This year has been an incredibly busy one. As much as Proeun and I value the simple life and not over extending ourselves with too many off farm activities as the children grow so do their interests. So we try to be really conscious about what we take on but there were times this summer when we had swimming lessons for the 3 older ones every morning then between Tae Kwon Do, horse back riding lessons and training for the 4H dog show it seemed like we had something going on almost every night during the week.
Well with the coming fall things have slowed down a bit–no more swimming lessons or riding lessons and we decided to let Tae Kwon Do go for now while momma recovers but this weekend was the highlight of the summer–the 4H dog show. My children have been in 4H since we moved and we love it. This year Proeun II decided to do the dog project (with a little prodding from mommy who felt the 2 year old huge black lab living in our home could use a little discipline). So one night every week since May II has been training Jack. At the county dog show in August we didn’t know what to expect but were pleasantly surprised when II won first place in both obedience and showmanship and it was on to the state show this past weekend.
II getting ready to show his dog in showmanship. Quite the good looking pair!
It was a long day and September has been a hard month in many ways for me but it was worth it to see II come out of his shell and Jack really show off his talents.
II and Jack waiting on stage to collect their awards. I wanted to go home and skip this part but II really wanted to stay. I remembered back to May when he was so shy he wouldn’t look his instructor in the eye when she talked to him now he is excited to go on stage! He won blue ribbons in both odedience and showmanship at the state level. He already said he is excited to next year.
I have always been an organized person. My mother loves to tell stories on me. Like how from the time I was 7 I always packed my own bags (I am sure with some checking for her) for trips and often a week or so in advance. While in school it served me well as I was able to accomplish my assignments in a timely manner with little stress. My sister laughed at me when I confided to her that if I accomplish something not on my “to do” list I write it on my list just so I can have the pleasure of crossing it off. Now before I loose you completely I totally understand that organization is not something all people thrive at and truly being spontaneous is a great character trait (I just don’t happen to possess it). Luckily my husband does possess this trait and is helping me learn to relax a bit more.
But with 5 children, a homeschool plus a farm and writing business organization does help and honestly this summer I have kind of let it go a bit. But now this week as school is set to begin I am trying to figure out what method works best for me where I am. I used Franklin Covey for awhile and credit it for helping me launch into the world of planners. I loved them but as my shelf built up with binders from years past and each year I had to pay for the expense of a new one plus I used one of the smaller versions and didn’t have a place to store my full size papers.
Then I read a blog post which I can’t find now about using the Five Star Flex Binder and using or making your own calendar pages. I did this for the past year and made sections for calendar, personal development, homeschool, household and farm. I really wasn’t sure how I wanted to set it up and kind of fumbled along.
Then this year I found this planner and eagerly purchased it. I like that it had places to write down goals for the month, semester and year, places to separate out children’s school assignments and menu plan. Plus it had some great and insightful articles to read along the way. But I found I was missing some of my favorite elements of my planner, the own I made to fit my life. For instance we do mostly unit studies so it didn’t make sense for me to divide the day by subject and child. Plus some things like dog training don’t fit well into one subject but I wanted to record that we worked on it because it is an important part of education.
So this year I think I will be using my homemade planner again but with some great additions from planners I have know and loved. I have a better idea of how to use my planner, how to organize it and what to do with extra pages.
So my point is that there are ways to organize that will work for you. I have tried many and it has taken me awhile to figure out a method that will work well with my life, but in the end it is totally worth it to have an idea of what you need to do when and even more importantly a place to record the things you have accomplished.