Goal Setting for Homeschool Moms

Home organization, Keeping My Home, Parenting No Comments

In my recent post, I discussed the importance of goal setting as a Mom.  Without a vision, the people perish.  This includes stay at home moms and especially homeschool moms.

What’s your vision for your family?

Where do you start in setting goals to accomplish that vision?

1.  Write down your vision.

Decide what you really want to do or what you want to do as you raise your children to be Godly leaders.  These are life goals for you and your children.  This is your overall vision.  For our family, an overarching vision was to raise children who could think Biblically & critically.

Set Goals

2.  List short term and long term goals necessary for you need to achieve lifetime goals.

Our family chose subject activities to encourage critical & Biblical decision making.  This included choosing formal school subjects, as well as having in depth discussions at our dinner table.

3.  Break down goals into the smaller and manageable targets that you must complete.

What do you want to accomplish this year?  this month?

Look at where you are as a family right now as you decide these manageable goals.

Our short term goals included one topic each week for dinner discussions.  We also had to make a point to eat dinner together.  We were all on board so we ate at a variety of times ranging from 5:30 to 9pm.

4.  Write down daily activities so you can achieve your goals. 

It is imperative that you write down your goal.

I have a small notepad next to my Bible.  When I read my Bible each morning, I write down any idea that pops into my head.  This keeps me focused on my Bible reading, without forgetting ideas I have.  During my prayer time, I can pray about any ideas I’ve written down.

5.  Once you have your list waste no time in tackling your goals.

At breakfast, I re-read my list and put times/priorities on my list so I stay focus on what is most important for that day . . . after praying about my list.

These are just a few ideas I use when setting goals.  Each year you can re-evaluate last year’s goals as you set goals for the upcoming year.

Goal Setting for Moms: Easier Said, More Easily Done

Home organization, Homeschooling, Moms 1 Comment

As you embark upon a new year, many of you will take some time for goal setting.  That’s a fantastic idea and exercise.  Goal setting is an open secret known by top-caliber athletes, successful businessmen and businesswomen, as well as high achievers. This definitely includes moms at home!  You have the most important job of raising the leaders of tomorrow, so be prepared by setting and achieving your goals – both for you and your children.

goal setting

The basics of setting goals give you focus as a Mom focus each day.  Goals also provide short-term and long-term motivation as you plan your day, week and month. The goals I set also help me organize my time and resources so I will stay focused.  This allows me time and resources to educate myself and share that new-found knowledge with my children.

WHY SET GOALS?

You may be saying to yourself, why do I need to set any goals?  God will show me what to do each day and I rest in Him.  You have discovered a great truth as you rest in your faith and this is necessary as you follow God’s direction.  BUT, setting clearly defined short-term and long-term goals will enable you to measure your progress as you raise your children and grow in Christ.  As you achieve your goals, you will be motivated to follow God.

Where there is no vision, the people perish
Proverbs 29:18

God says it Himself…without a vision (or goal) you will perish.  You need goals to reach.  Goals in the spiritual, emotional, physical & relationship realm.

Don’t you feel great when you cross something off your list?
I sure do!

It’s the same way with goals.  As you complete short-term goals, you begin to see accomplishment that leads to the actual realization of your final goals.

Do you ever go through the day, feeling like you’re not sure what else needs to be done or feeling like you wasted your day away?  Goals eliminate that feeling of a long and pointless grind.

Tuesday Tips – Curbing Kids’ Clutter

Home organization No Comments

No matter their age, kids create clutter. But by establishing guidelines, you can keep the chaos under control and teach children valuable lessons about taking good care of their belongings. Try these ides to reduce kids’ clutter in your home:

1. Avoid toy boxes and trunks. Small items sift to the bottom, and you have to empty the contents and make a mess to find them. Instead, buy assorted sizes of clear plastic bins for categorizing and storing each child’s belongings.

2. Keep a small laundry basket, to collect dirty clothes, in each child’s closet.

3. Put a bin, crate or basket near the exit door to collect sports gear. After games or practice, have kids deposit kneepads, cleats, batting gloves and other sports equipment in the container. That way, they’ll always know where to find the items.

