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July 2009

~ A Little Note ~

Good Wednesday Morning, Everyone. :)

I've had a few emails from concerned readers wondering why I haven't posted in over a week. I apologize - I know I promised another File Crate post last week - but unfortunately I have not had much time to get online lately. I've been trying to finish up our end-of-the-year reports and outline our ed. plans for the new year; they're due this week. And while that's all going well (if slowly!), in a stroke of bad luck, I had a whole post ready to go Monday morning - yet somehow it deleted right as I went to post! 
I will try again just as soon as I have a little block of time to sit down at the computer, but in the meantime I hope you are all enjoying the week. It's turning into a lovely summer at last.

I'll be back just as soon as I can. :)

File Crate Q & A: Post 1

Well I just have no hope of getting a mammoth file crate post done anytime soon (I always think I have SO much more time than I actually do), so instead I'll post a few Q & A's at a time. 

Hope you all had a nice holiday weekend!



I noticed that there is a menu section for the front of the weekly folder. Is this just for special items related to the week's lessons or do you list your meals there also?

I always write out my meals on a sheet of paper and then create my grocery list accordingly. I often debate if I should save my weekly menu lists (I never do as I tend to purge the house of paper quite often). I think of how interesting it would be to see a weekly menu and grocery list, handwritten by my grandmother when she had young children at her home and a husband away at war....

I wonder if you have saved such things, just as you have saved lesson plans from years past.

Nicole Coffin

Nicole, that area of the weekly planning sheet is just for writing down dinners. At one time I tried to write out all the meals for the week (breakfast-snack-lunch-snack-dinner-dessert) - which is great in theory, but near impossible in practice. (For me, anyways!) Now I write down a dinner plan for each night of the week. Typically they are not related to the lesson plan, but I do write the plans next to the itinerary because it reminds me what we've got going on - a busy day out of the house, a birthday to celebrate, etc. I try to plan the dinners roundabouts Thursday so I have time to list ingredients on my shopping list before running Saturday errands.

I agree those menu plans would make nice remembrances someday. :)


Hi Dawn! 

I never, ever tire of hearing about the file crate system! It's terribly inspiring and happy to look at!

My question is where do you get the yellow lined paper with the pink line that is very usefully more towards the center of the page allowing for two columns to write in??? That would be a very handy thing indeed for planning and noting action items!

Thanks for the time it took to get this post out! Always fresh inspiration here!

Jennifer Mackintosh

Thanks so much, Jennifer! I'm glad these posts have been helpful to you. :) 

Now about the paper ~ I bought that pad at my local Office Depot, which unfortunately has since gone out of business. I bought several pads before they closed their doors, because I've never seen it at another store and have not been able to find it online. The design is convenient and the paper has a nice feel to it. (If you're a paper nut like me you know what I mean by that, lol.)


I think this post answered my questions, but maybe you can clarify - do you use a year-round system of folders or only have folders for the time of year that you school? (I believe I understand correctly that you aren't a completely year-round schooler?) :) 

It seems to make sense to have a folder per week for the whole year because the activities don't quit just because the full gamut of homeschooling does. Thoughts?

Always love to hear about organization ... thank you for sharing. :)


Stephanie, you have it right - I don’t formally school year-round but because I use this system for all areas of my life - household, homeschool, personal, family etc. - I keep folders for each week of the year (52). I do however run my year from June to June. I just find this works well for me.



I never tire of opening your blog and seeing a post on organization of the home and school!!!!LOL. We have incorporated many of your ideas and I have to say, this was our best school year. So hats off to you! You are a kindred spirit (Anne of Green Gables). I do have a question. 

How does your spiral notebook with clippings and tidbits fit in with this system??? I have been using it also. That is where my menus have been written down and projects I sketch out to attack. I recently tore our schoolroom/ diningroom down and reworked it on paper first, then attacked it over a few days.

Does any of your systems overlap into which you are rewriting dates, meals, etc????
Thank you for answering these questions.


