A Special Offer for my Readers for my Homeschool Planner

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Dear Friends,
How do you handle your lesson planning? Over the past 18 years, I have done different methods of planning our homeschool lessons. I have used plan books. I have used computer- based lesson planning. In the end, I used a composition notebook and made my own planner.
This spring, I took my pencil drawings in a composition book, and I hired a designer to make a beautiful Homeschool Planner for you. This Planner has forms designed from what I have used in my own homeschool.
Not only did I ask my designer to make this Planner easy to use for 1 student and up to 4 students, I included pages for you to list your daily routines. Since I know you need flexibility in the timing of some of the routines, I left the pages ready for you to write them in. When you have a field trip day or co-op day, you can do a quick, basic Morning Routine. Later in the day, you can do the rest of your daily routines.
You can choose the day of the week for each of your Home Blessings (sweep, mop, vacuum, dust, wipe windows, wash sheets, and declutter magazines.)
There are pages for menu planning for the month, and you can also write in your menu plan on the daily pages. I use pencil for my menu planning, so it is easy to move things around if we have a schedule change.
If you have a high school student, I have included pages for you to keep information for their transcript. If you keep up with courses and grades each semester, it is easier for you when you need to create their official transcript.
Some of you use various educational websites for your homeschool, and I included pages for you to keep up with login information and passwords. I know how complicated that can be for multiple students and a teacher log in password.
This Planner is made for the 2018-19 school year, but you can use it starting now. For the next 3 days, I am offering the Digital Download of my Homeschool Planner for $4.95. This is the color version of the Planner. It can be printed as a color file or in grey-scale. You can print just the pages you want to use now, and later you can print them again.
It is 230 pages, so you will want to consider that when you print it. I used our laser printer and printed on both sides of the paper. Then, I three-hole punched it and put it in a binder. That is how I did the initial proof-reading. I wanted to make this Planner work for you.
If you have any questions about my Homeschool Planner, I am happy to answer them.
Today’s Zone Mission is to wipe out your microwave and wipe your stove top.

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

My menu plan for Friday is pork roast and veggies.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Will I ever be finished decluttering?

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool


Dear Friends,
“Will I ever be finished decluttering?”
This question has been asked of me many times. My response is the same, “As long as you bring new things into your home, you are going to need to declutter.”
Decluttering daily is something that needs to be a part of your routine. Mail is delivered. Packages arrive. You go shopping. Your children make things. The list can go on and on.
A few people were discouraged when I told them that I still declutter daily. It’s true. It’s often not a lot of stuff that I declutter, but I either throw things away daily when I clear a Hot Spot, or I put things in the “to be donated” box. Some things from the Hot Spot end up getting put away.
If you have a lot of clutter in your home, you need to get rid of two things for each new thing that comes into the house. You also need to declutter for 15 minutes a day. You will need to work with your children on decluttering from their rooms, too.
If you have an area in your home that really bothers you because of the clutter, I want you to focus on that for a couple of days and start seeing a difference. You have to throw things away. You have to donate things. Once you start getting clutter out of your house rather than just finding a new place for it, you will love seeing areas cleared up.
Many of the ladies I mentor find that they maintain areas very well once they have decluttered it. It gives them peace and joy. They do not let the clutter back into those areas.
You do not have a lot of extra time in your days to declutter. Use your timer for 15 minutes a day. You can spare that much time. You spend more time than that on your computer or phone. You can budget 15 minutes a day to declutter your way to peace.
The first step to change is the hardest step. Take it today.
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter items from one kitchen cabinet.
Your Home Blessing for today is to declutter magazines or paper.
My menu plan for Thursday is chicken and veggies for the boys. Salad and veggies for me.
Have a great day!

Are you avoiding cleaning out your fridge?

