Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Organising Time!

I LOVE this time of year; 'school' is on a long break which means I get a chance to take stock!
I look at what worked in terms of our homeschool + family organisation & then I try and assess what could work better.
I actually really LOVE this part of being a wife and mum.
I wasn't really a well organised youngsterbut it is something that I've been working hard on over the years to make our family life work as smoothly as possible :)
Now don't get me wrong; things still get messy and out of place, but it's this time of year that I get a chance just to look around and think about how things can work a little better.

One thing I struggled with this year was finding enough places to display the kids' creations; lego creations, crafts they'd built and wanted to keep and other bits and pieces that if left down on the table, will be destroyed by a very inquisitive 20 month old!!!
I had the idea to purchase a buffet and hutch with glass display cabinets up top (so creations can still be seen and admired!) and cupboards down the bottom with plenty of space of baskets of books and boxes with activities that the kids can help themselves too at any time!
So I found one yesterday!
We are trying to find a way to have it delivered here but yay am very happy to have found one!
I'm going to give it a lick of white paint in parts and sand that back to give it a shabby look :)
Once I've done it, will post pictures.
There's plenty of room to let the kids show off their completed creations.
I'm planning on a brand new book area using baskets in the place where the 'tv display' would be in the cabinet. There are shelves there so that'll be where the book baskets will go.
Then down the bottom will be boxes full of activities that they can just grab (all in the one spot!) At the moment, there are activities in boxes but they are in different places and I long to have all these things grouped together.
Sad how excited I get over organising options isn't it?!?!

Another thing that has worked well but needed a little tweaking was the chore chart we used last year.
I thought I'd posted about it on my blog but perhaps it was when I was having that 6 month blogging break and was on facebook instead. Anyway, in a nutshell, it is a laminated A4 sheet of paper with each of the kids names on it. I photograph chores around the house, laminate the photos then put a photo-chore next to each kids' name. I stick them on with velcro dots so that every chore can be moved around and swapped between the kiddos. It worked really well but some of the chores have changed. We now have someone checking the hens for eggs everyday. And we added in one child to set the table, one to get the drink bottles and one to set the cloth placemats each night. I find they say, 'I did that last night!' etc way too often so I'm adding this to their chore chart - who can argue with the photo? If it's next to their name, then it is their job!
Here's what it looks like:

I'm hoping to have the rest of the new chores photographed, laminated and ready for velcro-ing (!!!) this afternoon :)

I have all 3 being registered for homeschooling tomorrow!
So today I'm just tidying the kids' learning room and making sure their portfolio's are in order.
And lastly, the other big project I am working on at present is a photo chart of many of the tv-free activities around our home! By that I mean, I am wanting the kids to take the initiative and dive into all the things to do around here rather than asking for a dvd to go on. They hardly watch any tv anymore anyway but still, we really want them to embrace all the many wholesome and fun activities that are lying around our house, sadly, often unused :( So my effort to help them learn this is to do up a photo chart. This really helps Liji and Ethi since they are only learning to read (so having a list of activities won't help them at the mo) and also we know that Liji especially is a real visual learner. If he can see it, he can do it!
So will post photos of the chart when it's done. At the moment, I'm going around the house, indoor and outdoor, taking photos of all the things they can do - and there are so many of them! I should never hear 'I don't know what to do' ever again! lol :)

Anyway, just thought i'd post about that at the mo.
Here are some photos of the kiddos swimming the other day at their grandparent's house.
We had a lovely time.

More again some other time :)
Off to organise!
Please share if you have any organising projects that you are into at the moment :)
I'd love to hear :)
Love Lus x


kathy said...

These are some great idea's lusi. I especially like the idea of taking photo's of things to do. My kids are saying they are bored all the time! It feels great to get organized! I've implemented a few new things this week that I find is making life much easier and more enjoyable.

lusi said...

Hi Kathy!
Great to *see* you! :)
I'd love to hear what you've been implementing to make life easier if you are keen to share!
Love to you :)
Lusi x

kathy said...

I'm going to do a post on it as soon as time permits LOL

Andi said...

Lusi -
I really love using breaks to stop and reflect, and of course to organize too. *Loved the photos'!

lusi said...

*sigh* yes :) big reflection time for us around here too Andi! So life-giving :)
Thanks for stopping by :)
Much love to you sister!

And Kathy, will be looking forward to reading your post! And congrats once again mate; am so excited for you guys!

kathy said...

Thanks Lusi. Pregnancy is such an amazing time!
Blog post is up :)


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