4. Create clutter-free zones in your home. Belongings left in these designated areas go to “Clutter Jail” — and there’s a fee to get them out. Or, create a “Swine Fine” jar. If kids’ don’t pick up their belongings, call out “Swine fine!” and require them to deposit a designated amount of money in the jar. These two strategies work best when mom and dad are accountable too. Let kids collect the fine when you leave items out.

 

 

Tips taken from Kathy Peel’s article, “Curbing Kids’ Clutter”.

Tuesday Tips: Are You A Busy Mom?

Home organization, Keeping My Home, Live Workshops, Seminars-Webinars No Comments

Instead of sharing specific tips to make your life easier, I want to tell you about some FREE classes this week that can help you as a busy mom.  Read more about it here:

I’ve got something for all the working moms and busy moms on my
list.  That should be all of you!!!

I know you’re under an incredible amount of pressure everyday to
keep up with all of your responsibilities as a busy mom -
parenting, homeschooling, the kid’s schoolwork, meals, housework,
relationships, and work – just to name a few. And I know you need
a dose of encouragement and refreshing at times.

This is your personal invitation to participate in the Working
Moms 911 Telesummit Retreat JANUARY 20-22. And we all know that
stay at home moms are “working” moms, right! It will be the
perfect way to get energized and organized to kick off your new
year.

Let me tell you about it…

Susan Martin from WorkingMoms911.com has put together a
completely FREE telesummit so you can enjoy a time of refreshing
and renewal.  You can listen right from your computer. The
telesummit will feature “momversations” – conversations Susan had
with 9 experts who will speak to the heart of working moms. (Oh,
and one of those experts she talked to happens to be my husband-Steve.)

And you won’t want to miss the last session where Susan shares
her heart with working moms called “Hope for the Journey”.

You’ll need to register to get all the details for each session.
Here’s the link:
Working Moms 911.com

Here’s what you can expect from the calls this Thursday through
Saturday (Jan 20-22). You will discover how to:

- Save a ton of money with Super Couponing
- Stop screaming at your kids
- How to apply Biblical principles to your work and business life
- Restore calm in your family
- Help your teens start their own business
- Overcome emotional eating
- Reclaim your households through Kamikaze Cleaning
- Use SMARTcut® systems to simplify your life

Don’t miss this event.  You will be blessed.

Here’s the sign up link again.

Working Moms 911.com

See you on the calls!

Kerry Beck
Christian Parenting Assoc, Director

ps.  Did I mention all of the calls this week are free!

http://workingmoms911.com/telesummit

Tuesday Tips: Declutter in 30 days

Home organization, Keeping My Home 1 Comment

Earlier this week I was reading The Art of Non-Conformity.  Much of the book is about arranging your life according to your values and serving others.  The author discusses how he values memories & experience over “stuff”.

One of his suggestions to get rid of unnecessary “stuff” is to get rid of 5 items each day.  You can throw them away, give them away or donate them to an organization.

I started today and threw away 5 Christmas items I have not used in several years.  They were packed in my Christmas boxes each year.  My goal is to find 5 items in my house by the end of the day that I don’t need.  I have a large bag in our utility room for donations.  At the end of the month, our Clothing Donation will pick up my items.

What are you doing to de-clutter your home?

Tuesday Tips: Take Time to Write EVERYTHING Down!

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Today I have guest author, Cindy Rushton, sharing ideas on planning and productivity.

by Cindy Rushton

What do you want for this year? Think for a moment with me… Next year, this time, what do you want to see different in your life? What would you like to see finished? What would you like to see accomplished this year?

Dear friend, this year is the year of fullness. I have committed to make this year a year of commitment, accomplishment, and productivity. Want to make this year the very best ever too? Let’s find some keys to productivity. Let’s dig in and get moving strong. Ready? Well, today let’s look at one of my biggest keys to productivity…

pen and paper

Take time to write EVERYTHING down!

Talk about a key to productivity! If there were one thing that I really believe makes the difference in my own productivity, it is this one discipline. I know, I know what you may be thinking…

“But, Cindy, I write things down and that is as far as they go.”

or

“I write things down, but then I can’t find it again.”

or

“I get too overwhelmed when I see ALL that needs to be done.”

