I have gone through so many ways to help keep myself organized with chores, food, and whatnot. I think I have finally figured out a system that works best for myself and my family, for now at least.
Last summer my husband and I put up a command wall in our dining room. It consists of a dry erase calendar, 3 dry erase boards, 2 magnet boards, and a hanging file organizer.
The file organizer holds things such as mail, catalogs, coupons, and various things that probably should be in a different home.
The magnet boards are low and are pretty much just for the kids. Right now there are Plants vs. Zombie magnets on one and Leapfrog magnetic letter and sounds toy. These will probably get more use once Ayden is ready to use the rest of the magnets I have stashed away.
The calendar is great because I can change it when needed and make it work for us. There is a hanging basket below the calendar that holds all of the dry erase markers and an eraser. Everyone in the family has their own color for the boards. When an activity is designated for just one person then I write it on the calendar in their color, otherwise it’s just black for multiple people.
Now probably my favorite part of the wall are the 3 clear glass dry erase boards. I really only use 2 of these regularly, the third one tends to get erased by a certain toddler. On one board I have the meals list for the week. This way we can all see what’s on the menu and helps us decide what we want to do for dinner daily. I also have written down what snacks or things that need to be made, so I see it daily to remind me that it needs to get done. And so the people in the house don’t need to spend forever in the pantry and fridge looking for a snack, breakfast, or lunch, I also write down some of the food that we have in the pantry and fridge. Things that get written down are usually cereals, food that we don’t usually have so we know it’s there, and left overs that are in the fridge. It took some training but now the kids tend to look at the board to see what they want to eat before grazing the pantry and fridge. Yet this does only work when we keep up on it, forgetting to erase something that we are out of causes groaning.
Now on to the second board, the daily board. On this board is the date and the daily to do list for this kids and I. Every morning I set the board up with our to do lists set up by times things need to be done, along with individual activities being written in their designated colors. I also have the older kids weekly check lists for their learning activities. When the kids are finished with an activity they are supposed to check mark what they have finished so I don’t nag on them to get something done, but of course there is usually someone that gets nagged on when they forgot to check mark an activity. I also put on this board things I need to remind myself to get done.
Having a visual of all these things helps me keep organized and sorta keep on task. This wall is in a place that there is no avoiding it, so it is staring me in the face all day. Now training the kids to look at it first thing and follow it is a job in itself. How is it that you can forget to do something that you are told to do every morning?! “What do I need to do today?” Look at the board!
There are also a few other things I need to do to make these boards work for me smoothly. My calendar I keep up with through my Facebook events calendar and the calendar on my phone (which syncs with my computer and iPad). My husband has gotten better at putting his activities in our shared calendar so I am able to put his activities on the big calendar also. As something comes up I try to write it on the big calendar so everyone knows it’s coming, even though the kids can see most activities shared on their phones and iPads.
For the meals board I go off of the list I create while meal planning. I have a digital list of meals we can currently make and meals to shop for. After grocery shopping I make sure I have all ingredients to make the new meals and then move the shop for meals to the current meals to make. When I know what meals we have I write them on the meals board.
The to do list board takes the most effort. I have a master digital list of what needs to be done daily for the week. Activities are marked with who needs to get them done and organized by what times they should be done by. If I don’t give times to the kids they would be doing things at 9 PM and then complaining they are too tired to get things done. We all work better at different times of the day which makes organizing things difficult, especially since I need to have the time and energy to either get them moving or help them out. I will share with you my master list (download at end of post). This list is always being tweaked to better fit our days and week. Each week will not be exactly the same but I still go off of my master list and change things around. I am currently trying to figure out how our days work best with this nice weather. Before we had most of the day to get our activities completed but now we want to get out to enjoy the sun so activities need to get done sooner, no one wants to take a break from playing to finish their activities. Changing our schedules doesn’t happen without someone complaining about having to get things done soooooo early or having sooo much to do.
We have been using this system for about 8 months now. Before the visuals on the wall we all had a hard time keeping up with chores and such. Now we have our lists in our faces and it sort of gets me motivated, I don’t want my husband nagging on us that we don’t do anything all day while he is at work. Some times (like once a week probably) we just take a day off of most of our responsibilities, but then we make them up another day.
Here is the file that I go off of to keep me on track with our weekly To Dos.
Math is one of those subjects that everyone uses daily. Yet how much math do you really need to learn? This is something that I always go back and forth with in my head. Should I be having my kids learn math that they may never need or should they know it just incase.
I was going to just teach them math that they needed at the moment and as they got into different aspects of life teach them what they needed, but things change. My husband kept saying that the kids needed more “structure” and should be learning something like the kids in school do. So, we added structured math to our weekly to do list.
Right now we are trying to find the right math program that fits their learning styles and our life style. So far we have used Spectrum workbooks but I believe we need something that has more instruction and less mom involvement. The early years were easy to do worksheets that have short lessons with little instruction, but as the math gets harder (and mom has more distractions) we need something else. The two older kids are working on math 3 to 4 times a week, it all depends what our week is like.
Along with adding math, Delilah has decided that she could use some help with her spelling and would like to learn to type on a keyboard without looking. For spelling help we have decided that she just needs to read more and try to spell words before asking for help. I figure that if she is introduced to words more often then maybe they will stick in her head to spell. If she needs more instruction in the future we will add something else. I have never been a strong speller so this digital age helps us a lot. Heck, my 11 year old has been a better reader and speller than me for years! For typing Delilah has started typing.com. So far it seems to be a good fit for her, we shall see in the long run.
Take a step into the life of Auer (pronounced like our) homeschool. We are a family that likes to learn through life experiences. We would like to share our experiences so maybe we can make a difference in the lives of others. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook to get the smaller activities that go on that don't always make it to the blog.
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies