Organization by Balancing Life

Organization

 

The key to my organization strategy is to create balance in whatever I do: homeschool; employment; house work, etc.  Often I find myself making a bigger mess, before I get to the point where I am at peace with whatever I’m attempting to organize.  Does that happen to you too?  I can’t imagine that I’m the only one.  Is my home spotless?  No.  Is everything just right?  Probably not nearly so.  Am I all right with this?  Absolutely!

Home School Organization

My son is in his High School years, so I find that my method of tracking his progress very straightforward.  I organize his schedule in a Word document, write the daily lessons on his white board, and use an Excel spreadsheet I created for recording graded material.  I split up each quarter by subject. I then have a master Excel spreadsheet that I found a Microsoft Office Template for, called Grade Tracker.  Grade Tracker compiles the data from the subject spreadsheets and figures out grade point average (GPA), credit hours, and assigns letter grades, so we will have a High School Transcript ready for when my son begins applying to Colleges.

For any paper schoolwork completed, I simply sort it by date and subject, use my 3-hole punch, and file the material in a binder by school year.  In this same binder is the copy of the letter I submitted to the School System to home school my son, as well as, the letter of approval the School System sent to me.  Documentation is helpful if ever there is a question on what was done when, so I record everything!

You really can organize your home school on a budget.  I had a friend refer me to Transcript Pro and another friend say, take the reins yourself because you can be so much more creative and really personalize their transcript.  I have the time, I like to save money where I can, so I went for the Do-It-Yourself approach.  The choice is yours as you have to find the right balance for your homeschooling or unschooling style.

Work Organization

In addition to homeschooling my son, I also work part-time for a local credit union on their telecommuting team.  I am not anti-social, I promise!  I am only required to go on-site once a month and I have a fixed schedule that works perfectly with my son’s education.  My husband was kind enough to support me in working part-time hours so I could be more available for my son beginning when he was in public elementary school.  I’m sure many moms do it in reverse, work part-time or not at all outside the home when their children are young and return to full-time jobs after their kids go to school, but for our family the reverse was the perfect balance as I reduced my schedule over time from a 40 hour work week, to a Management position, then 30 hours, and now an average of only 23 hours per week.

Household Organization

This is an area where I make the big mess.  For example, I just tore apart my entire pantry two days ago, just so I had somewhere to store our endless stack of egg crates.  I do not refuse free egg crates.  I am not a hoarder (ha ha)!  We have chickens, they lay eggs, sometimes way more than we can eat, and I’m not paying $0.39 each at the store for something to simply contain eggs neatly until they are used.  Plus if I get the plastic crates, I cut the trays and use them for paint cups!  I love reusing things with good purpose.  We even have a spaghetti jar repurposed into my son’s favorite milk cup.  No crying if or when that glass breaks.

My son’s bedroom was the typical teenage boy’s room disaster until a few months ago.  It had gotten beyond him in knowing how to dig out, so I decided it was time for an intervention.  I had to make the mess way bigger by making piles and moving piles, deciding what was trash, what he was saving, and what was to be donated.  Two months later, it is still nearly as we finished.  We took a minimalistic approach and he gained a lot of space in his fairly small bedroom and we had the talk about “a place for everything and everything in its place.”  He’s too old for the Barney the Dinosaur’s “Clean Up” song now, but I used to love that when he was younger.

I don’t have a schedule for cleaning like all the best organizers do.  If the laundry baskets are full, I do laundry.  If dishes are dirty in the sink, and the piles bug me, I wash dishes (I like to leave this to hubby as I really don’t like doing silverware, but I’ve been good lately).  I don’t vacuum or dust every day, I just don’t find it a priority or maybe I like to see that there is an accumulation before I’m jolted into action.  We play a lot, so putting off some household chores is fine with me.  I actually should have gone grocery shopping today as we are down to two clementines and one banana, but my son wanted a field trip today.  So what did I do?  I took my son and his friend to a nearby Historical Museum for something fun and different.  It was time well spent and the grocery store will be there tomorrow.

Melissa ReadMelissa is in her first year of homeschooling her teenaged son, while working part-time.  She enjoys the simple life, but her husband is a super techie.  It’s an interesting balance as Melissa strives to learn more homesteading skills, while her husband is playing the latest Xbox game.  Find Melissa’s Facebook page:  Minor in Homeschool.

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