Sunday, February 8, 2009

Organizing in my head

So after a month of sorta/kinda doing the Flylady thing (meaning attempting to at the beginning of the day but then completely forgetting about it by the end of the day, and then starting all over the next day), I am still in kind of a 'how can I do things better' frame of mind.

So here are some ideas floating around in my head that I thought I'd commit to paper (or blog) and perhaps that would help them crystallize.

The most brilliant and inspiring thought I had for trying to get myself to get the kitchen cleaned every night is to peg it to something. This is so simple and easy and I don't know why it is taken me practically 18 years to think of this! But I'm going to peg cleaning the kitchen and tidying the family room to night prayers. We say prayers together 99.9 evenings of the year, usually sometime between 8:30 and 9:00 p.m. So my goal is to get the kitchen cleaned and the family room picked up a bit by then. I call everybody together for prayers anyway, so I 'll just call them a bit early and they can pitch in and help me!

The other thing is to once again try to focus on a different room or section of the house for different days. Lately I've been naturally focusing on the basement on Mondays. This is because I have to tidy it up every other Monday when the cleaners come so they can vacuum and dust down there. But also because the math tutor is here on Monday mornings and she works in the dining room. It is a comfortable time to go down to the basement and focus on it while she's on the main level working with Will and Josh.

So here's my line up for 'daily zones':

Monday - basement
Tuesday - study (this gets second place status, still at the frontloaded beginning of the week, because I just cleaned it up and can see that it is already getting junked up, so I want to keep focused on it).
Wednesday - front hall, living room and dining room (front hall and living room never take more than a few minutes to tidy. The dining room is problematic, but I'm thinking that I'll enlist the help of kids to do this)
Thursday - trash to the curb - that's it! Thursday are so busy!
Friday - laundry room and catch up on laundry I didn't get done during the week
Weekends - spread out over the course of both days: clean fridge, grocery shop, bedrooms, recycling.
every day - kitchen and family room; spot clean bathrooms whenever I go in one, laundry

The other organizational change I'm thinking about is how I work with the kids, lesson-wise. Again, quite naturally, I've been starting to grab a kid and work one on one with them for a bit and get to whatever subjects have surfaced at that time. I work with them until we are irretrievably interrupted or the child's attention span is gone, whichever comes first. I have been noticing this is an extremely efficient way to get things done and it helps me concentrate on the child and really interact and talk with them. It frees up the day for lots of spontaneous play and learning, and gives us time to do lots of outside things.

This method has worked especially well with Josh. Things have spontaneously fallen into what you'd call a block schedule. Sundays and Mondays he does the bulk of his math for the week. Monday afternoons we work for several hours on Latin. Tuesdays, Latin class. In the afternoon we get a week's worth of Religion done. He usually does his language arts (vocabulary/spelling, grammar, writing) over the course of two or three days. We tend to forget about history, so we'll skip it for a couple of weeks and then he'll spend a couple of days reading and catching up. But this seems to work fine for him. He does the literature stuff a little every day.

Becky and Sean are easier to work together. We do copy work and read alouds (which cover Religion and history) together. Then Sean goes off to practice piano and read while I focus on Becky for Math and Reading. Then she goes off to play while I focus on Math and Latin with Josh. Josh, Sean, Becky and I usually work on our Greek two or three times a week after lunch for about 20 minutes. We are going slowly with that, but that's okay. I'm pleased as punch we are actually doing it!

The only problem I see is that I really don't have a good system for oversight of the teens. One has never emerged that really answered our needs. So they are forever an afterthought to me. I tend to just nag them which is counterproductive to the utmost!


SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I can solve your cleaning problems, sort of. Host the clubs every week. I swear, if I didn't have to clean up for that, my children would be living in squalor.

Art Reed said...

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Art Reed