Homeschool Lesson Planning

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,

Happy Plan and Play day! Every Tuesday, we spend a few minutes planning. This can be lesson planning, menu planning, paying bills, or any other kind of planning you need to do. My son is getting married in June, and I am helping with wedding planning. As you can see, some planning is a lot of fun. Some of it requires thinking and contemplation. In the end, planning ahead helps you later on with whatever you are doing.

In May, I am speaking at a homeschool conference in Lansing, Michigan. For the past several weeks, I have worked on planning for my talks and for having my books ready to sell. I have been planning the road trip portion of the week. Each thing that I work on for this conference is noted in my handy dandy composition book.

Many of you have asked me about my lesson planning for our homeschool. It has changed over the years as I have had up to six students of varying ages. This year seems to be one of the easiest years I have had with lesson planning. Maybe it is the age of my children, or maybe it is the fact that I have fewer children in my homeschool.

We start our school year in August each year. I will spend a few weeks in July looking at their books and getting a feel for how they are laid out. Some books are based on doing a specific lesson a day. Some are divided into chapters. Some books are divided into modules.

I will write down in pencil an idea of how many pages or lessons to do per subject in MY teacher planner. I do not write out in individual student planbooks, and I do not require my students to copy down their lesson plans. We all use my teacher planner for daily reference.

My lesson plans are not done very far in advance. I find that doing them weekly is sufficient for me. That way, I can factor in illness, if we have to take a sick day. I am also able to work in appointments or field trips without messing up my lesson plans.

When I do a unit study with my children, I will have an idea of the topic we are studying each month. I will do more detailed planning a week ahead of time for my unit studies as well. There have been times when I taught a co-op class that I outlined an entire semester at one time. This was to help the others in the co-op to know what we would cover each week.

Planning a whole school year or even a whole semester is a lot to do, and so many things can interrupt your plans. It’s also easier to spend 15 minutes planning a week’s worth of lesson plans versus hours spent planning for weeks or months at a time.

If you struggle with lesson planning, ask me questions.

Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.

Your Zone Mission for today is to put away all of your clothes.

My menu plan for Tuesday is tacos and baked potatoes.
Veggies and salad for me.

Have a blessed day!

Decluttering in your Master Bedroom

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,
You are doing a fantastic job with your daily routines. Even if you don’t feel like you are doing great, I want you to think positive that you are doing well. Use a quick check off list for your daily routines if you are still working on them.
This week we are going to declutter in the Master Bedroom. I want you to have a relaxing oasis by the end of the week. As you do some of these missions, you can also give your children quick missions for their bedrooms.
Here are you missions for the week:
 
Zone 4 Missions: The Master Bedroom
Monday – Declutter the top of your dresser & nightstand & dust
Tuesday – Put away all of your clothes
Wednesday – Declutter items from your closet for 15 minutes
Thursday – Declutter from 1 dresser drawer
Friday – Clean out under your bed and sweep or vacuum
Set your timers and then take a break when it goes off!
Have you been practicing the Habit of the Month and making your bed daily? Are you modeling this for your children?
As you are moving toward the end of your school year, plan a day with some of your homeschool friends and have a curriculum swap party. Take the items you have not used or tried and abandoned. Trade out with a friend who has a curriculum you want to try out.
You can bless one another this way, and it won’t cost you money. I know some of you are thinking you really want to sell the items you have not used. I don’t want to discourage you from doing this, but you can trade out with a friend easier than selling books.
What are some ways you can better budget for your homeschool needs? I generally start this time of year with looking at what I have on hand. I look at what I need to cover next year. Then I work on a list of things I need to purchase. This helps me with establishing a budget.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.

Your Zone Mission for today is to declutter the flat surfaces in your Master Bedroom. Take care of your dresser top and nightstands.

My menu plan for Monday is beans and chicken tenders.

Have a blessed day!

Show me where you decluttered this week.

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Homeschool Planner Joy Wings

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Dear Friends,

This week we decluttered in the Main Bathroom and the area of our choosing. Some of you have already sent me pictures of your progress. You are seeing the power of 10 to 15 minutes of decluttering on a consistent basis.

