Getting Organized – Week 1 Day 5

Congratulations! You are on Day 5 of Getting Organized! How you are doing with your tasks? Are your bookshelves looking better?

After homeschooling for 15 years, my bookshelves were pretty full at the beginning of last school year. I started purging books each week, and I have cleared out half of a large bookshelf. My goal by the end of the summer is to have it cleared off completely. I have an idea that I want to use for the area that bookshelf is in.

 

 

Friday – Set your timer for 15 minutes for the Home Assignment and 15 minutes for the School assignment

 

Home: Make your bed. Brush your teeth and get dressed to the shoes. Shine your sink. Fill your water bottle. Be thinking about how you want to get moving today. There will ideas in the Family Fun section.

 

School: Since you have purged your school books for the year and worked on purging your bookshelves, today you are going to start making a list of curriculum that you need to buy for the new school year. This is just a rough list. Next week, you will start looking at prices.

 

Family Fun:         It’s Friday! Time to take your donation books somewhere to drop them off. I like to donate used school books to the Boys and Girls Club or anywhere that they do tutoring. While you are out making your donation, think of an activity you and your children would enjoy. You can go to the park, go on a hike, go swimming, etc. Think of something you really want to do for fun that all of you enjoy.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed your first week of this series. Before you know it, you will be FLY-ing like The FlyLady.

 

Siggie - Tami Fox

Getting Organized – Week 1 Day 4

Let’s start out this morning with a full water bottle. If your children are not used to drinking water regularly, work with them on replacing juices and other drinks with water. It’s a healthy and economical habit.

 

How are your Morning and Before Bed Routines going now that you have practiced them for a few days? Are you enjoying a shiny sink?

In my house, everything runs more smoothly if we take care of our Morning and Before Bed Routines daily. If the boys fall asleep before they lay their clothes out for the next day, our morning has more stress to it.

 

 

Thursday – Set your timer for 15 minutes for the Home Assignment and 15 minutes for the School assignment

 

Home: Make your bed when you get up. Brush your teeth and get dressed to the shoes. Shine your sink. Fill your water bottle.

 

School: Go back to your bookshelves and put them in the order you want them in. Put the ones you do not need any more in a box to giveaway. Put the box in your car. You might have two boxes now. That’s ok. You are going to purge one more day, and then you will donate what you have collected in your car. Do not leave the box in your house.

 

Family fun:          Take a nature walk with your children. Talk about the things you see along the way. Next week your children are going to start a nature journal.

 

 

 

Are you incorporating something fun in your day? Your children will remember this as a summer of fun, and you will remember it as the summer you got organized before school started.

 

Siggie - Tami Fox

Getting Organized This Summer – Week 1 Day 3

If you are joining us late for the series on Getting Organized, just jump in right now. I have outlined simple routines to help you get your home and homeschool organized this summer. The first thing I want you to do this morning is fill your water bottle.

 

If you have not worked on your Before Bed Routine, I want you to work on that tonight right after dinner. It will make tomorrow morning go so much smoother.

 

 

Wednesday – Set your timer for 15 minutes for the Home Assignment and 15 minutes for the School assignment

 

Home:  Make your bed when you get up. Brush your teeth and get dressed down to lace up shoes. Shine your sink.

 

School: Go back to this year’s school books and finish purging what you do not need. File papers that you have to keep according to state law.

(If this is your first year, research your state laws and start a permanent school file.)

 

Family Fun:         Get out your bikes and go for a ride. If you don’t have bikes, go for a nature walk.

 

 

I hope you are enjoying the brief list of activities each day. I purposely did that, so you would not get overwhelmed.

 

Siggie - Tami Fox

Getting Organized this Summer – Week 1 Day 2

Today I want you to work on your morning routine. You can see from your Home assignment below that we are working toward instilling the habit of a Morning and Before Bed Routine. These two routines make my days go so much better. I recommend you do the Before Bed Routine right after dinner.

 

The first thing I want you to do this morning is fill your water bottle. Try to drink 60 ounces of water today.

 

 

Tuesday – Set your timer for 15 minutes for the Home Assignment and 15 minutes for the School assignment

 

Home:  Make your bed when you get up. Shine your sink.

School: Pull books from your bookshelf that you no longer need. Put them in a box to give away. Put the box in the car.

(If this is your first year, read about Charlotte Mason and nature journaling.)

Family Fun:         Play some water games outside with your children.

 

 

 

The goal this week is to sort through your books and make room for next year’s books. Take it slow and steady. Set the timer for 15 minutes, and after the buzzer goes off, do a different task. You are going to organize your books in small steps. That will help keep you from burning out on doing a big project at one time.

 

I am giving you ideas for summer fun with your kids because I know a lot of you try to get a lot of things accomplished in the summer. You need to work in fun and rewards, too.

