Friday, June 25, 2010

"The" Catholic Homeschool Magazine

I don't know if there's more than one Catholic homeschool magazine out there. Definitely, there are newsletters, websites, blogs, and a myriad of resources and support. But the only actual print magazine specifically for Catholic homeschoolers, that I am aware of, is Mater et Magistra, formerly Heart and Mind.

I received a subscription to this magazine, thanks to a give-away on my blogger friend Alicia's Studeo blog some weeks ago.

Being almost finished with homeschooling (my youngest is finishing up his junior year in high school), one might think I would not get much out of an issue focused primarily on the little ones: toddlers, preschoolers, and the primary grades. On the contrary, being passionate about educational methods, and being a writer of children's books, I was fascinated by all of it, and it is a "keeper".

I don't know what the theme of the next issue will be, but I can only look forward with joy to receiving it, knowing what a great job the editor and writers have done with this issue.

This magazine is about wonder and love and all the beautiful things of childhood. I highly recommend it!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Weekly Household Schedule

Tonight I got an idea. Perhaps assigning certain types of jobs to different days might help me to keep my sanity and to accomplish more. So I wrote up a plan. If it works for me, I'll try to remember to come back and tell you about it.

LIVING AREAS – Monday/Tuesday

Process mail. Straighten.
Pay bills.
Balance checkbooks.
Sort papers.
Make business phone calls.

Vacuum living area.

EDUCATION - Wednesday

Check Peter’s work.
Discuss progress with Peter.
Plan curriculum.
Work on my personal goals and study plans.

Gather library books.
Return library books.
Distribute surplus books.

KITCHEN – Thursday/Friday

Plan meals.
Make shopping list.
Process coupons.
Explore recipe ideas.
Pre-process foods.

Clean refrigerator.
Organize cupboards.
Clean counters and boards.

BED AND BATH - Saturday

Plan clothing needs.
Iron, if needed.
Choose any items to give away.

Clean bathrooms.
Dust bedroom.
Vacuum bedroom and hallway.
Change bedding.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Clutter (or Declutter) the Little Way

The clutter is back. Oh wait. It never left. I tried; I really did. But when you get rid of a few things at a time, sometimes it's one step forward, one step back.

I used Freecycle to give away a crock pot carrier and an oversized duffel bag. I gave a pre-paid phone and a hoodie to a friend. I took my library books back to the library.

Then I cut coupons and checked sales, and over-stocked on groceries. I bought Peter's schoolbooks for next year. I brought home five books from the library.

All of that would be okay if I had ample "homes" for everything. But all of that replaced what I gave away...and what I gave away was already taking up a little bit of "extra" space.

You might be shaking your head at me as a hopeless case...or you might relate. If you relate, then I have a word for both of us: No. We can't give up. What if I had given up a long time ago? What if I had not given things away and taken back the library books? I would have even less space, wouldn't I? (not to speak of a large library fine).

When we can declutter in a big way, it's so much better. But when we can only declutter in little ways, that's good too. And when I can only sit and read, I can get inspiration to keep it moving.

Here I would like to share with you some of what inspires me tonight:

Unclutter Tips These are great tips for deciding whether to keep an item or give it up.

Workspace of the Week: Classrooms are Workspaces, too.
Although I don't have little ones anymore, I love the baskets and the picture labels here...and the idea that our workspace might be a kitchen or a workbench, wherever it is that we work.

And the ultimate jump-start (and follow-through): 18 Five-Minute Decluttering Tips to Start Conquering Your Mess.