
My menu plan for Monday is beef roast. Salad for me.
Have a blessed day!

How do your zones look?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Today is the last day in our zones of the week. How are things looking? Email a picture to me. I want to celebrate your progress with you. Email a picture to me at homeschool@flylady.net.
This week we were in Zone 5 and Zone 1. How did your missions go?
We decluttered in the Living Room or Family Room. Often these rooms are left off as we tend to other areas of the house. Items get tossed into the corners of the room and forgotten. Flat surfaces accumulate clutter. It may help you to have a regular Hot Spot drill in the Living Room to help you tame the chaos.
As we moved over to Zone 1, we covered three important areas of the home. The front porch is the first thing people see when they come to our homes. Is your front porch decluttered, or is it an additional storage area for you?
The entryway to your home is the main area your family comes into and drops what is in their hands. Shoes, jackets, hats, bags, and more land in the entryway. Set up a place for the things your family needs close to the door, and remind them to put the other things away.
The dining room is often not used for nightly meals, but we do use it. How does your dining room look right now? Did you take care of the clutter that was in there?
Plan a nice meal for your family to serve in the dining room. You can even plan on using the pretty table settings. My family feels special when I set the table with the nice tablecloth and dishes.
Today, we are going to sweep or vacuum in Zone 1. Do this quickly and don’t get caught up in the details. If you still have some clutter in the areas, clean around it. You can declutter it a little at a time later. I want you to feel the success today of getting the sweeping or vacuuming done in this area.
Finish up your missions and enjoy your weekend.
What are you doing for family fun day this weekend?
Today’s Zone Mission is to sweep or vacuum in zone 1 – the front porch, entryway, and dining room.
Your Home Blessing for today is to empty the trash, sweep, and mop.
My menu plan for Friday is take out.
Have a wonderful weekend!