Thursday, November 21, 2013

Planning our Homeschooling Days

I have been homeschooling my children for six years. I have tried various methods of keeping track of our days (as Pennsylvania law requires us to keep a running log of our accomplishments). I am a planner and always love a great organizer to keep our info in. I have tried the computer-run planning sites before but I prefer to write each day out (as tedious as it is for three children). I also prefer something pre-made, as printables don't work well for me (I end up spending a fortune on paper and ink with my less-than-awesome printer). 

In previous  years, I had used an already-dated calendar planner to write in our school day plans. I ran into problems with this when I already had things planned for a week and we needed to take a day off due to sickness or unexpected field trip. I would then have to erase and change all our plans. I really wanted something that I could track number of days and then write the date in as we did the work. 

After much looking, I was excited to find something I really liked and thought would work well for us....

I found the planner I loved at URtheMom. The worst part about them is that they were a bit pricey...especially when ordering one for each child. They have everything set up just as I wanted places to keep track of grades, goals and a folder in the back of the planner.

On each day we do our schoolwork, I write the date on the side...

This way, I can plan ahead as much as I want to without worrying about having to make changes due to missing a day or something changing along the way. In the *notes* section, I write in the dates of our homeschool co-op and what the children participate in on those days. I will add those to our required 180 days at the end of the year.

As you can see here, as we accomplish something from each subject, each day, I mark it with a little X...

I hope to maybe make my own planners for next year. I will have to crunch the numbers and figure out what is most cost-effective for us! For this year though, I am happy with how these planners work for us. If you want to purchase one can find them HERE.

This post was in no way sponsored by They are just my personal opinions of what works for us! :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Homemaking: Window Stars

A fun project to do with children (older children are the folding should be careful and neatly done) is making window stars! They add a bit of color/fun to your windows!

You can make simple designs to very intricate ones! You can find some fun tutorials on them HERE. When I first saw window stars I thought they were made from tissue paper. I tried it and it ripped constantly and did *not* work well for me at all. I found out that what I actually needed was kite paper! :)

You can find kite paper HERE. In addition to that, you will want to have a pair of scissors, glue stick and some willing hands to fold them! It's a nice project that isn't difficult and is fun to do either by yourself or in groups!

Look at how much that dresses my windows! It looks especially nice in the winter when the outside is covered in snow and drab colors. :)

After some time (a year or so) the colors will fade from the sun...when that happens, I take them down and make new ones! :)

Give it a try! You will be so glad you did! Happy folding! :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Using Baskets

I use baskets all throughout my home. One place that they really come in handy is in the bathroom! In my opinion, baskets look much nicer and cozier than plastic bins. (I also love mason jars to decorate and keep things in!).

I use baskets to coral hand towels, wash cloths, soap, make up, hair products and more (and that's just in the bathroom)!

I don't know about you, but anytime I find a good basket at a great price...I buy it! There are *so* many uses for well-made, great-sized baskets that I just can't resist...although again I say: only if they are a *great price*! ;)

You don't have to have a lot of money to organize and stay tidy. You don't have to have the perfect home and use only expensive things to decorate/organize! Anyone *of any income* can choose to be tidy! You just have to work on it and keep up with it.

When folding, do it neatly (it will give you such a sense of satisfaction when you do!). When you get something out, be sure to put it away. Keep the floors swept and things dusted from time to time. Organize things with other *like* objects....this is where the baskets come in handy!

You can find baskets at your local thrift store or craft store (I found the ones pictured in the top photo at JoAnn Fabrics at 50% off!). If you can't afford to buy any right now, use what you have at home.

Homemaking can be so much fun when you see it as a challenge to keep your home neat, functional, cozy and enjoyable! I love trying to figure out better ways to organize areas. When things are tidy, it is so much easier to clean them too. :)