Summer is usually the time I try to deep clean and get things pretty organized (never as much as I'd like) so that in September things are sort of in shape. I always go through clothes for the Thanksgiving clothing drive. I usually do some sort of cleaning/organizing in preperation for Christmas. Usually before Passover/Easter some sort of cleaning is done (maybe carpets) The garage usually gets its annual cleaning in late spring or summer. Haven't done that yet this year.
I have been inspired to focus more on creating a happy, peaceful, cozy and tidy atmosphere in our home. I was very inspired to do this when I went through my Waldorf phase. It is happening again now that I've been reading blogs that talk about Reggio. I have been especially inspired by this particular blog. Look at this classroom!!! I can't believe how clean it looks! My house has never, ever, ever looked that tidy and shiny clean. It astonishes me!
This got me thinking. There are things I did in the past that I have fallen away from that I want to start doing again:
- Have a family altar. This used to be down in the basement and I'd try to school down there. However, I simply don't do well in basements. I need lots of sunshine to make me happy and the basement, even though it is painted a cheery yellow and we even put window murals on the wall, is still a basement. There is something in me that resists going downstairs. So I just have to admit my weakness here. So the most obvious place for an altar is upstairs in the dining room. We already have our Bible stand and gorgeous Bible that Rick gave me in there. So I think some kind of altar area should go there.
- I could combine the altar with a nature table and use them both to reflect changes in the seasons as well as happenings in the liturgical year. I could use the credenza in the dining room for this. I did this for a bit a couple years ago.
- I could also use the marble-top (as we call it, it is really a dresser with a brown marble top that I got from my grandmother) in the front hall. The surface of that tends to get covered with mail, stuff that needs to go upstairs, stuff that people don't bother to put away, stuff that got left out in the front yard, etc.
- We just need to learn to put things away properly!
- The other thing I'd like to do again is systematically keep/display things the kids have made. I used to do this regularly. I had folders for each of the kids for any paper stuff they'd done, like stories, poem, drawings, etc. Then any crafts or collections were on the credenza. I fell away from this for some reason. Why do I drift away from these sorts of organizational habits? Actually, they never do seem to become habits for me. They always take effort to remember and this makes it hard and at some point I lose focus and drift away from it. I really think this is my ADD.
- Another thing I'd like to start is a monthly calendar displayed in the kitchen (on the side of the fridge, perhaps) which is big and notes things like saints feastdays, things happening in the liturgical year (both Jewish and Catholic), important days to remember, etc. I got this idea from Leonie. This is one of her unschooling, strewing methods.
- We are going to repaint the kids' rooms this summer. One thing I'd like to do is to make the big wall in the upstairs hall (bedroom level) a huge bulletin board to display things, like a liturgical calendar, timeline and the like. I'm thinking we could use chalkboard paint and make a chalkboard up there too! I think it would be good for writing up inspirational quotes and encouraging the kids to write more. It would be so different, it would make it fun!
Okay, my time's up. Gotta go work out at Curves, give Sean and Josh some more CAT testing which I plumb forgot to do this past week. They are at computer camp all week next week, then we are at the beach for a week and then Sean is at music camp for 3 weeks. So they've got to finish the testing this weekend! Then we've got to run out and get birthday presents. Becky is going to a party this afternoon, Josh is going to a party tomorrow evening and then Will's and Hannah's best friend birthday are both on the 29th. We are having a barbeque here on Sunday evening as well (Josh will just have to miss it).