Do you participate in a homeschool support group?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

    

Dear Friends,
Have you picked your first day of school and started your planning? Since I have been homeschooling for more than 18 years, I know that my brain starts thinking about getting back to our school schedule in early August.
Do you have all of your books ordered and ready to use? Have you decided on any additional resources that you might need or supplemental classes?
If you wait until August to make some of these decisions or place orders, it could delay your school starting date. Spend some time this week looking through your materials and checking your list.
You may want to look for any summer activities you want to do, and you might want to think about anything special you want to do to start off your school year.
Are you involved in a homeschool support group or co-op? If not, I encourage you to look for a local group. It is helpful to have friendships and support of other homeschool friends. It has been an ecnouragement to me over the years to have my local homeschool support group meetings each month.
If you don’t have a local support group, I encourage you to start one. Invite some of your homeschool mom friends out for coffee and dessert. Talk about your concerns or offer support to one another. Over the years, I have talked to so many moms who feel alone in their homeschool journey. I want more for you. I want you to have friends you can go to when you have a question or need encouragement.
My daily emails and blog posts are intended to encourage you, but it doesn’t always give you the one-on-one encouragement that you can give one another.
The other benefit of a homeschool support group is that you can set up field trips with your homeschool friends, and you can get group discounts and have fun, too.
My local homeschool group meets once a month. We have speakers sometimes at the meetings. We talk and fellowship. We plan field trips. We plan seasonal parties. We do a homeschool yearbook together. Many of us bring our kids to the meeting, and they also have a lot of fun seeing one another.
From what I have gathered, there are not a lot of face-to-face homeschool support group meetings. There are lots of online groups. But there is something special about the bonds you make with these in person support groups.
Tell me if you have a local homeschool support group and what role in plays in your life.
Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.
Your Zone Mission for today is to wipe the bathroom door facings, switch plates, and door knobs.
My menu plan for Tuesday is tacos. Veggies and salad for me.
Have a blessed day!

Two Zones in One Week with Quick Missions

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

    

Dear Friends,
The third week of the month brings us to the Main Bathroom and another area of our homes. The FlyLady has picked the Home Office this week as the extra area to declutter. If you do not have a home office, work on decluttering the area where you process paperwork. Let go of paper. You can also start getting ready for your new school year.
Here are you missions for the week:
Zone 3 Missions: The Main Bathroom & One Extra Room
Monday – Clean Bathroom Vent
Home Office: Declutter the Left Side of your Desk
Tuesday – Wipe bathroom door facings, knobs, switches
Home Office: Declutter the Right Side of your Desk
Wednesday – Wipe outside of bathroom vanity of cabinet
Home Office: Wipe Computer Screen
Thursday – Make a list of bathroom updates you want to make.
Home Office: Finish Decluttering your Desk top.
Friday – Wipe bathroom baseboards
Home Office: Check office supplies
Set your timers and then take a break when it goes off!
Do not get overwhelmed with the missions. Divide them up and do a little at a time. Don’t obsess about the missions.
On Monday, you are going to clean the vent in your bathroom. If this stirs up dust, you might need to sweep afterwards. Then tackle one area of your desk. Declutter paper and only handle it once this week.
On Tuesday, your mission is to wipe the bathroom door facings, switch plates, and door knobs. Then declutter another area of your desk top.
On Wednesday, you are going to spend a few minutes wiping your bathroom vanity and outside of the cabinet doors and drawers. Then, you just need to wipe your computer screen and keyboard.
On Thursday, you are going to think about bathroom updates you want to make and write down a list. Then check your bathroom supplies and add items to your list. Then finish decluttering the top of your desk.
On Friday, your mission is to wipe the baseboards in your bathroom. Then check your office supplies.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.
Your Zone Mission for today is to clean the bathroom vent and declutter things from one side of your desk.
My menu plan for Monday is cheeseburger bake boys and a mixed green salad for me.
Have a blessed day!

Show Me Your Kitchen and a Special Anniversary Sale!

