March 17, 2008 by Stacy McDonald
My friend, Marilyn Rockett, wrote a very helpful book that I highly recommend. Homeschooling at the Speed of Life helps to equip the busy or overwhelmed homeschool mom with a new “helper” around the house: organization. By viewing organization as your servant, rather than your task master, you will save time, stress, and peace of mind. By gleaning from Marilyn’s many years of homeschool experience and homemaking know-how, you can make organization work for you! You will find Marilyn’s book, as well as helpful tips and articles, on her website.
Homeschooling at the Speed of Life gives you, a busy homeschooling mother, a thoughtfully thorough resource for bringing order back to your home and homeschool. In tune with today’s pace, the book provides basic home-management principles, teaching parents how to de-clutter their homes, develop life skills in their children, tame the paper monster, and keep organized records. Also emphasized are ways to build relationships and use the home as a center for hospitality and outreach.
The book even includes Rockett’s easily adaptable File-a-Plan organizing system on a bonus CD-ROM.
After our recent discussion on homeschooling, homemaking, and tired moms, I thought this might be a helpful article. For me, the level or organization in my home is directly related to the level of organization in my mind. If my house is full of clutter and chaos, I can’t think straight and I feel stressed. This often affects how I relate to others, whether or not it should.
By Marilyn Rockett
Now let me get this straight—a homeschool mom is supposed to teach her children (all academic subjects, all day long) while she keeps her home immaculate, bakes bread twice a week, chauffeurs the children to two activities per day, and still has time for her husband and her church. Right? A homeschool mother certainly didn’t start that rumor!
Regardless of false expectations, a homeschooling mother does have more to do on most days than almost any other human on the planet. Disorganization adds stress and frustration to her day. Is it possible to homeschool two children—or ten—and survive? Is it hard work? Yes, to both of those questions. However, when you’re organized, your job is much easier and less stressful.
STRESSLESS Organization What does organization look like? Let’s eliminate the things that organization is not. It’s not having a perfect home that could go on the cover of a magazine at all times. It’s not running a boot camp in your home, never allowing a mess. It certainly isn’t having closets that could pose for the organized closet advertisements.
Organization is a state of mind and heart that desires God’s best for your home and family and the willingness to do whatever you need to do to work toward that best. It is a recognition that little things count. Elisabeth Elliot said it well in her book, Keep a Quiet Heart:
It is not easy to find children or adults who are dependable, careful, thorough, and faithful. So many lives seem honeycombed with small failures, neglectful of the little things that make the difference between order and chaos. Perhaps it is because they are so seldom taught that visible things are signs of an invisible reality; that common duties may be “an immeasurable ministry of love.” (Revell, 1995)
If you experience stress due to disorganization, perhaps applying these ten principles will help you “stress less” in your home and homeschool.
In addition to organizational topics, Marilyn has many other articles that homeschoolers will find helpful. Homeschooling is a Family Affair is one of my favorites. If you struggle with parents or grandparents who are less than supportive of your homeschooling, this one is a must read!