Sunday, February 5, 2017

Suitcase insights

I was just reading this article and these are my thoughts for my later consideration.

We carry everything with us just in case.  Simplify, lighten the load.  Those things that we prepare for so diligently won't likely happen and in the meantime the weight of them causes us stress.  Deal with them when they happen and not before.  Sometimes they turn out to be simpler to deal with than we thought.

Applies to life and to homeschooling.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Bullet Journal My Way

While I don't like lots of structure that might limit me (good bye to all those preformatted diaries and homeschool planners) and I don't like wasting resources (goodbye to dated planners which I miss chunks in) I have realised that I would much prefer to write down my days than to rely on electronic resources that usually are more flexible and less wasteful than paper planners.

There are some lovely bullet journals out there. I am not that artistic but I am learning that a little colour really helps me to smile.

As I have said I don't like being held to one style of layout or size of space so I don't draw up my days, weeks or months in advance.  My bullet journal is definitely a mood thing, whatever space I need is the space I use. :)

I usually add the colour later.  And I only create the headings that suit my day.  A very personalised way to journal.

Some days are more list based and others are more journal like.  The blank pages are so freeing.  I can do whatever suits me.

I used to cross off the completed items but then I decided I wanted to be able to read them so I started ticking them or putting a smiley face and then I cross off the incomplete ones as I move them on.

Because I dread losing all these entries (I have lost a paper journal before and I fear coffee spills) I scan them into OneNote then put tags beside the page when there is something written there that I may want to reference later.  I scan them as images as they are easier to crop and my books are 3/4 A4 pages.

Anyway, that is my way to bullet journal.

Best wishes

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Loop schedule for Morning Time

It isn't called Morning Time or Basket Time here.  It is called Lounge Learning.  :)

There are so many things I want to fit into our LL time but I can't sit down for more than forty minutes before I want to fall asleep.  I have been learning about looping instead of block scheduling and think that I should give it a go for both our big subjects and our lounge time.

Here is the cycle for Lounge Learning.

Geography will cover things like our states, capital cities and major landmarks.  Then we will move onto continents, main countries and well known landmarks around the world.  The others are fairly self-explanatory.

The core things I do every time only take about 20 minutes leaving 20 minutes for one or more of these in rotation.  Good time length for me and my sleepy brain.

Best wishes

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Homeschool Goals Brain Dump

It won't be pretty.  This is just a list I made one day when inspiration hit after reading a home school book.

Before school is done I want my boys to:
- know a good range of word roots that are common in English and Science
- know where countries are and what basic history they have... language, culture and politics and current language, culture and politics
- understand the basics of political outlooks e.g. socialism, communism, democracy, dictatorships, etc
- be able to observe their world, to be able to focus on the details when necessary and to be able to discern the beauty and the patterns of life
- be curios and to ask questions, to know who to ask, how to discern which sources are trustworthy
- appreciate nature
- by physically capable of using their bodies for fun e.g. rock climbing, tall trees, swimming, cycling, obstacle courses, trampolining
- recognise art and music that culturally significant
- be able to communicate effectively with the written and spoken word
-appreciate art by learning calligraphy, basic free hand drawing - perspective and lighting, and basic drafting
- be prepared for a technology-based world e.g. internet safety, online manners, typing skills, word processing, databases, spreadsheets
- have read or listened to some of the great books
- be able to prepare at least 5 different nutritious dinners, 2 desserts and a variety of lunches and breakfasts
- be able to the clean the centres of yuk in a home - kitchen, bathroom and laundry
- be able to wash clothes and take care of them well
- be able to create a budget and manage expenses within the income they have

Sometimes just letting it all flow out brings out up thoughts I had never consciously considered before.  This is a list I will be coming back to again.

Best wishes
Jen in Qld

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Trigger List for Weekly Review

I have been reading around the web about GTD's philosophy of task management. Misty has a whole series here on how to implement GTD for homeschoolers. I don't think she mentions it but I quite like an idea I came across of using a trigger list in my weekly review time so that I can make the next week better.

Here is mine.

Trigger List for Weekly Review

Week in Review


1.     Which area of the house was looked after well this week?  Who did the work mostly?  Why did that work?  Can someone else help?
2.     Which area of house needs urgent attention?  What 15 minute job there would help it most?  Who can do it?  When?
3.     Which are of the house needs attention as a second priority?  What 15 minute job there would help it most?  Who can do it?  When?
4.     Which area of house was missed this week?  Does it keep getting missed?  Why?  Who can do the work?  What needs to happen first?  When will that happen?  What needs to happen before that?  Who will do that?  When?
5.     What routines worked this week?  What parts of the routines fell apart?  Why?  Does anything need to happen to make the routine work better?  Who is going to do it?  When?


1.     What subjects were most consistently done?  Why was this subject a success?  What helped them to go well?  Remember to repeat the actions associated with this success.
2.     What subject/s was missed this week?  Does it keep getting missed?  Why?  What needs to happen first?  When is it going to be done?  By who?


1.     Were we prepared for planned events?  What worked?  What was missed?  What can we do so that we are better prepared next time?

Next Week

Events coming up -

What needs to happen before?  Who needs to do it?  When are they going to do it?  

Best wishes


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

My Weekly Planner

It sometimes takes some tweaking to find a style that works for me.  I knew I wanted the whole week's work laid out but due to my varying levels of energy due to allergies and my late nights at work I didn't want to restrict certain work to certain days.  If I am having a good day I want to zoom through as much as possible but if not then I want to at least hit the basics and not feel guilty at dropping the rest.

This is what last week looked like.  You can't see in the scan but each morning I highlight with yellow highlighter the work I aim to get done that day.  Sometimes it is just the basics list, other days it is more.  The good thing is that if something got highlighted on Tuesday but didn't get done on Tuesday then I just have it highlighted ready for Wednesday, no guilt due to a "Due Date" written beside it.

As you can see I could with working getting even my Bare Bones Essentials done consistently but I am starting to see a pattern of what gets dropped on a busy day.  I may have to adjust my time management or my expectations.  :-)

 Best wishes

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Homeschool Manual


Have you ever had a really good idea but then in the flow of life with its ups and downs never implemented it?  Or maybe you have?

Today I found I had implemented a really good idea... twice.  :-)

As I have shuffled things around in this house I got 2 filing boxes in one place at one time and in looking through them realised that I had set up an almost identical filing system twice over for our homeschooling papers.

After having to read a training manual at work this last week I realised that I need a manual for homeschooling.  I am creating a document that lists out my goals for homeschooling, my plans for school, where things are stored and how the paper should flow through this system.

I am even thinking of creating a flow chart to show where things go when.  lol  Too much?!

Folders and boxes are now getting labels with official sounding names like Future Planning - Lesson Plans and Materials (a binder for the overview of topics and how they fit into the big picture) and Future Planning - Subject Materials (a large file box with folders for each subject for those miscellaneous things you find like a great game or crossword puzzle or fun activity, and folders for each resource that I have to copy to use eg Critical Thinking books, and folders for lessons plans with the materials that relate to them and a list of other resources and their location.

I already have Subject Boxes sitting in a bookshelf that have the current books that we are using for that subject and a small file folder that contains any worksheets or printed resources that will be needed for the current week.  Next week's work is in the Future Planning - Lesson Plans and Materials binder or the Future Planning - Subject Materials box.

The planning side of my personality is already feeling better.  I hate feeling overwhelmed.

So, how many people have a homeschool manual?  What do you have in yours and why did you decide to create it?

Best wishes

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