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

    

Dear Friends,
How did you do with the Zone Missions this week? I want to see your progress in your kitchen. Email a picture to me at Tami@TamiFox.com.
Happy Friday! It’s the last day of your Zone 2 missions. This week’s missions were short and sweet. This summer, I want you to be able to find a place in your daily routines for these missions. Once your homeschool year is off and running, I want your Zone Missions to continue.
Eighteen years ago, I embarked on my homeschool journey. I learned a lot through trial and error. I started out homeschooling two children, and eventually I added four more children to my homeschool. I love homeschooling and spending time with my children. This school year, I will have a senior, sophomore, and 7th grader.
As a homeschool mom, I know you are sacrificing time, money, and energy to homeschool your children. You have a lot of things that compete for your time and attention. Having your basic daily routines and weekly routines in place will help you balance your responsibilities.
Thirteen years ago, I started selling homeschool books. I sold books online, in a store, and at homeschool conferences. As I progressed in my journey as a home educator, I wrote my own books. I changed my storefront, and now I sell my own books.
To celebrate my thirteen year anniversary, I am doing a special 48-hour sale on all of my book titles. My prices are the lowest I have offered my books. By doing this, I am praying I bless those of you who are budgeting their homeschool purchases.
My Homeschool Planner is a spiral-bound book with all of the forms I have developed over the past 18 years of homeschooling. This book contains all the forms I think you need to organize your home and homeschool. For 48 hours, you can purchase the print version for $13.00. This is a savings of $9.95.
Giving Your Children Wings is my first book, and I share with you how I taught my children routines based on The FlyLady’s system and life skills that prepared them for adulthood. It retails for $14.95, and I am offering it for $9.00 this weekend only. That is a savings of $5.95.
Finding Joy in Brokenness is a devotional with 31 chapters. I share personal situations where joy was not my first response. I have included Scripture references and discussion questions in each chapter. It will also be $9.00 this weekend.
For those of you who wish to purchase all three books, I am offering them as a package for an even greater savings. The package price is $29.00. The retail total for all three books is $52.85. This is a savings of $23.85.
The Digital Download of my Planner will also be on sale this weekend for $7.00. It is a great resource for any homeschool family.
Send me some pictures of the area you decluttered this week!
Today’s Zone Mission is to check your kitchen cleaning supplies.
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!
PS – If you have not purchased your FlyLady Calendar for this year, I highly recommend it, too!

How do you handle play dates in your home?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

    

Dear Friends,
Recently a friend asked me how I motivate my children to do their routines when we have company. This can be a tricky situation when you have children with a 15 year age gap like I have.
When one of the children is having a friend over, I encourage everyone to get up early to do their morning routine. While a guest is here, I only ask them to do minimal things around the house.
What I find is that they are usually agreeable to doing what I ask them to do when we have company, but that is something that is easier to do now that they are older. When they were little, it was hard to motivate them to do things when we had a guest.
One area that I do remain firm is in cleaning up after a guest leaves. If one child has a guest, they are responsible for picking up the area they played in, but usually I notice that everyone pitches in to help since they are mostly in the living room area of the house.
I can remember some play dates where all of their toys were dumped out in their rooms. I learned to box toys up prior to a play date and only allow them access to a certain amount of toys at one time.
When we have a friend over, I like to have a specific activity or two in mind for the visit. That helps maintain the house a little better. Yesterday, we had a friend over. The boys played a video game in the living room for a bit. Then they played basketball in the driveway. Finally, we all went for a short fishing trip to the lake.
My house and routines stayed intact. We had dinner and cleaned up afterwards. It went really well. But it has taken years of practice on my part and learning things the hard way.
How do you handle play dates at your house?
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter items from the plastic wrap drawer.
Your Home Blessing for today is to toss papers and magazines.
My menu plan for Thursday is chicken and salad.

Have a great day!

Times of Transition in Your Family

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

    

Dear Friends,
Are any of you preparing to send a child off to college, or do you have one getting married or moving out? These are big transitions in your family. How do you prepare for it?
The good news is that you have been preparing for this time for their whole lives. Sometimes things do not go the way you want them to go, but your goal as a parent is to raise children to be responsible adults.
This spring we had a lot of transitions. One child got engaged and moved home for a few months prior to the wedding. Before the wedding another child, moved back in for a short time. I traveled this spring to two conferences.
As I reflect back on these events, I am proud of my children. Each one of them has special gifts and abilities. I have enjoyed the past 27 years of parenting, and I realize with my young adults that parenting does not end at age 18. It continues on as they grow and mature. They seek advice and prayers.
Homeschooling allowed me more time with my children to teach them and enjoy them. I am grateful for homeschooling the last 18 years. As I am approaching a new school year, I do so with a thankful heart.
There are a few visible reminders of the busy spring I had. One child has moved most of his stuff out, but I still find things here and there. So I have a place I put those things. Another child is settling his stuff into his room, and we have moved furniture and made his room feel like his place.
If you have a child who has a big transition coming up, remember to make time to just talk. Sometimes you get so busy in the “getting ready” part that you neglect just spending time together. If you have little ones now, this stage passes quickly. Enjoy playing and making memories with them.
As we do our kitchen zone mission for the day, make it quick and don’t overthink it. Start with the top shelf of your refrigerator and toss the leftovers.
Your Zone Mission today is to toss the leftovers from the fridge.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe windows and mirrors.
My menu plan for Wednesday is lasagna with a salad.
Have a great day!