Oh! You are going to love this, beloved! Let me take you by the hand and show you how to make this work for you. It is soooo important. You see there are some secrets that productive people have. Want a few?

1. They have ONE PLACE to write things down. Now, this does not mean that it you will have only one place forever and ever. Let me give you an example from how this looks for me. I always have my “Little Black Book” in my purse. No, not for phone numbers of old beaus–I am married to the ULTIMATE beau! :) Rather, I invest in one small notebook that is small enough to carry everywhere I go, yet big enough to hold my goals, lists of steps to reach those goals, brainstorms, etc. This is SO IMPORTANT! Invest in ONE notebook as YOUR “brain” for this year.

2. They take time to pull aside and “brain-dump.” Yes, you read correctly. Want a secret to productivity? This one will make sense as you pull it all together. Yes, dump your brain regularly. Actually, take some time to dump out everything in your brain now–all of those things that need to be done, all of those things you wish for, all of those things that you want to do, but cannot find time to do. Dump it all into your “little black book.” As little things come across your mind, dump them. That will be your “place” for every idea, hope, dream, goal, to-do, and wish to all be dumped off of your brain and “kept” for you. Wondering why this is a secret to productivity? Glad you asked! The leading hindrance for most people is the stress of having to remember or not forget details. This distracts. This takes the focus from what you need to be doing. Actually, this contributes to forgetting what needs to be done in the task you are doing at the moment, causing things to take longer than they should. Not to mention, we are much, much less likely to ever do things that float in our head as well-wishes. Instead, dump it all in a safe place–your very own “Little Black Book.”

blackjournal

3. They plan. They plan yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily. You probably know this. However, do you know how to make it work? This is an essential!  Here is how I do it.

Every year, I plan a nice Mommy Getaway to really evaluate and plan out the next year. I cannot express how much of a difference this makes for me. I am not talking about putting every day on the calendar. I am talking about sketching out the events of the year and planning my projects for my home, business, family, and myself. I PENCIL in my yearly plans. I also spend time brain-dumping anything that may be floating in my brain. I love this time. It helps to give me a grasp on my year and get in gear.

Of course, this is not enough. Each month, I pull back for an afternoon or weekend to plan out my month. I go back to my yearly plan and pray over what REALLY needs to be on my calendar. Once the final projects and events are chosen, I brainstorm all that needs to be done (all of the things to do) for that project to be completed. Now, do note that because I have “my place” for brainstorming, my little black book, I can brainstorm as things come to mind all along the way. This makes that monthly planning very easy.

Another thing that helps me along the way are my checklists for common projects–like all of the things to do to finish a book or an audio set or prepare a seminar. I have done those things so many times that I have developed checklists so I remember each step that needs to be done to get everything ready. Same thing for my holiday meals or other home projects. Talk about a time saver. Well, wondering what you do with those? I take those and put them on my monthly calendar at a good pace to get things done incrementally.

Each week I make sure that everything is done for the week before and take a good look at what will be done the following week. If I need any supplies, I pick them up over the weekend so I am ready to go each day-nothing can mess up your schedule like missing what you really need to get things done.

Finally, every day, I plan the night before. I end each day going over my daily list of things to do. Any of the the tasks that did not get done for the day are moved to the following day’s list. I also plan in the next steps and make sure that everything is ready to go when I wake up. I get SO much more done when I have a clear picture of all that needs to be done before the day begins. Want a key to productivity? PLAN!

4. Work your plan! Finally, want to know the difference between writing things down, having the perfect plans, and getting things done? This is it! Productive people work their plans! This means that we don’t just write things down. But, we also have a plan for working the plan. This is the bottom line that determines whether we are productive or not. So, how on earth do you do this one? A few quick tips:

–>  Keep your planner WITH YOU! Keep it out and keep it with you. I have a small daytimer that I can carry with me all of the time. All of my important information is WITH ME all the time.

–>  Set up your planner to work with YOUR LIFE. My daily things to do probably look very, very different from yours. What I need in my binder is different today than last year. One key that really made a big difference for me was when I finally set up my binder with forms that *I* needed. In fact, that is the story behind our Make Your Own Brain-in-a-Binder that I developed for my own planner. I always buy a nice binder and throw out anything that does not work with my life. Then, I print out pages that help me to put all of the things I need in one place. I use my planner all day long every single day. It goes everywhere with me. The key was in setting up my planner to work with MY life and all of the things that I do each and every day.

