Before you go any further, know that this home management/organizing thing has become a hobby of mine. So, please excuse all the type-a-ness of this post. It's embarrassing, really. (but I. love. it.)
After reading Organized Simplicity, I was inspired to change a few things around here, mainly our family calendar and home school lesson planning.
For years, I have had a paper, notebook-style calendar and it worked well for me. I think and organize best with pencil to paper, so it was a good fit. Then I got an iPhone and everything changed. I had this super-powered tool in my pocket and a bulky planner in my bag. As much as I liked how my planner joined our family calendar with home school planning, it contained so much I didn't need and was proving to be rather bulky. Also, the school planning sheets were not customized to our subjects and schedule. So, I decided leave the paper family calendar in 2010 and move to Google Calendar (which already held my birthday calendar). Then I went on to create our own weekly lesson planning sheets. No more extra bulk.
What I am loving about Google Calendar vs. Paper:
(which leaves me wondering what took me so long to do this...)
- The ability to repeat an event. This works especially well with meal planning because really we don't have more than two weeks worth of Sunday-Friday meals. So, every other Tuesday we have stir fry, etc. Saturday evenings are left open for new recipes and going out. And it's all there waiting for me when I make the weekly grocery list.
- No space constraints. I don't have a pencil and a little box, so I can be as detailed about my day as I like. Because of this, I have added my weekly exercise schedule to my calendar - that is a huge motivator for me.
- Reminders. This is a life saver for me with birthdays and orthodontist appointments.
- Sharing. Even though my husband doesn't use Google Calendar, if he needs to check my calendar he can.
- And I always take my phone, so now I have my calendar, too. I know I am late to this way of life, but letting go of paper was a big deal for me.
Before our school year begins, I create a spreadsheet with each subject and what lessons need to be completed each week to get it all done in about 34 weeks. For instance, I know that in week 20 Will needs to do math lessons 76-79. With all that work completed ahead of time, I spend about an hour every weekend planning for the next week. That includes filling our file box and gathering books. Our file box has a folder for each school day filled with worksheets and papers needed for each day. Hannah (red) and Will (blue) keep things moving to the next day's folder if they are needed every day.
Before each week begins, I print out our lesson planning sheet, a grocery list, and a to do list/weekly chore sheet (I will post about this soon). It all goes on my clipboard. Along with any other papers I may need (like right now I have Peter's birthday party planning sheet in there, too). When the week is over, the lesson plans are transferred to my home management notebook.
Our lesson planning sheet:
(if anyone would like me to email them any of these documents just let me know)
My grocery list (with spaces for our weekly dinner schedule):
(the week begins on Thursday because I go to the store with the boys on Thursdays while Hannah is at piano)