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool


Dear Friends,
Happy anti-procrastination day! Do you avoid cleaning out your fridge like the plague? Each week, I spend a few minutes tossing out leftovers. Once a month, I spend a few minutes wiping the inside of the fridge. By not procrastinating, I do not have a huge task before me. I am consistent with getting rid of the leftovers the day before we take off the trash.
Either pick anti-procrastination day or the evening before your trash goes out to clean out leftovers each week. Set your timer and toss! If you notice a spill on a shelf, spend a couple of minutes wiping it. Once a month, look through your condiments and toss the ones that are out of date. Then start at the top shelf and do a quick wipe of each shelf.
Some of you are thinking it is just easier to get a new fridge than to clean the one you have. (smile) When I first started following The FlyLady, I felt this way, too. Just remember that it does not have to be perfect. Consistency will win out if you just keep working at it a little at a time.
Another tip that has helped me is to use clear containers for leftovers and keep them pulled to the front of the shelf. The things that get pushed to the back of the fridge are the ones that end up in there for a while. Things stored in containers that are not see-through are also subject to growing mold before you open them again. Raise your hand if you just toss the whole container at that point.
Keeping your fridge clean and under control will help you when it is time to make your weekly grocery list. This will save you money in the long run. We all like to save money! So stop beating yourself up for tossing leftovers, and work at keeping your fridge orderly.
My weekly routine for menu planning starts at the fridge. I check to see what is on hand and will be usuable in the next week. I start formulating a plan for my menu. As I develop the menu, I check to see if I have all of the ingredients on hand. I am going to save time and money if I get what I need when I go grocery shopping once a week. If I run out of something important, someone has to make a trip to the grcoery store again.
Decluttering your fridge will help you save time and money. Why are you putting it off?
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter leftovers from the fridge.

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

My menu plan for Wednesday is chicken and rice for the boys. Salad and veggies for me.

Have a great day!

How do you occupy young children when you need to do something?

Dear Friends,



Recently, I have had the question asked about occupying young children when you need to something. It has come up more than once, so there are probably more of you who wonder the same thing.

Here’s a typical scenario I hear often. You just finished a meal, and the kitchen needs to be cleaned. If you do it right then, the kids will disperse and make a mess somewhere else. Sound familiar?

When my children were little, I had something planned for them after a meal. It became a part of our routine. In the morning, I would start cleaning up the table as they finished breakfast. I would wipe them off as they finished and quickly get the dishes into the dishwasher. Then we moved into the morning routine of brushing teeth and getting dressed.

After lunch, I would put them down for a nap. Then I would clean the kitchen and do some dinner prep.

Dinner time was a little trickier though, but we would tag team someone playing with the little ones while the other one did the dishes. Waiting to do the dishes after bedtime is just not fun, and our goal was to get the dishes done and the dishwasher going. Then it could be emptied before bedtime.

As far as decluttering, home blessings, or homeschool time, I would rotate the activities the little ones had while I did the things that had to be done. For my babies, I would rotate stations for them. They had a high chair, playpen, bouncy chair, etc. We just moved school around the house to keep the baby close to us and occupied.

If I needed to fold laundry, I gave the little ones a job. Even a toddler can sit near you and play with a washcloth. (smile) I have two children who were very active, and if I could keep them from tearing my house apart, you can, too. It just takes a little creativity.

When I did my home blessings, I included them in those, too. The benefit now is that they can do anything around the house that I can do. I have worked myself out of a few things, but I know they will eventually grow up and move out. Then, it will be my tasks again.

Give me some of your tried and true ways of occupying younger children when you have something you desperately need to do. (I know a few of you would just like to get a shower each day.)

Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.

Your Zone Mission for today is to declutter items from one kitchen drawer.

My menu plan for Tuesday is Shepherd’s Pie.

Have a blessed day!

Siggie - Tami Fox

Decluttering and Detail Cleaning the Heart of Your Home

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Dear Friends,
Happy Monday! How was your weekend? This week we are going to declutter and detail clean in the heart of our homes, the kitchen. This room sees a lot of activity. It also sees a lot of clutter and hot spots.
Zone 2 Missions: The Kitchen
Monday – Declutter the counter tops and wipe down
Tuesday – Declutter items from 1 drawer
Wednesday – Declutter leftovers from the fridge
Thursday – Declutter items from 1 cabinet
Friday – Wipe Stove/Microwave/Front of Fridge
Set your timers and then take a break when it goes off!
Last fall, I did a kitchen renovation, and during that time, I decluttered items that had been in my cabinets for 28 years and not used. I have been decluttering monthly in the kitchen for years, and I still found things to give away.
You probably have things in your kitchen cabinets that are taking up valuable space. This week, I want you to pick a cabinet that you have been avoiding and spend just 15 minutes decluttering. If it is a lower cabinet and hard to get into, ask your children to hand you things from the back. They have an advantage on being small and flexible.
As I have added kitchen appliances, I have let go of appliances. I have two InstantPots. I let go of two slow cookers. I got a Kitchenaide mixer, so I let go of a hand mixer. The Lord has blessed me, and I bless others by letting go of the extra things I am not using.

