Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Organizing My Homeschool

I had said that my next post would be about dieting on a budget, but since I did not make budget this payday (due to poor planning), that post will have to wait until next payday (Monday).

What I am excited about right now is starting our homeschooling year July 1st! We are doing Sonlight this year--testing it out. We'll be doing Core 1+2 with all 3 categories of readers. I LOVE their booklists and feel it would keep us all busy reading instead of staring at a computer screen (the kids for games, me for info that I always seem to be looking for). I also found almost everything used online, and am quite proud of myself. lol. So I need to make myself a schedule on my oversized desk calendar (the kinds they use at beauty shops for appts. It's truly a life saver), and plan meals for next week so I am not trying to do that at the same time I am supposed to be concentrating on reading Ginger Pye.

We do not have a "homeschool room" like some have. If you have one, I am sure you are thankful for such a blessing! Like many of you, our homeschooling is done at the dining room table and run out of my pantry ala the picture above. We used dish pans that cost $1.83 at Walmart. Normally not my favorite store, but it has it's use. The bigger bins with the holes in them are also from Walmart and are $5 and hold a ton of stuff.
Something else I did today to get us completely ready to start school is change everything about the way our kids get their privileges and do their chores. I did a card system with a different color for each child. I listed all their daily chores in order to be done. After morning chores (personal care as well as making beds and wiping off table and chairs after breakfast) are done thoroughly with a good attitude, the child earns 15 minutes of computer time. They then have afternoon chores and before daddy comes home chores, all of which must be completed correctly to earn more privileges. Before, I was just giving each child a 30 minutes block of computer time, tracking with a kitchen timer, but regardless of whether or not they had been obeying. I now see that as unwise since computer time is not a right and must be earned like an allowance. If chores are not done thoroughly and in a timely manner or are done with a bad attitude, an extra chore card will be assigned (thank you, Kristin, for this idea!). Extra chores range from wiping down kitchen and bathroom cabinets to cleaning out the truck. These are things that normally get done less often than maybe they need to be.
Privileges range from computer time to TV time 2x a week, to time out front (for my older girls. I do not trust the younger ones with this yet), to time alone (no siblings interrupting quiet time, something my oldest longs for). They are earned like a wage, which, by the way, my kids also earn. There are chores they do because they live here (like cleaning their rooms and putting their clothes in the hamper) and chores they do to earn money (like wiping off the table and loading the fridge with water and folding laundry). The girls normally get $3-4 a week, and the boys $1-2.
If you'd like to see my homemade chore/privilege card system, you can click this link:
Not fancy, but it does the job. The extra pocket is for when they use up or accomplish what's on the card. They just turn the card over and put it in the "used" pocket.
I hope you've enjoyed seeing my rudimentary system for keeping our homeschool and chores organized. And my next post WILL include a low starch weight loss menu, so stay tuned! :)

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