Send me a picture of the area you decluttered to Tami@TamiFox.com.

On Friday, I wrap up my week with my decluttering missions and home blessings. I write down next week’s menu plan and make a grocery list. I ask for the input of my family on menu planning, and I ask for help with cooking.

Some of you have been incorporating your children in menu planning and cooking because I have encouraged you to do that.

Raising a family, cleaning your home, cooking, doing laundry, and homeschooling all take time. Working together around the house helps everyone. It helps you with the load you are carrying, and it helps prepare your children for adulthood.

Today, my son did his school work, mowed the grass, and washed his laundry. He helped set the table for dinner and emptied the dishwasher.

My youngest son did his school work, helped me in the kitchen, and folded a load of laundry.

Both of them are playing outside now while I write, and they have had a good day.

I talk to parents who are concerned about electronics and game systems. We have these in our home, too, but we make it a point to have limits on gaming. We encourage outdoor play daily, unless the weather is just terrible. We are blessed to have our woods and a nice place for them to play outside, and I strive for them to have a balance in their activities.

We finished up our standardized testing yesterday, and now we are headed to the end of our school year next month.

How did your week go?

Don’t forget to send me a picture of the area you decluttered! Email me at Tami@TamiFox.com.

Today’s Zone Mission is to shine your bathroom counters and sink.

Your Home Blessing for today is to empty the trash, sweep, and mop.

My menu plan for Friday is take out. Enjoy a video from my cooking adventures yesterday when I made taco soup:

 

taco-soup-video

Taco Soup
https://youtu.be/B890-5bMeCs

Have a wonderful weekend!

Siggie - Tami Fox

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Are you flying through your afternoon routine?

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,

Be sure to scroll down to the bottom to see the special coupon code for any purchase on my website that is good until Monday, April 23, 2018.

Your afternoon routine is one that gets glossed over many days. You move along from homeschooling to lunch to the afternoon and dinner preparation. Things can move along quickly, and it is easy to skip some important parts of the afternoon routine.

The afternoon routine starts with lunch. Are you sitting down each day to eat your lunch? I can remember the days when my children were little, and it was hard to get everyone served and sit down myself. I worked on it though. I tried to not stand at the counter and snack. I did not eat the leftovers from the children’s lunch for my lunch. I made myself something, too.

Lunch ideas are leftovers, sandwiches, soup, raw veggies, quesadillas, pizza, corn dogs, salad, tacos, fruit, cheese, yogurt, and on and on. There are lots of easy lunch ideas. Try not to rely on protein bars and protein shakes when you can make a salad and have some protein a different way.

Right after lunch, we clear the table and rinse the dishes. Usually, the dishwasher is full, and I turn it on for a wash cycle. Then, I check the menu plan and see what I need to do to start dinner prep.

My next step is to check on the laundry. I may need to switch a load, fold a load, or put a load away. I try to get a load done during the morning, afternoon, and evening routines. This seems to give me the best flow for my laundry system. Evening loads of laundry are usually a load that one of the boys is doing or towels.

After I take care of the laundry, I clear a Hot Spot and do my daily Zone Mission. This is a 15 minute task at most. It is not a long process. I know that a lot of you procrastinate decluttering because you want a big block of time to declutter. You only need a few minutes, and it will work with consistently.

If you have not exercised for the day, you can spend 15 minutes doing some purposeful movement. If the weather is nice, take the kids outside and play. Go for a walk. Do some exercises indoors. There are lots of ways to do some exercising daily. Make it fun!
As you are going through your routines, remember to take a break and sit down for a few minutes. Drink your water.

The only other thing I would add to a homeschool mom’s afternoon schedule is a few minutes to check over school work and lesson plans.

The afternoon routine is a bridge in your day. Use it to make the other parts of your day go smoother. As you get rid of clutter, you will find it is much easier to care for your home.

Today’s Zone Mission is to spend 10 minutes tossing old cosmetics and perfumes. Do a 27 Fling Boogie anywhere in the house. Focus on tossing things or putting things in a box to give away.