Small Steps of Success Will Bring Big Changes

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

    

Dear Friends,
How does your stove top look this morning? I know that sounds like such a simple task that won’t make a difference in your home, but if you keep doing this daily zone missions, you will see a difference.
Some of you may have even been tempted to skip this mission. Trust in the process The FlyLady gives you. I see messages daily from ladies asking her for help. She is helping you through the daily missions and home blessings. I am a part of how she helps you through these emails. You have it inside of you to get organized in your home. I believe in you and so does The FlyLady!

The simple, daily missions add up to making a big difference in your home. You can compare it to snowflakes that fall down in the winter. Individually they don’t add up to a lot, but as you get more and more coming down, you start to see it add up.

You need to keep your focus on your routines, and I don’t want you to lose heart that you aren’t making a dent in the things you need to do around your house. Step by step. Day by day. You can do it. You can change how your home looks a little at a time.

First, get dressed to the shoes, swish and swipe the bathroom, and make your bed.
Then, I want you to check your calendar for the day, start a load of laundry, and check to see what’s for dinner.
After you do these 6 steps, you have started your day off successfully. Don’t let yourself get derailed. Do these 6 things first. Then, you can make a priority list for the day.
If your children are old enough to help around the house, here are a few ideas for them to help you after they finish their morning routine.
  • Load the dishwasher
  • Shine the sink
  • Sweep the kitchen
  • Pick up in their bedroom
Your zone mission can be done quickly as well. Clean the holder that organizes your silverware. Make this a fun little game with your children. Turn on some music and do this quickly.
This morning, I sat down and made a list of things I need to do around the house for maintenance this summer. The boys and I will work on it one thing at a time over the next several weeks.
What’s on your summer wish list?

Keep doing your zone missions. You can make a difference one small thing at a time.

Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.
Your Zone Mission for today is to clean the holder that organizes your silverware.
My menu plan for Tuesday is chicken and veggies.
Have a blessed day!

Organizing Your Kitchen Can Help You Save Money

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

    

Dear Friends,
The kitchen is an important part of our homes. It’s used a lot for most of us. It’s an area where we can spend a lot of money or save a lot of money. Keeping your pantry organized and knowing what is in your refrigerator and freezer will help you to not purchase things you already have. That will save you money.
If you need a fresh start in your kitchen, this is your week to get things organized.
Here are you missions for the week:
Zone 2 Missions: The Kitchen
Monday – Scrub your stovetop
Tuesday – Clean the holder in your silverware drawer
Wednesday – Declutter leftovers from the Refrigerator
Thursday – Declutter empty boxes from the plastic wrap drawer
Friday – Check your kitchen cleaning supplies
Set your timers and then take a break when it goes off!
One are that you may also want to do some training with your children is in teaching them how to hand-wash dishes. Last summer, I realized that I have not taught all of the boys the steps to washing dishes. When we did our kitchen renovation, we did not have access to the dishwasher, so we worked together to wash the dishes as needed.
On Monday, you are going to spend a few minutes cleaning the top of your stove. This is an easy task if you have a flat top stove. It is more complicated with electric ranges with the plug in “eyes.” Gas ranges have several parts to clean as well. No matter what type of stove top you have, wipe it down.
On Tuesday, your mission is to clean the plastic tray that holds your silverware. As you have the items out of the drawer, declutter anything that you have not used in the past year or more.
On Wednesday, you are going to declutter the leftovers from your refrigerator. Spend no more than 15 minutes on this mission. Start at the top and work your way down. Wipe the shelves if you have time.
On Thursday, you are going to declutter any empty boxes from the drawer where you keep plastic wraps and such. Write down any items that you need to replace.
On Friday, your mission is to check your kitchen cleaning supplies. Have you run out of anything?
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.
Your Zone Mission for today is to clean your stove top.
My menu plan for Monday is hamburgers for the boys and a mixed green salad for me.
Have a blessed day!