 

Siggie - Tami Fox

Let’s Get Organized this Summer

Do you want to get organized this summer and don’t know where to start? I wrote up a little series of tasks that you can do to help you get organized around the house, with your school books, and to help your kids, too.

I will have a post each morning of the week. I won’t have any tasks for you on Saturday or Sunday. After today’s post, I will have these pre-loaded, so they will be ready for you first thing in the morning.

 

Week 1 – June 1-5

Monday – Have a timer handy for your assignments. They need to take 15 minutes or less. I am going to help walk you through The FlyLady’s system to help you get ready for your new school year in the fall. We are going to Baby-Step our way to better routines and less clutter in our homes.

This week I want you to work on your morning and before bed routines. We will add in the afternoon routines next week.

 

 

Home:         Empty your sink and make it shiny

Load dishwasher or put away clean dishes

School:       Start purging this year’s papers and books

(If this is your first year, start reading about curriculum options. DON’T buy anything just yet.)

Family Fun: Go to the Library and sign up for the Summer Reading Program. Let your kids pick the books that interest them to read.

 

 

As you can see in the picture below, I am dressed all the way down to my lace-up shoes.

 

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Tomorrow, we will add on a few more tasks. The Habit of the Month with The FlyLady is to Drink Your Water, so have your water bottle ready tomorrow. If you are not on The FlyLady’s email list, go over to her site and sign up now at www.FlyLady.net.

 

Siggie - Tami Fox

Dream the Impossible Dream of an Organized Home

Join me on Friday, May 29, 2015, at 4:00 pm Eastern for a FREE webinar about my new book.

wings digital books

 

Title: To Dream The Impossible Dream of An Organized Home

Description: Does the idea of organizing and cleaning your home seem like an impossible dream? Homeschooling mother of six Tami Fox shares how she uses routines in her home to make it a haven for her family. She’s taught her children these routines, so they’ll be able to take their wings and fly into life as prepared adults. She shares positive methods for organizing and cleaning. Tami wants to help you give your children wings, so they can FLY, too! Available in digital format on Amazon, iBooks, Nook, Kobo, Scribd, Page Foundry, and Tolino. Print edition coming soon. Tami lives in rural North Carolina with her husband of more than twenty-five years and their children. She has been a home educator since 2000. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Information Systems and uses her education to be a better teacher for her children. Tami is a writer and speaker to encourage moms. She writes reviews and other details about her life with her family at www.TamiFox.net. She is in the trenches just like you and takes life one step at a time with mercy and grace. You can contact Tami through her blog or through email at Tami@TamiFox.com.

Date & Time: Fri, May 29th, 2015 at 4:00 pm EDT

Registration

Please register for the above meeting by visiting this link: http://paul109.enterthemeeting.com/m/NCEVC7C4

Once you have registered, we will send you the information you need to join the webinar.

Giving Your Children Wings Without Losing Yours

Does the idea of organizing and cleaning your home seem like an impossible dream? Homeschooling mother of six Tami Fox shares how she uses routines in her home to make it a haven for her family. She’s taught her children these routines, so they’ll be able to take their wings and fly into life as prepared adults. She shares positive methods for organizing and cleaning. Tami wants to help you give your children wings, so they can FLY, too!

 

Available in the Kindle Store on Amazon now!

 

wings digital books

Giving Your Children Wings Without Losing Yours

 

 

About the Author

 

Tami Fox

Photo: Shane Greene Photography

 

Tami lives in rural North Carolina with her husband of more than twenty-five years and their children. She has been a home educator since 2000. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Information Systems and uses her education to be a better teacher for her children. Tami is a writer and speaker to encourage moms. She writes reviews and other details about her life with her family at www.TamiFox.net. She is in the trenches just like you and takes life one step at a time with mercy and grace. You can contact Tami through her blog or through email at Tami@TamiFox.com.

 

LIKE Tami’s page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tamikfox

FOLLOW Tami on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tami_fox

FOLLOW Tami on Instagram: https://instagram.com/tami_fox/

 

Siggie - Tami Fox

Balancing Home and Homeschooling

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I saw this today as I was looking online, and I think it IS possible to both homeschool and have a clean house at the same time. It takes persistence and routines, but it is possible to do both of these. They are not mutually exclusive of one another.

 

If you have read my About Me page, you know that I have homeschooled for more than 14 years and have six children. I have used routines I learned from The FlyLady to help me have a clean home and homeschool, too. The key for me has been my perspective on how tasks are handled in my home. I do not look at it as doing chores, and I share this philosophy with my children. I use the team work approach with them, and together the house stays picked up and orderly. I don’t strive for perfect either. There is a balance between a picked up home and one that is treated like a museum.

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If you are struggling with getting all of your homeschool plans and home keeping tasks accomplished daily, you should start off with the Baby Steps with The FlyLady and set some routines in place one step at a time. You can find The FlyLady on Facebook, too. I highly recommend her emails.