Your Home Blessing for today is to declutter paper and magazines.

My menu plan for Thursday is chicken and rice for the guys and veggies for me.

Homeschool Planner Joy Wings

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Have a great day!

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The Importance of Your Weekly Home Blessings

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,
We’ve been talking about clutter this week, and today I want to talk about the importance of your Home Blessings. If you have a lot of clutter, it causes you issues in doing your Home Blessings quickly. I can’t stress enough that you need to declutter daily. The things that you have in your home need a home.

The FlyLady teaches us to do our Home Blessings quickly each week. She recommends you do them on Monday during the Weekly Home Blessing Hour, but I know that is hard when you homeschool. I divided mine up throughout the week.

The combination of picking up behind ourselves, delcuttering, and one or two Home Blessings a day makes taking care of my home quick and easy.

During the course of the day, the boys and I do things as a team. Right now, I am writing to encourage you. My son is working on dinner preparations. Earlier today, he cleaned out my van and vacuumed it.

This morning I detail cleaned my bathroom and swept the kitchen. I did a quick dusting. We don’t have carpet on the main level of the house, so that is a Home Blessing that I don’t do. The boys vacuum their bedrooms upstairs each week.

During school this morning, I emptied the dishwasher while the boys got started on their lessons. Then I started a load of laundry. After those tasks, I sat to down check school work and talk to the boys about any questions they had. As they finish each subject, they put their books away and get out the next thing.

My days do not always flow easily. Sometimes there are kinks in the schedule. It has taken years of doing our routines to have them down pat. I have taught them, encouraged them, and rewarded them for doing their routines and helping around the house.

When my children start working outside of the home, they have to develop new routines. They have established great Before Bed Routines, and I find it encouraging to watch them get their things ready for the next day. They find time in their week to wash their bedding and clothes. They pick up their rooms about once a week.

How are you doing with your Weekly Home Blessings (sweeping, mopping, dusting, vacuuming, changing sheets, taking out trash, and decluttering magazines)?

Your Zone Mission today is to wash bathroom rugs, shower curtains, and accessories. Declutter for 10 minutes somewhere else in the house.

Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe windows and mirrors.

My menu plan for Wednesday is veggie taco soup and a salad.

Have a great day!

Where is your clutter?

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,

Each day I post a question on Facebook. Last week, I asked, “Where do you have the most clutter?” I referred to this already when I talked about getting rid of mental clutter in a previous article.

Today, I am still getting responses, and I would love to hear from you, too. Where is your clutter?

Here are some of the responses I had:

  • In my head
  • Everywhere
  • Master Bedroom
  • Closet
  • Shop
  • Garage
  • Kitchen Counter/Island
  • Desk/Drawers
  • Sewing Room
  • Basement
  • Junk Room
  • Guest Room
  • Extra apartment
  • Hallway
  • Home Office
  • Dining Room
  • Flat Surfaces
  • Attic
  • Schoolroom
As you can see, I got a lot of responses. Truly, the best way to combat clutter anywhere in your home is to consistently get rid of things every day. I mean throw it out or give it away. If you are moving it from place to place in your home, you are just reallocating clutter. You are not decluttering.

Decluttering is hard for some of you. Many of us were raised by a generation that taught us to hold onto things. You do not have to hang onto everything! You can bless others with your abundance.

Most of you have too many clothes, too many books, and too many toys for your children. This excess causes you stress. It takes up valuable space in your home. It takes up your valuable time as you move it from place to place. It causes you to procrastinate cleaning your home because you don’t want to move stuff around to clean.

It might seem like I am taking a hard line on your clutter, but sometimes that is what you need to hear. I mentor ladies who want to have peace in their homes and get rid of the clutter. The first several weeks are really hard as they develop the habit of getting the clutter out of their homes. They have to set up routines to throw out the trash and take donations weekly when they do errands.

You do not have to be perfect in decluttering. You do not have to get rid of everything, but you can thin down the amount of stuff in your home.

You have things in your home that you have not used in years. Start today.

