Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Plugging away...

{the path to organizational BLISS}
I started working on organizing our school room today, but didn't make as much progress as I'd have liked to. I hope if I can get more kid participation tomorrow I can get it done and functional for me!! That would be awesome. Its so strange...I am discovering that I don't work well when my life isn't orderly and organized. However, the attribute of organization doesn't come naturally to me. I am trying to retrain myself to BE an organized person. If I could just start thinking like an organized person I know I could BE organized and live an organized life. Its a struggle. I think its especially hard because you can't follow someone
else's plan for organization...its such an individual thing. I feel like the book Organizing From The Inside Out did a great job of teaching organizational principles that I am trying to apply in my life and create my own recipe for being organized. In a month or so hopefully I'll be well on my way!! So far the few spaces I've organized have resulted in a huge boost in my effectiveness.

{Structure time...KEY to my success}
I feel like I've been getting better and better at structuring my kid's 'school' time. We do school time for 3 or 4 hours in the morning and its been going great. However, I still have my occasional freak out sessions when I start to worry that my kids are behind or I start to feel like I don't know what the heck I should be exposing them to. For instance last week I started having a melt down worrying that my kids weren't learning enough. Finally after a lot of prayer and soul searching a thought kept coming to my mind. The thought was...

You can try to cram lots of knowledge into them and force them to learn things they aren't interested in or not really ready to understand. They might even remember some of it in a few years. BUT for what purpose? Its not about the amount of knowledge they acquire by a certain age...its about who they BECOME as a result of that knowledge!!
Its all about who they are BECOMING while they are DOING their education.

{Inspire NOT Require}
Right now for me its all about exposing my kids to lots of great things so they can get inspired and have a desire to learn these things because they want to NOT because they are forced to. With my oldest only 9 we do a lot of educational games and TONS of reading during our three hour structured school time. We start with devotional, which usually lasts for about 15-20 minutes and then go right into kid's school.
I choose a subject that interests me and that I want my kids to learn about (this month its all about outer space). We spend on average about 30-45 minutes depending on how interested the kids are before moving onto open 'school' time. This week the kids have just been reading their brains out during open time. We went to the library on Monday so they have lots of books they are excited to read. Megan is totally into Junie B Jones books and Jarom is into Pillage and The 13th Reality...he goes between the two depending on his mood. If my kids seem like they can't figure out what they want to do and start roaming the house looking lost I try to help them find something they are interested in and I volunteer to engage with them on that activity if possible.

From 1-3 is quiet time...and its my time to study what I am into. Sometimes I use the time for other things like preparing dinner or doing the laundry or whatever else needs to get done. The kids can either play with toys or color or something, but can't watch a DVD, play computer, Wii, or DS until after 4. Between 4-5 I let the kids do electronic forms of entertainment, however, I'd prefer they only did TV and electronic stuff on Saturday. I may change this rule in the future. Its such a balancing act.

{Tomorrow's Goals}
Organize: Finish organizing the school room!!!
Spiritual: Personal Scripture Study before the kids get up!! Finish Devotional with a prayer.
Kids: BE present with the kids during the entire 3 hours of education. FOCUS all my energy and attention on them and their needs
Personal: Find 2 hours of personal study time.
Spouse: Do something thoughtful for my hubby.


These Are The Days said...

Sounds like a plan Stan! No really, I think that all sounds great. You are doing awesome and I liked the 'kind act' you are even planning for your husband. I seriously think you are awesome for doing all this while having such young ones...I wasn't that tough! What kind of education games do your kids like? We could use some more.

Mindful Mothering said...

We keep coming back to a similar structure and it seems to be the best for our family, but I am still working on "being" a little more open to change if it is necessary. I do great when I remember to just enjoy the little moments... everything else seems to fall into place.

Loved your 'sugar them up' idea... definitly going to try that this fall! You are an amazing lady Andee, thanks for all the work you put into organizing gatherings and classes for the kids:)

designdazzle.blogspot.com said...

Thank you for providing a link to my blog. I really enjoyed reading your inspiring blog - I can tell that you are such a great mom:) I loved your idea with the kitchen thingy and the game tiles. Can I post this on my blog? I usually provide a link back to your blog - would you like me to do that with yours? Please let me know.
I also am LDS:)