Getting Ready for the New School Year

I’m starting to feel the pressure of the upcoming school year.  I’ll be covering grades 5-6 and 2-3, all while managing the likes of the most fiercest, wildest, most hedonistic native these parts has ever seen –  

We usually don’t take summer breaks, the work involved in reeling them back in isn’t worth it.  So, we just keep moving forward, learning to mastery with reviews as we go along.      I thought I had my planner for the 2011-2012 school year ready, but after this weekend’s homeschool bookfair, I’m doubting my choice.  Other than that I’ve been . . . procrastinating.  YET, lest I rest on my laurels, in the name of research and higher education everywhere, I dove head first into FUN BOOKS!!  It started out with Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project.  I saw it at the library and I just couldn’t resist bringing it home.  Her book immediately made me happy!  She takes a scientific-researchers approach into the subject of happiness, applies what she learns on herself, and reports her studies in this book.  It’s a keeper.  It belongs in my library.   Anyway, I digress – back to preparing for school . . . I tried to focus, I went back to the library looking for some school year motivation and found the Fly Lady’s Sink Reflections and Crunchy Cons – WOW!!  Crunchy Cons may as well be my personal manifesto!  Who knew there were others who thought like me (not totally, but a good start)?! I especially liked his essay on the history of  craftsmen bungalows vs the McMansions. OK, OK, schoolyear preparations.   Where as Happiness Project got me to think about how cleaning my closets could be a pathway to day-to-day happiness (Plus she encouraged me to start this blog!),  Sink Reflections put the tasks into palatable bite-size mini tasks that helped me: clean out, declutter and throw or give away stuff from the rest of the house – even the garage!  Good Will got 2 vans full of goodies and the local dump got a truck load.  But the classroom still looked like this:

Maybe from the pictures you can’t really tell the magnitude of the chaos in our classroom, but if you can imagine the paper that needed to be sorted, schoolwork that needed to be filed, books that we no longer needed that would have to be purged out and filed for Squinch’s school . . . it was a good reason to procrastinate.  The cookbooks – it’s a love, HATE relationship.  I want to love it, but don’t.  I do like the short easy recipes in Recipes for a Small Planet,  the Natives love the Tiger Milk!  It wasn’t until I picked up this book

Homeschooling at the Speed of Life  that I thought I might be ready to tackle the classroom.  We’ve been learning at home from the beginning, I’ve seen this book  before but it just seemed to ‘cartoonish’ and silly to offer any substance.   But in my procrastination and knowing that I needed to make some headway on the school front I brought it home from the library.   What I learned is that it’s true, you can’t judge a book by its cover.  In this seemingly silly book I found my long desired Titus 2 woman! I LOVED this book!  She’s been there, done that and she came back to encourage ME, gently and lovingly how I can do it to.

This book is full of scriptural truth that challenges you to step up your game as a servant of God to take care of yourself, your household, your school AND how to do it all.

Quite simply:  God is not a God of disorder but of peace. 1 Corinthians 14:33.

I spent three days last week tackling the classroom.  Blessing my home (FlyLady’s term) and finding happiness (Gretchen’s research was right) along the way!  Our learning at home involves the whole house.  Cleaning, organizing, decluttering, trashing, and passing on the blessings we no longer use was, after all, preparations for the upcoming school year.  Inadvertently, all that procrastination led me to action that enabled me to focus on the finer details of the upcoming school year, like curriculum and how to allocate our time to fit in everything we have to do in order to accommodate everything we want to do.

This is our classroom now.  Still looks like a lot of stuff, which is amazing considering all the stuff I donated!  Yet it’s everything we’ll be working through this coming year.  I picked up my own copy of Marilyn’s Homeschooling at the Speed of Life at the bookfair this past weekend.  I’m sure I’ll have to check back in with her later.  Other than a beautifully scented candle for the classroom (via Gretchen’s recommendation) I think we’re ready.  What started out as an arduous, harrowing, dreadful task  led me to a journey of discovering happiness in organization,  wisdom with my Titus 2 woman and a clean, orderly, ready to go classroom.  Just another serendipitous adventure.


One thought on “Getting Ready for the New School Year

  1. You know what I noticed, that those “guilty pleasure” reads helped you with organzing your homeschooling…so they were needed!! So don’t beat yourself up for reading a good book {for yourself!} now and then. IF YOU COME TO YOUR TIMESHARE, I’ll personally drive you to get books!

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