Tell me where you are going to declutter for 10 minutes today, and tell me if you are throwing it away or giving it away.

I know you can do it!

Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.

Your Zone Mission for today is to shine your bathroom tub or shower.
Do a Hot Spot Fire Drill anywhere in the house and toss that clutter.

My menu plan for Tuesday is lasagna and garlic bread for the boys.
Veggies and salad for me.

Have a blessed day!

Choose your area to declutter this week.

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,
Congratulations to those of you who completed some or all of the kitchen missions last week. I enjoyed seeing pictures of your kitchens. You did a great job with the zone missions. Remember that you only need 10 minutes or less to do most of these missions. You CAN do it!
Here are you missions for the week (You pick the extra area. Declutter where you need it most!):
Zone 3 Missions: The Main Bathroom and one Extra Room
Monday – Declutter in the Main Bathroom; 27 Fling Boogie somewhere else in the house

Tuesday – Shine your tub or shower; Hot Spot Fire Drill

Wednesday – Wash bathroom rugs, shower curtains & accessories; Declutter in the area that needs it most

Thursday – Spend 10 minutes tossing old cosmetics & perfumes; Spend 10 minutes tossing stuff

Friday – Declutter and wipe bathroom counters & shine the bathroom sink; Relax for 15 minutes
Set your timers and then take a break when it goes off!

Have you been practicing the Habit of the Month and making your bed daily?
We are now in the middle of April. Keep an eye on your school calendar. Figure out how many days you have left in your school year. Check the children’s progress in their books.
My children are working on their standardized testing this week, so the rest of their schoolwork will be light until the testing is completed. Then, we will move into wrapping up our school year. We all need a break in the summer.
Some of you are really looking forward to summer! So make plans accordingly now.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.

Your Zone Mission for today is to declutter in the Main Bathroom and do a 27 fling boogie somewhere else in the house.

My menu plan for Monday is stir fry.

Have a blessed day!

Show me your kitchen!

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,
The second week of each month, we declutter in the Kitchen. I gave you some Zone Missions on Monday to help you declutter and detail clean your kitchen. Today, I want you to share a picture of your kitchen with me. I enjoyed seeing your Laundry Rooms last week. It encouraged me, and it gave me ideas for my laundry room!

Send me a picture of your laundry room at Tami@TamiFox.com.

On Thursday, I asked a question on Facebook, and it got quite a response from my readers.

“Where do you have the most clutter?”

Many responses had to do with physical clutter in various areas of the home. Many other responses had to do with mental clutter. We have a lot on our minds! We try to keep too much stuff in our heads. I keep composition notebooks for various projects to help me not have so much stuff in my head.

First, I have a FlyLady Control Journal in a 3-ring binder. This is the CEO manual for my home. I have my Homeschool Planner. I keep my menu planning, lesson plans, and other homeschool notes in it. Since it is new, it does not have a full year in it yet, but it will.

Next, I have a composition book for my blog posts and newsletters. I also have a Master To Do List in a composition book. I check it daily and write three small things to do from it for my daily list.

Since I will be traveling to two homeschool conferences in May, I have another composition book just for convention notes. I also have a composition book that I use to track my running plans and details about each run.

These books allow me to keep up with the details of large projects. They also allow me to NOT think about all of these projects all of the time. I am able to have my mind clear, and I can focus on the task at hand.

When my children were small, I would keep a notebook for healthcare needs. I could track medications and supplements. You think you will always remember these things, but believe me, you can forget things. You need a place to write down medication allergies and other allergies. You need to write down dates for procedures and/or surgeries.

Composition books do not cost a lot of money, and you can find pretty ones, too. You can even use a 5-subject composition book if you have a lot of things to track like I do. I just stock up on the cheap ones at the beginning of the school year.

What are the things that keep your mind cluttered?

Don’t forget to send me a picture of your kitchen! Email me at Tami@TamiFox.com.

Today’s Zone Mission is to wipe the stove top and microwave.

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!

Your daily routines will bring you peace as you do them.