–>  USE IT! Nothing helps me more than having my binder out first thing in the morning over my Quiet Time (to pray over my day)…sitting out in the family room all day…going back over all of the things to do all throughout the day (after each task)…going back over my day as I wrap up the evening…AND most of all, planning the next day right before I go to bed so everything is ready to get going the next day. USE that planner. Watch to see the difference!

Yes! Write things down. Make that time. It will make a HUGE difference in your productivity. It will help you to get a plan for reaching for those dreams.

So, what do you think?

Ready to make this year the very best ever? Want to make this year the most productive year ever? Why not take time today to write everything down? Why not begin today to put those dreams on your to-do list, bit-by-bit, day-by-day?

_______________
Need more help? Check out Cindy’s resources for teaching the Charlotte Mason Approach. They are the best!  Get Cindy’s Organized Mom Super Set to help your family get organized in your homeschool efforts today!

Tuesday Tips — Organizing the Kitchen Pantry

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Organized Kitchen Pantry

It’s one of the highest-traffic spots in your house. It’s no wonder you cringe each time you open your pantry to reach for an ingredient. Make cleaning and organizing this kitchen workhorse a priority. The good news is that it can be a fast, relatively painless job if you take small, manageable steps.

Clean First and Organize Second

Here’s how to clear the way. Begin by throwing things out. It feels great and alleviates a big part of the task. Start by grouping items in one of two piles. The first pile? Items to throw out – including products that are past their expiration dates, stale, or have been crushed.  These items are no longer safe for your family to consume. The second pile includes items you’ve not used in the last nine months.  If you haven’t needed that Basmati rice in three-quarters of a year, you probably won’t be reaching for it next week. If the food is still safe, donate it to your local food bank.

Ready to organize? Here’s our top tips on putting everything in its place.

#1: Make Every Inch Count

The secret to an easy-to-use pantry is visibility. You should be able to see everything you have. Remove smaller items (such as spice bottles or small cans) and place them in a basket or in a door rack. Adding a riser shelf or Lazy Susan will double your pantry space and help you find things quicker. You can find great storage options at the Container Store.

#2:  Embrace FIFO

FIFO is the accounting term for ‘First In First Out’ and it’s a great idea not only for figures. When it comes to your pantry, place newer items in the back and use up older items first. You’re less inclined to let good things go bad.  It’s also a good idea to keep a pad of paper and pen inside your pantry door. Simply jot down items that need replenishing. The next time you go to the store, your list will be right there.

#3:  Organize For You

No two families or pantries are alike. When arranging yours, think about what will work for your hungry crew. This may be stocking items by type (e.g. bottles, cans, bags), by family members (you, your kids, pets), or by their purpose (e.g. snacks, sweets, ingredients).  There is no right answer.  Just find the way that works for you. Bon appétit!

Sarah Welch and Alicia Rockmore are the co-founders of Buttoned Up, a company dedicated to helping stretched and stressed people get themselves organized. They are also co-authors of Everything (almost) In Its Place.

Tuesday Tips — Managing Your Household

Home organization, Moms, Raising Leaders No Comments

Tips for Stay-at-Home Moms

Many people still have the myth in mind that the stay at home mom doesn’t do anything. She just kind of picks up the house and enjoys time with the kids and spends her free time going shopping and to day spas. Ri-ight. That’s probably hardly anything like what your day looks like as a stay-at-home mom. Chances are that you’re busy from the moment you wake up (which is always too early) to the moment that you go to bed at night (which is never early enough). That’s because you’re busy managing the lives of everyone in the entire house; that’s no easy task. And chances are in this modern world that you also probably work from home part-time as well. So how do you do it all?

