All that to say, I am working out the organizing kinks for the fall. Both of the older girls will be attending morning preschool 2 days per week and Lily will be playing soccer this fall. Also, I plan to start Lily on some structured learning this year on the other days and want to work within the confines of an executable, written plan. I am making my menus a month at a time now so that we can save money by buying everything in bulk that we can. In addition to keeping my plans for her education accessible, I also need to maintain the household by tracking all other details. I am in desperate need of some way to keep it all straight. I have certain ideas about what I want in a "planner" and in May, I found a homeschooling-family organizer that I didn't hate. I was thrilled to see that it was published by the same people who have published the family organizers I've used for the last 3 years, even though the homeschooling version didn't do everything I wanted. I knew I could make it work.
But alas, Amy Knapp's Homeschooling Organizer has left a bitter taste in my mouth after not publishing a new one for the 2008-2009 school year and also not responding to my repeated emails (okay, two)
So I have created my own organizer.
And it will live in a binder.
Very few people know how I feel about binders. Brian knows. Here is a quote from him, "Yeah. Binders. She doesn't like them. At all."
Why don't I like binders? Because they represent a collosal waste of time. Punching holes in paper to save in a binder wastes time. Oodles and oodles of time is wasted punching holes in paper that could be quickly saved by throwing into a file folder. There has never been an office where I have worked that I did not try with all my might to get the binders under my immediate jurisdiction outlawed. Binders facilitate c-r-a-p being saved that would be better served in the trash.
As a rule, I do not like binders. However, for this purpose, I see the need and therefore, the benefit of them. Binders allow information to be added and removed as is necessary. Amy Knapp's Organizer is spiral-bound. You may not permanently add any whole pages of new information and any removed information is permanently out. The set-up is a weekly calendar spread out on two 8.5" x 11". On the left page, there is an area for lesson plans and grocery/supply list (which is removable) and the right page is the weekly calendar column, a column for a To Do List and a Menu column. Before month-end, there is a two-page spread of the next month's calendar for pre-planning, I guess.
Before I started using the homeschooling organizer, I never used the two-page calendar provided in the other organizers. Now, I need about 2 or 3 copies of it. The binder will allow me, with tabs(!), to have and utilize a two-page calendar for menus and another for my lesson plans which I write a month at a time.
I am taking the best of two good things (Amy Knapp's Homeschooling Organizer and FlyLady's Control Journal) and making them into one Excellent.Useful.Product. I have (with Brian's help) already created the template for the actual organizer. FlyLady's idea to keep important information handy is a great one. Before, I had a planner and a Control Journal that I never used. Now I'll have my Excellent.Useful.Product and everything is right where I need it.
To complete it, I'll just need to get better, heavier paper that can stand to being manhandled, kidhandled and momhandled. And a funky binder. I cannot continue on with my boring yellow binder. I'll splurge and get a cool, funky binder.
Excellent.Useful.Products could be tailored to any family...