PS. Thank you for sharing the spiral notebook. It has been one of those tools that has been a life saver. It is nice to save just a recipe instead of a whole magazine, or one decorating photo instead of a whole magazine and all those little scraps aren't cluttering the whole house!!!

Teresa, I LOVE my spiral notebook journal. My absolute favorite hobby is sitting down with my current journal, scissors, tape, pen and a stack of magazines/catalogs, etc. It is another facet of my life and organization that I have kept going for years - so that tells me it’s a success. I try so many different systems but only a few work well enough to stick - the journal and the file crate are two examples of things that work well for me. The household - or home management - notebook is an example of something I keep trying to make work but just can’t seem to. 

As for the journal, it’s kind of tricky to explain what I do and don’t keep in it because really it could have ANYTHING in it at any given time. I jot down random thoughts, or a quick action item - say someone calls and leaves me a number or bit of info. - and sometimes I add things I print out from websites. (Recently I pasted in a picture of a book coming out in October - I could have just written it in my calendar - which I did do - but adding the pretty cover to my journal along with a word or two makes me happy. 

I do paste a lot of magazine clippings inside of my journal. I might come across a recipe for something very seasonal - like strawberry-rhubarb jam - that technically, because it’s a recipe should go with my recipes files but because it is just SO pretty and inspiring to think about in June I paste it in my notebook. I do like the idea of writing everything in my journal - like menu plans, shopping lists, lesson plans, to do lists etc. - because then things would all be in ONE place, not in several. And I do on occasion start lists like this in my journal, but somehow that doesn’t always work. I need the journal to be undated and random - it just works better that way. 


Oh no, another organization post, I'm being overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy!!!


Oh Jane, this is the last thing I want you to feel! 

Believe me, the whole reason I came up with this system is because I was feeling overwhelmed by my own inadequacies! My own tendency to let clutter and chaos build around me is the very reason I came up with this system. Because we all know how hard it to keep up with (nevermind on top of) it ALL - the household, the family, the homeschooling - I needed something to help me get a handle on things. If I don’t do something like this it all crashes down around me I PROMISE you. And as I say in every file crate post - this system is not perfect - I am not a professional organizational expert (the universe just laughed at that very concept) - just a busy mum (wife, woman) trying to simplify my life a little. :)


Thanks so much for the questions, everyone! More Q & A to come midweek. :)

Happy 1st of July!

In vain the cruel skies their hot rays shed; 
The lily does not feel their brazen glare. 
In vain the pallid clouds refuse to share 
Their dews, the lily feels no thirst, no dread. 
Unharmed she lifts her queenly face and head; 
She drinks of living waters and keeps fair.

(from A Calendar of Sonnets by Helen Hunt Jackson)

I always know July is upon us when the roadsides are bursting with bright orange daylilies. I've come to think of them as the 4th of July Flower, and honestly, when you look at them they do look like colorful fireworks, exploding against the summer blue sky ...

And so, July 1st is upon us and that means the season is steamrolling along. It might be nice some fine summer evening to sit down with your family and compile a list of things you want to make sure to do before September arrives. Use the comments in my Summer Fun post as a jumping off point, but I'm sure your family will have personal favorites to share. Keep the post handy - maybe hang it on the fridge - and don't forget to correlate the ideas with your calendar. Ideas are great, but plans make memories. :)

My kids made sure to say "Rabbit, Rabbit" this morning - well, truth be told, I woke them at 7 to remind them, lol - and before the holiday weekend I'll freshen things up in the learning room once again, changing things over for a new month ahead. I'll do some housekeeping here at my blog too - new booklists and sidebar items, maybe even a new template to change things up for the season. We'll see. 

As for the file crate follow-up post - well, I'm still banging away at it! Oddly enough, writing time has been hard to come by of late. It will be up soon though, I promise! In fact, I'm taking it with me to Bookworm's orthodontist appointment this morning - every spare minute helps, lol. :)

Have a Wonderful Wednesday, everyone!