Sunday, April 10, 2011

Keeping Mom Organized

This blog isn't about homeschooling.  However, it is about being organized which can directly affect homeschooling.

As you have  undoubtedly read, I am a stay at home mom.  What you may not know is that I also babysit two school-aged children, my husband works three hours from home, five days a week and attends school full-time through DeVry University.  So, if I do not maintain some semblance of order things get crazy quick.

The way I keep myself organized is through a, "Home Management Binder" (also known as a "Control Journal").  You can do this a number of ways.  You can use a notebook, day planner, binder, etc.

I was lazy, I bought mine from .  Mine is the Kitchen Folio.

I love my Kitchen Folio.  I have had it for over a year.  My family has dubbed it my "mind".  It comes with a calendar, several protector sleeves, notepad and pen.  Mom Agenda also offers several pages that you can download for free to add to it; party planning, important information, important numbers, family medication information to name a few.

Now, the downside.  It is expensive.  The original folio was 37.00 with shipping and handling which doesn't sound too horrible.  However, I recently bought a new calendar for it which cost me $18.00 with shipping and handling.  I am sure there are calendars available that will fit into the planner, cheaper but I was in a hurry and did not look.


Gentle reminder to not sweat the small stuff.

Important information

Family medical information

2010-2011 Schedule for Berkeley County Schools

To-do list

Cleaning check list

This is the beginning of a section I am still working on, my "go to" recipes.

Birthdays and Anniversaries

Halloween Party Planning Sheet

Emergency contact sheets for the kids I babysit.
 Now, don't let all of this organization fool you.  I am not OCD, anal or even super organized.  There are days when I do not even open my binder because there are other things that are going on that are more important than a cleaning schedule but it does give me, not only a place to keep everything I need/use on a daily, weekly and monthly basis but it sets the ground work for my day without me having to think about it.

As you have seen, my binder has nothing homeschool related in it.  That is because everything for homeschooling will be contained within Microsoft One Note (I LOVE that program).  Once the school year is over I will print everything off for each of my children and place it into their portfolios.

Your binder, should you choose to do one can include anything.  I know moms who's binders are very elaborate and include lesson plans, field trip logs, reading list for each of their children, etc. and I know moms who's binders contain only a calendar and cleaning schedule.  It is what works for you!

Here are some links for printables and information: *I found this after I blogged this morning.  It isn't free but looks very cute and very well put together.*

There are TONS of links, what I have here only scratches the surface but will hopefully give you the information and tools you need to make your own binder.

Happy Homeschooling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .and organizing.  : -)


  1. I was wondering HOW you use the One Note program? Do you keep adding what they have done through the year? OR do you write what they should do? Just curious

  2. Good morning, Stephanie.

    I am going to be using for my base curriculum for all of my kids this year.

    The plan is that, hopefully, within the next week or so I will start inputting the curriculum for next year for each child (as separate One Note files). As I find different activities, worksheets, etc or plan field trips I will add those in as well.

    Once the school year starts I can move things around on the calendar if something takes more or less time then planned. I also use it to track attendance, a state requirement in WV.

    I also use it to keep a running list of all of my resources and books the kids read during the school year.

    At the end of the year everything is organized and in one spot. I will just need to print it off and put it into their portfolio. This way, when a state licensed teacher is evaluating them at the end of the year, they have everything they need to know.

    Hope that helps!