Category Archives: links and helps

Update: All-of-a-Kind Family resource

Awhile back, I published a link to a resource that you could use while reading books from the All-of-a-Kind Family series. This book series is set in New York city in the early 1900s, and paints a picture of Jewish family life and customs at the turn of the century, through the end of World War I.

From the resource website:

This readers guide to Sydney Taylor’s All-of-a-Kind Family series was created in celebration of the author’s 100th birthday in 2004. It includes historical context, background information about the author and the people upon whom the characters are based, extension activities, and read-alike suggestions.

Here is the updated link to the All-of-a-Kind Family Companion.


Free printables!

While perusing this week’s Subscriber Exclusive from Homeschool Freebie of the Day, I followed a link that led to a link that led to free printables from Life Your Way.

They have more than 150 free printables available for download here, including a room organizer chart (I don’t know about you, but with the change of seasons we’re moving our furniture around into new configurations) and a Home Management Notebook.

So if you feel the need to scratch that “get organized” itch, check out Life Your Way, and if you haven’t heard of Homeschool Freebie of the Day, take a look at that site, too, where every day there’s a new free download of PDF e-books or mp3 files or links to free resources.

Could you do me a favor, please?

If you are subscribed to, or following this blog (Google, Yahoo, Networked Blogs, etc.) could you please hop over to the new blog and subscribe/follow there? I’m in the process of migrating over there and I’d love to keep in touch with you!

Home Sweet Home(school)’s new home!

If you’re not subscribed or following, I’d be glad to welcome you, too!

(Sadly, the “Followers” widget isn’t working just now, but hopefully that’ll get cleared up soon.)

Thanks! Hope to see you over there. I’ll keep updating both blogs for awhile, but I hope to transition entirely to the new blog eventually.

If you prefer the look of this blog to the new one (this one is plainer than the new one, without a lot of color) please let me know.

TGIF (and an online music playground)

I’ve got to admit, I’m glad it’s Friday. I’m tired. As a matter of fact, I started to type TIGF. Now what would that mean?

Just finished writing a review of a music education enrichment program, Quaver’s Marvelous World of Music. Look for it to be published in the next issue of Eclectic Homeschool Online, along with an article about one of the co-creators.

At the Quaver link above, you’ll find information about the music education DVDs, but you’ll also find a website with free, music-related activities. There are arcade games (which we’ve spent a lot of time mastering, I’m sure you wanted to know), but there are also neat compositional tools all ready for exploring and creating music. Check it out!

A non-homeschooler weighs in on socialization

Interesting opinion piece here:

Village Idiot: Home sweet homeschooling

(at least, I don’t think he’s a homeschooler, just an adult giving an outside perspective, from the tone)

I admit, the title is what first caught my eye. 🙂

He expresses some reservations about unschooling, but before you go off in a huff, read the comments section on the post, left by unschoolers whose results tempt me to chuck the curriculum and follow their lead… (I’m not confident enough to do that, so we do an eclectic mix of co-op classes and individual delight-directed learning.)

Perhaps someone ought to recommend some thought-provoking reading to him, such as Homeschooling for Excellence by the Colfaxes. It was in reading that book, very early on in our homeschooling journey, that I found encouragement, even though we’re not unschoolers building a homestead on a mountain. (Sometimes I’ve wished we were.)

I know some amazing unschoolers, and I hope the author meets some as well, and is encouraged to write an update to his opinion piece.

Odd effect — so how’s your Monday starting out?

Renewing Your Mind is playing very slowly on our computer… the music is too low, the voices are low and stretched out. I don’t know if it’s my computer or a problem on their end.

But with the theme “What Time is It” — talking about “Right Now Counts Forever” and how we are using our time… well, it just seems ironic somehow.

Anyhow, am going to sit back and listen. Slowly.

Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom, revisited

In case you thought I meant myself, well…

That’s so not me. But I’m working hard at it. Have been spending three hours a day, once our schedule emptied out for the summer, going through the piles. Dejunk, recycle, donate, you name it.

Letting go

One of the things I’ve had to let go is my perfectionism (Down, I tell you! Down!) It would be really nice, say, to have a garage sale of all the stuff we’re getting rid of. However, I realized that such a thing would be a downer, a drag, in other words, putting on the brakes. It would add a level of organization to a job that is, frankly, almost overwhelming. You stuff your house full of two decades worth of accumulation, with only two real dejunking sessions over that span of time, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Sono Harris, with her annual (or was it every six months?) purge, had a better idea.

If it must be done, ’twere better done quickly

No, I have to get the stuff out of the house quickly, while my resolve is firm. Having it pile up in the garage, waiting for a yard sale, is too much of an energy drain.

Recycle — for budget-friendly dejunking

It’s as much as I can stand to recycle, and the main reason I do that is that recycling gets hauled away “for free” while additional trash bags (if they don’t fit in the trash can) generate a fee of about $10 each. A dumpster is several hundred dollars. It’s amazing how much you can cut down the trash going out for collection if you separate out the paper and plastic. Oh, and it fits with today’s environmental focus, too.

I’m really good at sorting. It’s the “getting rid of” or “letting go” that has stymied me to this point. Recycling is sorting, so it’s not that hard. Storing up treasure for a garage sale is a sort of extended “letting go” that I know I can’t manage at this point. Maybe once I’m organized I can do a regular purge-and-garage-sale, but I know I’d just be throwing an obstacle in my way if I tried to do it during this huge take-back-the-house campaign.

Got to keep the momentum going.

(If you, on the other hand, want to profit from your purging, go for it. I hear that it’s a good idea to price as you go — then you don’t have to go through that pile of stuff in the garage yet another time and make more decisions. Either that, or hold a sale on a donation basis. Let people offer what they think an item is worth.)

I’m not going to offer before-and-after pictures on the blog. While I’ve found these motivating, on other blogs, I don’t really want to show the world all my clutter. You’ll just have to take my word for it. There’s a lot of it around, sitting in piles. Some of the piles are neat. Some piles are hiding in boxes, masquerading as organized clutter. (There’s an oxymoron for you.)

And for another thing, I can’t find the charger for my camera battery. I’m hoping it will emerge sooner than later, as the clutter gets moved out of here.

Confessions of an Organized Mom" blog

Not mine. From "Confessions of an Organized Mom" blog. Mine may look this bad. Or worse. Or maybe not as bad. But it's getting better. (Monty Python, anyone?)

In other news, the Organized Homeschool Mom blog has moved, so I thought I’d post the updated link for your convenience. Good stuff there.

Happy organizing! Is that an oxymoron, too? Well, no, I don’t think so. Though I used to have anxiety attacks when I’d try to get rid of stuff, this time, it’s getting easier to let go with each load that leaves the house. We can talk more about that later, I hope.