Alpha Omega Publications
January 21, 2015 Edition 
Let's Get Organized!
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Mercy Every Minute   

The Wuehler Family

I once heard something freeing--it sounded like this: Organization is not an end goal, it is a continual action. It is not something you attain, it is something you continue to pursue. So for those of you who think you have to "get organized" before you can feel confident about your schooling or homemaking, organization will never be a one-time reality as it is always a work in progress.


I feel like I am the last person to tell people how to be organized, but it usually starts with de-cluttering and then moves toward organization:


  • On Monday mornings, I walk around the house and make a list of things that need to be done.

  • I do one or two things myself, and assign at least one per child until that list is done.

  • I keep a bag for donations where everyone can access it. I put at least one thing a week in it and ask the kids to do the same.

  • I organize and re-evaluate the kids' schoolwork. What have they done and what do they still need to do?

  • Each child has a daily schoolwork/chore chart that they have to check off before they have any free time. (My youngest kids get breaks after every subject.)

  • I teach the children about order and self-control. A little training goes a long way toward peace in the home.


I have found that doing these things wards off the depression that comes from clutter and mess and disorganization. Not only is my homeschool a work in progress, so am I. I also desperately need order in my spiritual life:


  • I need that Bible study time more than that Facebook surfing. This de-clutters my mind. I must set strict limits for those other lesser things.

  • I must choose to make time to really pray; this de-clutters my soul as I cast all my cares on the Lord.

  • I must choose to sit at Jesus's feet to receive the strength to get up and do the next thing.

  • A little training with Jesus goes a long way towards peace in my heart and home.


And for those days when your strength is exhausted from giving and giving, remember that your Good Shepherd wants to lead you by still waters and refresh your soul. The only requirement is that you come to Him.


Go to Him, then get up, and do what He puts in front of you, make better choices with your time, and pray for strength to keep on keeping on. As always, ask God to give you wisdom on how to organize your home for His glory.


"She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness" (Proverbs 31:27).




Here is a whole section on homeschool organization: checklists, schedules, record keeping, curriculum, and more on pages 82-89 of the January/February 2014 issue of TOS.



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Face it--no matter how distracted, artistic, or relaxed you may be personally, there has to be at least a basic level of organization to your homeschooling. Someone said, "If you don't know where you're going, you'll likely end up somewhere else." We can't let that happen with our kids' education!  

But being organized doesn't require a minute-by-minute schedule for every school day. In fact, we found two very simple principles will get you on your way:

  1. Plan your weeks early. When you look at the school term ahead, go on and divide up your books and materials into week-long blocks. That will let you know if you have enough time--or enough material--to accomplish what you need to.

  2. Plan your days just a week in advance. A friend in the military told me the best strategy is only valid until first contact with the enemy--then you have to adapt! Real life doesn't respect our plans. It's less frustrating to keep your plans broad (by the week) until it's time to actually do them. Then you can adapt for unexpected illness, a neat opportunity, or some other disruption.


These help you manage your time and your curriculum ... but what about your environment?


Every homeschooler quickly discovers that family-based education doesn't have to follow institutional styles.  You don't have to buy a little maple school desk and a chalkboard for the wall unless you want to! But give yourself room to be creative with your teaching environment, too:

  1. Would an easy chair make school easier?  You're not confined to a desk any more than your students are! Melanie taught six grade levels at once while nursing a baby. A deep armchair with a footstool made it easier to do both!

  2. Can you reach your students when they need a hand? We have a small child-size table Melanie put at her elbow. Students who needed hands-on help, like those using math manipulatives, would take turns sitting at the table.

  3. Can you reach your materials easily? The best arrangement we found was to put the chair and table in the corner of the room, with bookshelves on either side. That way, Melanie or the kids could easily turn and get the next book or folder without leaving their seat.

  4. Does Mom have to do everything herself? Some mothers feel compelled to do all the housework even while they run a private school in their homes. We found it much better to make a chore list and train the children to do the routine tasks. That honors Mom's role as a teacher by sharing the work she has to put off in order to instruct the kids.

Don't feel trapped into another person's patterns. The goal of home education is really home discipleship, and that can take all kinds of arrangements to make teaching and learning as comfortable and natural as possible. Keep track of where you're going, plan enough to stay on course, and make the most of your time as your children's teacher--in every aspect of life!


Yours in the battle,

Hal and Melanie


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The Familyman 

This just feels like the time of year to get organized. The year is still new and the weather keeps us inside ... where the mountains of clutter, paper, and "stuff" stare at us unblinkingly.


The thing about being organized ... is that I'm NOT. I just can't do it very well. Oh, I try from time to time. I clean up and throw out, but then "stuff" inches its way back into our lives.


I know some who are ALWAYS organized. They make little "junk" holders out of clear plastic containers. They use permanent marker to write what the container holds ... and then they ALWAYS put those items where they belong from that day on until they die!!!


I knew a woman who reset all her clocks on the first Tuesday of every month. Sick!!!


I, on the other hand, make the container, write what it holds, load it up with said items, and then one week later can't find a single one of those items. The way I look at it, I'm either an eternal optimist or a hopelessly confirmed slob-o-holic. Maybe I'm both.


Either way, this still feels like the time of year to get organized. And even if it only lasts one week ... it's worth it. So get the kids involved and declare a day or two this week as the "Let's get our house/homeschool back into order" day. It'll feel good ... but be a realist. It won't last.


Be Real,



PS. If you're one of those "first Tuesday clock winders," don't think less of the rest of us.


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For the month of January 2015

 Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure (book and guide) 


Trouble with Treasure 


The fifth book in the Circle C Adventure Series, Andrea Carter and the Trouble with Treasure is a glossy softcover book of 141 pages, with additional pages at the back displaying the first four books available in the series with synopsis. (. . .) With her usual wit, Susan K. Marlow continues to offer an excellent read to an age group often left to struggle between reading material that is too easy and subject matter that is too intense. This book finds Andrea Carter, the main character, placed in a dangerous situation during what should have been a vacation with her older brother and best friends. If you are new to the series, you will quickly get to know Andrea ("Andi") Carter, a tomboy growing up in 1880s California. 

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