Siggie - Tami Fox

Studying the Human Body

During our second semester, the younger boys and I are studying the Human Body using Apologia’s Human Anatomy and Physiology student book and notebooking journals. I also have the student workbooks for Considering God’s Creation, so I have some great resources as we learn about the systems of the body, and how they work together.

Here’s a glimpse as we put the skeleton and internal organs in our project.

human-body

 

I laid out their outline bodies and the stack of bones and organs for them to sort through and place.

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They did a great job with the skeleton.

 

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There was a lot more discussion on where the various internal organs fit in the body. At one point, one of the bodies had an extra pancreas. Another one of the bodies ended up permanently missing a kidney. We decided that a person can live with only one kidney, so we didn’t get too upset about missing one.

 

This was a fun activity that helped us review the parts of the body.

 

Siggie - Tami Fox

Homeschooling with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Since I have been homeschooling for 15 years, I get lots of questions from people about homeschooling. One question I get often has to do with homeschooling older children while having preschoolers and/or toddlers in the house. I thought it would help if I put together some things I have done over the years that helped me juggle the needs of school-age children and my little ones.

When I am planning lessons for my older children, I try to find simple ways to include my younger ones. For instance, when my older children learned about flight and the physics behind flying, I read picture books about flight to my little ones. We made paper airplanes. I would provide simple craft supplies for preschoolers to make picture while talking to the older children about flight. I also found that it helped if I had “stations” for the baby to play safely in different parts of the house. Fortunately, there is not a rule that you have to do school in one place in the house. We move around the house doing school, and the baby is more entertained by a change of scenery from room-to-room. Here’s a picture that is several years old, but it shows examples of how I included my babies and toddlers in our homeschool day.

babies

As you see from the picture above, I had several little ones participating in the read aloud time. Not pictured are my two elementary-aged children who were reading books on their level about flight. By using the hands-on method of learning, I can plan activities for a very large age range.

When the older children studied the Boston Tea Party, we included the younger ones in the craft part of making the “tea” boxes. The baby was also included in our “tea party.” I found so many easy to read picture books for the American Revolution time period. Of course, we read and acted out Paul Revere’s Ride by Longfellow.

babies-boston

Reading to babies and toddlers is foundational to their communication skills. It is so easy to include them during the homeschool day with easy-to-read books. If you have children who still read out loud to you each day, the babies and toddlers can be a part of that time of your day, too. There is no such thing as too much reading to babies and toddlers.

school-time

Other ways to engage learning in young children while older ones are working on school is dependent on the age and skill level of the toddler or preschooler. As soon as my children are past the stage of putting everything in their mouths, I provide tactile activities for them. A little one can sit in his/her high chair beside of you and work on fine motor skills by eating or playing with toys.

I kept a pack-n-play near our school area for the little one to have a place to move about and play while we work on school work. I didn’t want to always contain them in a high chair or by holding them because I wanted them to be able to move around and learn skills.

As my toddlers grew into preschoolers, I would provide matching games, sorting blocks, salt dough, chunky crayons, and other age-appropriate craft materials. If I didn’t mind a mess, I would give them non-toxic paints or paint-with-water books.

Toddlers and preschoolers also need large muscle play time. Often, the older children would take short breaks from school work to play with the little ones. This is such a beneficial time to build relationships with siblings. Babies and toddlers should never be made to feel like they are in the way of your school day.

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Don’t be afraid to let your little ones experience arts and crafts. You need to provide lots of opportunities for them to be creative and learn how things work.

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Field trips are another great way to involve little ones in what the older children are studying. Some of our favorite homeschool memories have come from field trips. It amazes me what my children remember from these trips.

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I realize that you also need one-on-one teaching times with older students. One year I had from preschool through 12th grade, so I know this fact very well. What I can tell you that I learned is that you can be creative in where you fit in the one-on-one time for each student. A a homeschooler, you are not constrained to doing school work between the hours of 8:00 am and 3:00 pm. If your high school student needs you to help with algebra or writing, then work that time in during nap time for the little ones. You might have to work with your older students on difficult subjects when your husband is home and can help. One year, we had some “night school” times when I focused on teaching the older children difficult concepts while my husband played with the baby. It is not ideal to do it that way because I think Moms need a break in the evenings from school work when possible, but you have to find a way to works for your family.

Schedules and routines are very important for children, especially young children. I tried to keep our outside of the house activities to a minimum when I had a lot of little ones in the house. We had certain times of the day where everyone knew what was supposed to be going on. We were not slaves to the clock. But we had regular times to get up, eat, do household tasks, do school work, rest, and play. It helped everyone to know what was coming up next. Of course, there were days when we really needed a change of scenery, and we would pack up and go to the park, library, or science center. Sometimes we just needed an outing.

There are lots of other ways that people have successfully balanced homeschooling older children while also having little ones in the house. I welcome comments and questions.

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