Friday, October 25, 2013

My Brains

Being the mom of a moderate to large family, or even a small one, takes a lot of work and organization. Today I want to share some pages out of my organization file.  I apologize,  I am still learning how to make the documents link so you can open them in a new tab or window.  But, maybe just seeing what I have done will inspire you to create something simple that works for you.  There are a LOT of organization tools both on the 'net and the real world.  Several years ago I combined them into what I needed for my daily life, and this is what I came up with. (I took out the extra spaces for the post.  This is just a table made in a word document.)

Bible reading
Girls laundry
Grocery list
Grocery shopping

Bible reading
Boys laundry
Sort mail
Lead steers

Bible reading
Clean bathrooms
K&A laundry
Bible reading
Water plants
Bible reading
Tidy LR & den
Jeans &
Bible reading
Plan next week
Sunday clothes

Work/ Appts
____ Trumpet Shopping

1p Exercise with friends


Husband notes/ to do






The top section, of course, is where I put my daily "to do" list.  Some of it is pre-printed.  This idea comes from Large Family Logistics and Fly Lady's ideas of having certain things done on certain days.  Our Grandmas were right in figuring that each day needed to be dedicated to a certain thing, and keeping the same routine from week to week helps maintain order in the home!

The second section is Work and Appointments.  I am scheduled to work 1 day a week, but will often pick up an extra day here and there.  This is where my work schedule, along with trumpet practice, church events,  and other appointments go.  Pretty straight forward. We use g-calendar associated with our gmail accounts as our master family calendar.  We like it because each family member can have their own calendar, but then we can "share" our calendar with each other so that the household manager (ME) can see the big picture. The other plus to an online calendar is that any of us can access it from anywhere there is internet access.

The third section is for my notes regarding my husband.  Often he will say, "Remind me to do *something* when I get home," as he walks out the door for work.  This is where those things, along with my Honey-do list of requests or things I want to discuss with him when he gets home get written.  This helps free up my brain so I don't have to remember all day that question I wanted to ask at 9 a.m. Also, then I am not interrupting my man by IM'ing him while he's working.

The next section is meals.  We have the same thing every week.  It's just easier that way. E.G. Mondays are leftover coffee cake or muffins, yogurt and fruit for breakfast, lunch meat and cheese sandwiches with fruit/veg for lunch, and something with ground meat, a hot vegetable, and salad for supper.  The kids get used to the routine, and it makes it easier to plan shopping lists.  More on the in another post.  I DO have a 6-week supper planner sheet.  Lately it has become easier to just write my month's-worth of  suppers on my weekly planners and go from there, eliminating 1 piece of paper from my life! I'll share that in my meal planning post, also.

Notes ends up being everything from school notes to random thoughts that I don't want to stray or book titles/subjects that I want to check on the next time we are at the library. This is my "I need to write this down somewhere before I forget it" spot.

Finances is where I record the bills as I pay them, along with an online confirmation number, if applicable, or what date they are scheduled to go out.  Maybe I will write another post on that subject.  

That's the main part of my brains.  I hope the ideas help you as you find what works for you as Household Manager Extraordinaire!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Bear Feels Sick Unit Study

Here is a unit study designed for pre-K to 2nd grade based on a board book my three-year old picked at the library. I filed it under Health in my school plans.  It covers all subjects.  
Bear Feels Sick
Karma Wilson, Jane Chapman

Read the book aloud- either Mom can read it or the kids can read it. Take turns reading a page. Stop and let the kids fill in the rhyming words on successive readings.  Make it fun by substituting other nonsensical rhyming words.

Setting Characters Plot- Talk about the season and bear’s house.  List the characters  (Mouse, Hare, Badger, Gopher, Mole, Raven, Owl, Wren) . Have child(ren) retell story in his/her own words.  Talk about the character traits of the friends- loyalty, kindness, gentleness, patience, peacefulness, love, joy.  Talk about bear’s feelings- alone, achy, tired, stuffy, miserable, hot, cold, pain, grumpy. 

Health- Talk about how cold and flu season is commonly from October to March, during the autumn and winter. List Bear’s symptoms- fever & chills, aches, headaches, stuffy nose, cough, sore throat, sleepy, miserable, wheeze/ difficulty breathing, lethargy. What did the friends do to help that we also do? Warm cozy spot to rest, reassurance, liquids/broth/tea, cool wet cloth to head, herbs & medicines, be quiet, sing soothing songs.  Why did the friends get sick?  How do germs spread (hand to mouth, airborne, touching common things)? Talk about how hand washing is the #1 prevention for spreading cold and flu.  Rest, fluids, and vitamins also help caregivers stay well.  While getting cold or wet doesn’t MAKE you sick, it does diminish your immune system, so getting warm and dry after being out in wintery weather also helps us prevent from getting sick. Emphasize that eating healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, and avoiding unhealthy foods, like sugary or greasy foods, also helps us stay healthy. Remind your kiddos they should NEVER EVER take medicine, even vitamins, without help from an adult.

Hands on- Show your child(ren) your thermometer.  Take their temp or let them take yours. Play doctor with a doll or stuffed animal. Re-enact the story with stuffed animals. 

Seat-work- Color or draw a picture of a bear or sick child.  Following are some writing pages for handwriting/spelling/vocab that can be adapted to your child’s grade level(s). 

Science- identify the different friends. Group the friends by type (bird, mammal), where they live, or size (big, medium, little).  Pick one (or more!) animals to look up in an encyclopedia and learn more about.

Math- Count the friends.  Add 1 bear + 5 mammal friends + 3 bird friends=9 friends altogether.  Count how many times each friend shows up in the pictures.  Which friend appears the most? The least? The same as each other? What shapes can you find in the book?

Give 5 Symptoms that indicate Bear is sick:
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List 5 things Bear’s friends do to help him:
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Name 5 of Bear’s friends:
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Pick 3 words and write their definitions (huddle, wheeze, mutter, moan, grumble, fetch, soothe, coax, smidgen, quiver, fuss, fret, lullaby, celebrate, frolic, bundle).

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