Show me your progress with your entryway

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

    

Dear Friends,
How did you do with the Zone Missions this week? I want to see your progress in your entryway (or dining room or porch). Email a picture to me at homeschool@flylady.net.
Happy Friday! It’s the last day of your Zone 1 missions. Did you make your entryway look less cluttered? The entryway of your home is likely a Hot Spot area that will need a few minutes of attention each day to maintain it.
If you struggle with the entryway, decide what you can do to make it work better for your purposes. If this is also your launch pad area, then set it up in a way that makes it functional and not a cluttered area.
Did you declutter in your Dining Room? If not, purpose to spend some time in it during our time in Zone 3 this month. Have a goal to set your dining room up for a family meal this summer, if you have not used it in a while. Plan a family favorite menu and use your good dishes. Some of you are holding onto your nice dishes for a “special” event. Your family is the special event.
How does your front porch look this week? I observed many beautiful front porches this week, and I enjoyed seeing many of them decorated to celebrate Independence Day. I saw lots of shady porches with rocking chairs or porch swings. That might be a Southern thing, but I love it. It reminds me of a time when people sat on their front porches and visited with one another in the evenings.
What memories did you make this week with your family? We played games this week. We went swimming and fishing. We took walks, and we enjoyed tasty evening meals. These are the times that bind us as a family. They are the things that draw our hearts together.
Don’t let the summer get away from you! You don’t have to plan elaborate activities. You can be as simple as packing a picnic or cooking hot dogs over a campfire. You can build a small fire and roast marshmallows.
Send me some pictures of the area or areas you decluttered this week!
Today’s Zone Mission is to dust the ceiling edges, fixtures, windows, and window sills of the Dining Room and 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!

Your Entryway Does Not Have to be a Clutter Magnet

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

    

Dear Friends,
Take a look at your around your entryway. Is there where your launch pad is located? With some gentle reminders and training, this does not have to be a dumping ground for your family.
Some entryway areas do not have a good place for a launch pad. That is the case for my entryway. The closest place to our main door is a table. When we walk in the door, the natural tendency is to drop stuff on this table and walk away.
When we bring things into the house, it is okay to put things here, but the key is to not leave them there. You have to take a few minutes to put things away. You have to teach your family this habit as well.
If this area is a big struggle for you, start with yourself. Begin putting your things away. Then you can narrow it down to the other members of your family. When you see items laying near the entryway that does not belong, ask the owner of the items to put them away.
If you have room in your entryway for a shelf and baskets, that may help you give a “place” to some of these items. I have a coat rack near our main entryway way. It holds light jackets and several hats.
I do not have a place for coat hooks near that door, and I don’t have room for a bench. I am working with the space I have to make it usable and to not have a cluttered feel to it.
Some of you have a mud run or area that your family stops in to take of coats and shoes. Set this area up to make it easy to store these items, so you don’t end up with a pile of shoes and socks.
If you have outdoor shoes and indoor shoes, set up an area near the entryway for an easy switch of the shoes. If your family enters and exits through a garage, you can build some shelves to aid in this process.
What are some ways you have organized your main entryway and launch pad?
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter in the entryway of your home.
Your Home Blessing for today is to toss papers and magazines.
My menu plan for Thursday is low country boil and salad.
Have a great day!

Being Thankful in All Things

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 

    

Dear Friends,
Happy Independence Day! Today we celebrate the birth of the United States of America.
What are you thankful for today?
I am thankful for my independence, for my family and friends, and for the freedom to homeschool my children.
On the days when life is hard, I make a conscious effort to write down my blessings. It helps me to refocus and look for the positive things in my life. I do not want to dwell on the difficult things. I need to pray and give the hard things over to God.
This morning, I read something a friend of mine wrote about loss. It touched my heart. She shared how difficult it is to walk through the valley of grief. She wrote about the good memories, and she wrote about the hard memories.
Some of you are grieving now. I want to encourage you to write down the good memories. Go through pictures. You may find that your eyes leak a bit as you remember, but you will also find memories that make you smile.
Make memories with your family daily. Don’t let yourself get so caught up in checking off a To Do List that you forget to stop and play with your children. They are only little for a short season. I see this in my life as my children have grown up right before my eyes.
The days of packing diaper bags, snack bags, and lugging around car seats and strollers are behind me. The days of constant supervision of a toddler are behind me. Presently, my children enjoy different activities than when they were little, and I have embraced the days of fishing, hiking, and kayaking.
I am grateful for the time I have with my family. I love talking to them and listening to what’s on their mind. I enjoy hearing them share their favorite childhood memories with me. It warms my heart to know that they have many of the same fond memories as I have.
If you are going through a tough time right now, stop and breathe for a minute. Pray. Write down your blessings. If you feel alone, reach out to someone and ask for help. You are not alone in this. God is with you.
What are you thankful for this Independence Day?
Your Zone Mission today is to wipe the walls and windows in the Dining Room.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe windows and mirrors.
My menu plan for Wednesday is grilled shrimp with a salad.
Have a great day!