I have actually found with a "kind of schedule" you can really get alot accomplished and juggle quite a few things at one time.
Other hints I have found help and I am sure you may have used or heard of are:
* USE your caller ID don't answer calls when your in the middle of something you dislike doing or when teaching. Too many distractions really can hinder what your trying to accomplish.
*IF you decide to take a call OR need to return calls and know it is just friendly chatter to a relative or friend, make use of the headphone pieces you can plug into your cordless phone, this helps free your hands up for folding clothes, or dusting and your able to get a few things done at the same time.
* Don't over book yourself for the week. Be sure when making plans to keep in mind your family rhythm and your daily routines so they don't effect your day and make things too topsy turvey if you can help it. (example if you have swim classes until Noon, making plans an hour later might be stretching things a bit for YOU and your children).
* Allow for some down time. Give yourself and your children "down time", where they can play quietly for a few hours, - yes a few hours, in their room - schedules and plans are nice but they can create children/families to become too dependent on always having to do something. Creating a balance between their academics, chores, and play can make for a much happier and well adjusted child.
We use ALOT more notebooking in our homeschooling and since I now have taken to creating my own pages I needed some way to store these in a reasonable way. I need to be able to get to these quickly or have the boys get to them quickly and tried several different things but what I found to work best is to print out about 12-20 pages at a time. Put the pages into a paper protector and store them with subject dividers in a binder. As we need them we pull out our notebooking binder and pull how ever many pages we need and it keeps them nice, safe and tidy.
Here is some of my pages I have created so far and will be adding more as I move along~
Books shelves and "keeping our books: I really like books and my boys are starting to get to be the same way. We are building our home library very quickly with discount book stores, garage sales, book thrift stores, sites like Alibris, Book Closeout, Amazon and others.
Now the hard part is how to create some sort of order to all these books on our shelves. Here is what I decided works best for us.
I found an online book catalogue called Library Thing. I tag my books according to how I plan to use them and the easiest way for me to remember them. This is a great online tool for creating a catalog of your books at home.
For our shelves I separate out the shelves by subject. Math and Math Readers/Literature. History - separated by historical topic this includes biographies, fictional novels, and non fiction and literature for that one particular topic. Science- again my topic and I (like with history) include the biographies, fiction and non fiction all together so I am not to forget about a book I may have picked up along the way that pertains to that topic.
I do separate fiction ( organized by author ) and non-fiction books (organized by author) on one shelf and classical literature on the other. This is just my personal preference so I can pick and find things more quickly.
In order to quickly see the topics I have on the shelf I use cardstock dividers and label the topics so it is very easy and very tidy. I have found this to save me a TON of time when looking for resources.
Keeping Library Books sorted can be tricky also. We have about three library cards from three separate libraries I use. So I needed to find a way to keep track of all of these books and due dates.
I use a libray basket (more than one basket if I have ALOT) for the books and use color coded post it notes for the library books~ for one library I will use yellow and another pink etc.. I will write the due date on the post it note so I can see at a glance when thing are coming due.
Speaking of library books- I have learned to take advantage of our online catalog. I look up books I have recommended to me by my programs I am working on and can click on those books and make a list and send it directly to our library and all I have to do is go and pick them up. Saves time and aggravation. ~
Keeping Track of Lapbook resources and materials:
This is another area I tried several thinks like bins, shelves and such and nothing seemed to work as well as what I am using now.
I use a rolling cart for all my lapbooking packets, materials and resources. My folders, papers, cardstock, glue sticks, scissors, brads, paper clips, stapler, tapes, contact paper -everything I need for lapbooking is on that cart. It works great.
For papers we have cut out for a lapbook or mini-office I use ziplock bags to keep things organzied this helps save on space and clutter also and we rarely look items this way too.
I hope these tips are as helpful to some of you, as I have found them to be, along my way and I will probably keep finding new things and new ways of doing something as I move along as well, sharing and finding new ways to help our children and ourselves is always appreciated in Our Home.