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,

Throughout the course of the week, I hear from many of my readers, and one thing that I have noticed is that many of you have a hard time with being consistent with your daily routines. Any disruption to your normal schedule causes you to miss parts of your routines.

Your routines are what get you through the disruptions with less stress. Who doesn’t want that? Less stress. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

But you want to know how to get them done when you have all of these other demands going on around you. The distractions keep you from finishing your morning routine. The disruptions of sickness or travel or a holiday or a weekend derail your routines.

What I have learned over the years of doing FLyLady is that doing my routines every day is what gives me peace. I might have to get up earlier and go to bed earlier, but it is worth it! I am worth it.

YOU are worth it, too!

FLY stands for Finally Loving Yourself.

Doing your routines each day is loving yourself.

When you do your Before Bed Routine, you are checking your calendar, so you aren’t surprised with an appointment on your schedule. You are shining your sink, so you are greeted with an empty sink when you get up in the morning. Laying out your clothes at night means you aren’t scrambling to throw clothes on the next day. Putting things at your launch pad means you have what you need ready for you first thing in the morning. Washing your face and brushing your teeth helps you take care your health. Going to bed at a decent hour means you are giving your body the right amount of rest.

YOU are important!

Even when I travel, I do my routines. If I have company, I do my routines. If I am sick, I do my routines. If my kids are sick, I do my routines.

Your Morning Routine can be done in 15 minutes in the morning, unless you are also getting your shower in the morning. It will also take longer if you exercise in the morning like I do.

There are six basic steps of your Morning Routine.

Making your bed first thing in the morning means you don’t have to think about it again for the rest of the day unless you wash your sheets. Swishing and swiping your bathroom right after you go to the bathroom means you are greeted with a clean bathroom the rest of the day. Getting dressed down to the shoes means you are ready for the day. Checking your calendar means you won’t forget any appointments you have written down for that day. Rebooting or starting a load of laundry means you are not allowing Mount Washmore to take up residence in your home. Checking your menu plan for the day and laying out food that needs to be thawed means you are not stressed out at 5:00 in the evening when you are ready to start dinner.

Your routines will help you have peace. It will help you eliminate clutter as you implement the Zone Missions and Home Blessings.

How are you doing with your BASIC Daily Routines?

Today’s Zone Mission is to declutter items from one kitchen cabinet.

Your Home Blessing for today is to declutter paper and magazines.

My menu plan for Thursday is chicken and rice for the guys and veggies for me.

Have a great day!

Teaching Your Children Life Skills

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,
Teaching your children life skills is as important as teaching them academics. I have three young adult children, and I have three more children at home. They have all learned how to do things around the house from cleaning and cooking to general maintenance. If they showed an interest in a particular area of home maintenance, I let them take that as a regular part of their care of the home.

For instance, I have one who likes to change the air filters for me at the beginning of the month. Everyone who lives in the house knows how to change these, but this one child changes them for me monthly.

One of the boys really likes to work on engines. He services the lawnmowers and weed eater. He is also learning how to work on a car engine on one of our cars that needed a head gasket replaced.

If you have read my articles for long, you know that one of my sons is a talented chef. He does a lot of our cooking, but I have taught all of the boys how to cook and wash dishes. These are important life skills.

Once one of my children gets a job, we set up a bank account for them. Most emplyers pay by direct deposit, and they need a bank account for this. I teach them how to balance their checkbook. I teach them how to responisibly use a debit card. I am a secondary user on the account, and I can manage the account from my online banking.

If they have a job, they pay for their car insurance and cell phone bill each month. They are taught to tithe to the church.

Each one of my children can do laundry, and they have been taught to wash their bedding weekly. If you are still doing this for your teenagers, you are not doing them any favors. They need to get into the habit of this, so they have a routine when they move out.

Your job as a parent and a teacher is to give your children the tools they will need as an adult. I teach my children how to find the answers to their questions. I teach them basic life skills that will help them take care of themselves and their homes when they move out.

Do you teach your children life skills?

Your Zone Mission today is to declutter leftovers from the fridge.

Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe windows and mirrors.

My menu plan for Wednesday is veggie taco soup and a salad.

Have a great day!