In three weeks (providing the last of that stack of books I'm waiting on EVER arrives), we will be on day two of our new school year. Yes, it's a little bit later than when public school starts, but there's that whole matter of MAIL...it takes a lifetime and a half to get books delivered, it would seem. But then again, we are also going to be on a five-day school week schedule, and starting off with a short week would be a little bit of a pain, so waiting an extra four days really won't be too big a deal...especially considering that our school year will be roughly four weeks shorter than the public school year. No biggie. But as far as biggies go, the school clutter problem is IT. Every year I make these grandiose plans to get our supplies and books organized, and this year I am actually DOING it! Yippee!!!!!
The choice to use Sonlight this year, combining both kids' history and literature studies was probably the sanest decision I've made, because it's forcing me to be organized. In fact, that enormous Instructor Guide that came along with all those books was organizational insurance! I just look up the week and the day, and I've got the day's assignments. Easy peasy, and PERFECT for a wanna-do-it-all-in-no-particular-0rder ADD brain like mine! Problem is, it's a bittersweet blessing in that the literature-based study I've always wanted to use brought with it....well, a whole shelf full of new books!
No, Jon, there IS no such thing as too many books, I don't care HOW many times you fuss at me.
I don't know how many times we've been laughed at for having what amounts to a small library in our house. The bookshelf in the bathroom gets giggles every time someone new sees it. The fact that we abandoned bedroom furniture in favor of a floor-t0-ceiling bookshelf and filing cabinet were cause for concern to my mother when she visited a few months ago. Yes, I'm a die-hard book nut. I can't get rid of them. I read them in the bathtub and in bed. I read all the time. And now I've got yet another reason to get this book-clutter monster under control...Danica. She doesn't respect the sanctity of the "school shelf". Neither does Jamie, to be honest. She rather enjoys sitting amongst a stack of books for an hour or so before roughly piling them back onto the shelf she THINKS they came from. It was time to tackle it.
I'll spare cyberspace from the visual horrors that my family experienced in the thick of this organizational nightmare. We had stacks of books lining every wall in the dining room and hallway. Stacks of school supplies littered every horizontal surface. Pete simply diverted his eyes when he came home from work and asked in a longing way if we were EVER going to use the dining room table to eat on again. So I did it. Yesterday I finally got that brand-new Dry-Erase board hung (how many years have I been wanting one?) and it was just the push I needed to get the books and supplies put up for GOOD. Today, I hole-punched the last of my lesson plan forms and got them placed in their binders, I divided my Sonlight Instructor Guide into quarters and placed the first nine weeks' lesson plans, history and literature study guides, and notes into individual binders, and I got those school supplies wrangled up, sorted out, and put away into the kids' personalized drawers. The books? Check it out....
Oh, and notice that look of total shock on Jamie's face...that's the look that says "Mom, what does 'organized' mean????"
On top of the bookcase are all the books we'll be using every day--the Core books for Sonlight and Morgan's few preschool books that I don't want her to have all-the-time access to. The second shelf houses our history 'spines' (Joy Hakim's 'History of US') and assorted read-aloud books for the younger gals, plus the bucket 'o' colored pencils that doesn't fit anywhere else. The second shelf is home to the Dr. Seuss, Disney, and homeschool reference books in addition to the box of "extras" where I keep our packages of pencils, crayons, and index cards that aren't needed just yet. The bottom shelf is for bigger books like dictionaries, Bible reference books, and taller books that are too big to put on the other shelves (phooey on John Saxon for making his math books HUGE!). The stacking drawers next to the shelf are labeled for each child. They'll keep their individual folders, workbooks, and supplies in there. Believe it or not, even a two-year-old can understand that she has her OWN drawer and that she needs to leave everyone else's alone. Amazing how territorial little ones can be! Last but not least is the plastic bin on top of the stacked drawers for the puzzles and craft items that are for "just with Mom" times, and the CD rack on the other side of the shelf is perfect for the girls' little items that they use every day.
Ahh...a sense of order.....it may just be a little bit, but it feels great to know where everything goes!
Oh, and this is how you entertain three rambunctious little ones long enough to get this done...