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I am a Catholic wife and mother living in western New York State.

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  • DoorMan - Husband and Dad, extremely talented garage door guy
  • B - budding new media evangelist, avid reader, soccer lover, boy age 14
  • B - karate white belt and lover of Legos, boy age 8
  • MAB - me: wife, mom, homemaker, and more


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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Home Management Binder, Part II

I know you are all on the edge of your seat to find out what is on the reverse of my weekly planner sheet. It is my menu plan for the week. Brilliant, I know. It is great to be able to just flip the page to see what I am supposed to be cooking. I designed the sheet myself, also in Word. It is basically a grid five columns wide by seven high. The left-most column has the names of the days of the week. Underneath, in teeny, tiny print are boxes for me to check off exchanges for what I eat. The rest of the columns are labeled Breakfast, Lunch, Tea and Dinner. And I just fill in the grid while I make my grocery list.

Today's menu:


  • Cereal
  • Bananas
  • Milk
  • Coffee
  • Grilled Cheese
  • Applesauce
  • Milk
  • Tea
  • Leftover goodies (Christmas cookies, cinnamon buns, etc.)
  • Polish sausage
  • Parsnips
  • Baked potatoes
  • Milk
  • Water
Now, I have one of these two-sided weekly sheets done up through the end of January. I'll do February's probably the last week of January.

Right after my current weekly sheet I have the boys' weekly homeschool record sheets. I take just the current sheet from each of their binders, so I have them easily at hand to make notes on as we go through the day. No more shuffling their binders open and closed all day. Anything to be filed I put in my calendar divider pocket and file at the end of the day (as part of my Afternoon Routine). Once again I am using forms from the prodigious Donna Young.

As an aside, for those of you interested in such things, I do not have a written lesson plan this year for Arch (grade 4). I have had them in the past, and they are a lot of work upfront, and I felt they quashed our spontaneity. So I am filling in the planning grid as we go. For BamBam, he is only three and I just note down any books he reads or art projects, etc. we do.

Back to the planner, after the two current homeschool record sheets, and the future weekly planner sheets, come the rest of the monthly dividers, waiting to be filled. That brings us to the end of the Calendar section.

The next section contains my Routines. The most important sheet is on top, laminated for durability. It contains my ten daily routines in detail. I formatted it to fit all on one page in Word, using three columns. The ten routines are:
  1. Morning
  2. Lauds
  3. Children's Morning
  4. Kitchen Morning
  5. Afternoon
  6. Vespers
  7. Children's Evening
  8. Kitchen Evening
  9. Bedtime
  10. Compline
I refer to this all day long. It is important that it is right behind the "Routines" tab and easy to open to.

Behind this, I have a laminated copy of my boys' morning and evening routines. The original is posted on the white board in the dining room. It is a detail of what they should accomplish at the beginning and end of the day. Arch has a few chores (making beds, recyclables, carpet sweeping) which he should do without being reminded. The rest of it is prayers, hygiene, dressing.

Next is an overview of what our day (mine and the boys') should look like, with approximate times for general things. I looked at scheduling my life ala MOTH or A Mother's Rule of Life. Those clock-intensive systems overwhelm me and I get discouraged. But, I do see the value of having just a one sheet summary of what we could be doing when.

The next page is Arch's daily schedule by subject. This is one area where being time-sensitive is important, or else subjects can get out of control. It lists which subjects we should be covering when. We do not stick to this unbendingly. If we are done with grammar at 9:30 instead of 9:45, we move on. I do try not to go over the allotted time for each subject without a good reason. This schedule keeps us on course. I have some notes for BamBam on the right of the page. But, again, he is only three. We do not stick to anything with him. I got the ideas for the class times on it from Mater Amabilis.

And so we have reached the end of the Routines tab. Fun stuff, huh? You'll have to check in tomorrow for the exciting chapter on my Lists tab.

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