Take a look at your cups and plastic items. Do you have so many that they fall out of the cabinet when it is opened? Many of us were raised by people who used things until they had no use. I want you to look at your things as tools to bless others if you have too many.
Send me an email when you declutter and let go this week.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.

Your Zone Mission for today is to declutter the kitchen counters and wipe them down.

My menu plan for Monday is chicken.

Have a blessed day!

Balancing Home, Homeschool, and Self-Care

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Dear Friends,
Taking care of yourself and your family is something that is on your mind a lot. You are trying to work on the balance of taking care of your home and homeschooling. You also need to take care of yourself and your spouse. Some days you feel like you are juggling or directing a three-ring circus or both!
Some of the emails I received this week were from some of you who are having a hard time with the balance of it all. Some of the hardest years are when your children are young. Small children need a lot of supervision and guidance. It is laborious to teach phonics and multiplication tables.
When you add in multiple children, you find that it is hard to get through everyone’s lessons in a day. I was there once, and I remember that feeling well. I decided I had to combine some of our subjects and teach ONE thing to all of my children at once.
This is when I found unit studies, and I was able to teach one history lesson or one science lesson a day to my children. I could read one book at a time with them versus juggling several books. As my children learned to read, I would slowly give them more independent work to do. This was not easy, but I kept at it. If they can read on their own, they can do some of their school work without you sitting right beside of them.
Sometimes, I used evening time to watch a video that was related to our school work, so my husband felt a part of the learning process. Sometimes we did our read aloud book in the evenings. By doing this, I freed up some time during the day for home blessings or decluttering.
In the kitchen, I taught my children how to cook. Young children can do small things in the kitchen with you. Yes, it will take longer. Yes, it will cause more messes. But the dividends later are worth it. I have two teen sons who can cook a full meal. They can use ingredients and cook from scratch.
Look for ways where you can combine things to meet the needs of more than one student at a time. The one-room schoolhouse concept still works. Your youngest children will learn things just from being exposed to your teaching time with older children.

This weekend, I want you to find time for you to recharge your batteries. Go on date night. Read a book. Soak in the tub. Call a friend or go for coffee. Enjoy some fun on Saturday with your family! Take a nap on Sunday.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Today’s Zone Mission is to declutter in your Entryway.

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!

A New Month and a New Habit

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Dear Friends,

Happy first day of March! Today we start practicing the Habit of Getting Dressed down to the Shoes each morning. For some of you, this Habit is well established. For others, you are working on it.

When I wrote about this topic last week, I received a lot of comments about the part about wearing shoes in the house. Some of you have a problem with wearing the same shoes inside of your home that you wear in public. Invest in a pair of shoes that is just for indoor wearing.

Some of you do not wear shoes inside of your home because it is not a part of your culture. I would still suggest you have something on your feet. Things are dropped and broken in our homes frequently. Having something on your feet will give you some protection.

Each evening, spend a few minutes checking the calendar and weather for the next day. Then, lay your clothes out for the next day. Ask your children to do the same thing. If your clothes are ready to put on first thing in the morning, it is much faster and easier to get dressed. If you have to pick out your clothes in the morning, it is easier to procrastinate getting dressed in the morning.

I want to hear from you about your Morning Routine and homeschool schedule. What are your struggles?

Today’s Zone Mission is to declutter in Zone 1. Declutter and Sweep the Front Porch.

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

My menu plan for Thursday is chicken and a salad.

Have a great day!

Finishing February Strong with Decluttering

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool


Dear Friends,
Happy February 28! It’s the last day of the month. We have been practicing the habit of decluttering daily. Spend 15 minutes today decluttering. As homeschoolers, we have lots of paper, and you might even have a stack near you right now that needs to be sorted. Set your timer and deal with it now.
When you are sorting paper, try to not handle it multiple times. You will save yourself a lot of time if you will make decisions and handle the papers once. If you find that you are continually making piles and then stacking them back up, you are handling these papers too many times.
Set up a simple filing system. I will describe mine for you, and you can take my ideas to set up your own system.
Using a small file holder, set up a file for bills that need to be paid. I realize that many bills come to you via email, but you need a reminder of these bills. If you have automatic payments set up, be sure to have that noted in your calendar or file folder.

Next, set up files that you will need to use throughout the year. You may need files for things such as insurance, medical bills, prescriptions, house payments, credit cards, etc. Since I also have a home-based business, I have a monthly file for each month for bills paid, and I have a monthly file for items shipped.
When I open my mail, I file the bills to be paid in the file folder in order of date due. Once a week, I sit down and pay bills. After I pay the bill, I file the receipt in the appropriate file folder. During this, I have handled the paper once when it arrived and once when I paid the bill. The next time I handle them will be when I do our tax return.
If I have papers that need to be shredded, I do that once a month. I toss junk mail as it comes in the mail unless it is something that I don’t want someone to use and protect against identity theft.
Homeschool papers are not a big problem for me. I regularly toss the papers that I have graded. I don’t keep a lot of their papers. I keep tests, and I keep papers they write. At the end of the school year, I go through those and only keep the papers that are special to me. I have a permanent file where I keep our attendance pages and a copy of their annual standardized test scores.
What is your hardest area to declutter? Start on it right now. Use your timer for 15 minutes.
Your Zone Mission today is to do a 27 Fling Boogie in the Living Room or Family Room.

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

My menu plan for Wednesday is chicken stir fry.

Have a great day!

Do you have a menu plan this week?

Getting Organized:
In Your Home and Homeschool

Dear Friends,

Today is Plan and Play day with The FlyLady.

Do you have a weekly menu plan? Some of you have wanted to make a menu plan, and you have procrastinated for many reasons. This is a habit that will save you time and money. We all want to save both of those.

If you need some ideas for your menu, ask your family. Write down a couple of things that each person lists. This can jump-start your plan. I do this activity with my family each week. We typically cook from scratch, but occasionally I will add in a frozen lasagna or chicken wings from the freezer section.

This week our menu plan looks like this:

Monday – Lasagna
Tuesday – Taco Tuesday
Wednesday – Chicken Stir Fry
Thursday – Chicken
Friday – Date night

The main entrée is planned for each day, and I have lettuce and greens with some additional vegetables for an easy side each night. With some meals, I will have a starch side for the boys, such as potatoes or rice. Growing boys eat a lot of food, and I am able to stretch my food budget with the side items.

We use the electric pressure cooker many days to make meal preparation fast and easy. This uses less energy than cooking with the oven. We use the slow cooker for some meals, too.

You can do a search for one-dish meals and make some delicious items for your family. When I have done cultural cooking with recipes from other countries, I found new flavors that my family enjoyed. Many stews and soups use similar vegetables, and you can change the taste by adding spices.

If you feel overwhelmed with planning a menu for a week, start with a day or two at a time. Then, you can work your way up to planning for a week at a time.

Eating at least one meal per day at as a family at the table will build your family bond, and it will enhance communication skills in your children. We have had an evening family meal at the table since our family was established. It is important to us to have this time together.

As I my children have grown up and a few have left the nest, I am thankful for our family meal time. When we can have all of our children together under one roof now, it is special to me to sit down to eat together.

Use your Plan and Play day today and plan your menu. Then, you can reward yourself by doing something fun!

Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.

Your Zone Mission for today is to detail vacuum the Living Room.

My menu plan for Tuesday is Taco Tuesday.

Have a blessed day!

Decluttering and Detail Cleaning Your Way to Peace

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Dear Friends,
This week we are going to be in two zones as we end February and begin March.

For the first three days of the week, we will be decluttering in Zone 5: The Living Room. The last two days of the week, we will be decluttering in Zone 1: The Front Porch, Entryway, and Dining Room.

Zone 5 and Zone 1 Missions: The Living Room, Front Porch, Entryway, and Dining Room
Monday – Declutter & Detail Dust the Living Room
Tuesday – Detail Vacuum the Living Room
Wednesday – 27 Fling Boogie
Thursday – Declutter and Sweep the Front Porch
Friday – Declutter Entryway/Launch Pad Area
Set your timers and then take a break when it goes off!
Decluttering and detail cleaning in this many areas of your home might sound daunting, but you can do it. Use your timer and some peppy music. Spend 5 to 15 minutes a day on these Zone Missions. You can do them in any part of the day that works best for you.
We will also be working on a new Habit of the Month starting on Thursday, so practice decluttering daily. If you have a lot of paper clutter, focus on getting rid of paper each day. This might work best for you to do at the end of your homeschool day. You can toss papers as soon as you review them, if you don’t need to keep them in a permanent file.
Each day, deal with your incoming mail. Toss or shred junk mail immediately. File your bills that need to be paid. Respond to anything that needs your response. Don’t procrastinate dealing with your mail. I have talked to ladies who have been going through mail from more than 2 years ago. They have found checks and gift cards.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.

Your Zone Mission for today is to declutter and detail dust in the Living Room.

My menu plan for Monday is lasagna, garlic bread, and salad (chicken for me).

Have a blessed day!