Here are some tips for better home management:

  • Structure and schedules. The biggest mistake that stay-at-home moms make is not creating a schedule for the home. This means a schedule of activities for the kids that are home with you as well as a schedule for when you’re going to get things done. Many moms get it in their heads that they can get to the laundry, the dishes, the lunches, the dinners, the errands … all later. Having no structure makes you put everything off until the last minute which creates stress. So sit down and make an actual schedule of what activities are going to happen when in your home on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. (Daily means knowing when everyone eats lunch, has nap time, play outside. Weekly is the days that you do laundry, run errands, attend play groups. Monthly is paying bills, planning holidays, etc.)
  • Give responsibility to everyone else in the house. Just because you’re the stay at home mom doesn’t mean that you need to do it all yourself. Your kids should have chores because it helps build a sense of responsibility and the skills that they’ll need to be adults. And if there’s a spouse i n the picture, he can chip in with certain things to even though he’s gone all day. His work at the office isn’t any harder than your work at home.
  • Don’t forget those spa days. No, you’re not one of those mythical women who gets to spend all day at boutiques and day spas. But you should act like one every now and then. The best way to effectively manage your home is to make sure that you’re in tip top form and that means occasionally spoiling yourself. Get the spouse to take one day off per month to stay with the kids or hire a bi-weekly nanny to come in so you can go out. Don’t feel guilty; good management starts with a good home manager.
  • Budget. That doesn’t sound like fun but it’s one of the best things that you can do to feel happier in your home. Money problems cause stress which ups the stress in all other areas of the house. Create and stick to a budget in all areas of your home so that you don’t have to deal with these problems.

To effectively manage your home, you just need some basic organizational skills and the willingness to give yourself the credit you deserve. Take your role as home manager seriously and it’ll run more smoothly, letting you enjoy it more. And everything will still get done!

Article Courtesy of Kathryn Vercillo:

http://hubpages.com/hub/Managing-Your-Household-Tips-for-Stay-at-Home-Moms

Tuesday Tips — Cut Your Grocery Bill

Home organization, Moms No Comments

Ten Money Saving Grocery Shopping Tips

By following the 10 tips below, alert shoppers can save up to $300 a month off their grocery bills. Are you ready to start trimming the fat off your food bills?

A Little Homework
Planning before you head off to the supermarket will help you shop more economically. Take the time to do a quick inventory of your kitchen to determine the food that you need. Prepare your shopping list and make notations of applicable coupons that you may want to use. Read the newspapers and circulars to find the best deals.

Choosing the Right Store
For basic grocery needs many grocery stores now offer excellent product and price selection, frequent shoppers programs and double coupon days. However, when buying in bulk you may want to tackle the warehouse clubs or superstores. Non-perishable items are often at unbeatable prices at such stores. For the best prices on health and beauty products check the national drugstore chains and superstores.

Eat First
Grocery stores know the power of the sweet smell of freshly baked bread. Just one sniff will ignite the appetite and send even the most hardened shopper down the aisle grabbing for anything that looks good. Remember, everything looks good when our stomachs are screaming, “feed me!”

Coupons, Rebates, and Frequent Shopper Programs
You can save hundreds of dollars a year by taking advantage of product incentives. Even the less enthusiastic coupon clipper can shave an average of 10 percent off their bottom-line by cashing in a small handful of coupons per trip.

If your store offers a frequent shopper program, why not sign-up? You will receive advanced notice of special loss leaders, double-coupon days and other money saving information.

Store Brands – Try it, You May Like It
The days of generic type packaging and bland tasting food in store brand products is over. Companies have worked hard to improve their private-label brands and often the taste is equal to the national brands. Do not be afraid to experiment. If you find the product meets your standards, you can save an average of 40 percent off your annual grocery bill.

Setting Limits on Impulse Buying
Avoiding spontaneous shopping trips is one of the best deterrents to impulse buying. Sticking to a well thought-out shopping list will help will help cut down on grabbing for things that you do not need. In addition, giving yourself enough time to shop will help prevent dashing in and reaching for the first item that you come to. Setting a dollar limit for impulse buying will help soothe cravings without busting the budget.

Comparison Shopping
To determine the true value of a product read the unit price, not just the package price. The unit price information is usually on a sticker located on the shelf that holds the item. The package price only tells you the cost of the entire item. The unit price shows the cost per pound, ounce, etc. Taking a moment to compare this information in similar products will help you get the best value for your dollar. Also, be certain to check “expiration” and “use by” dates to insure you are buying the freshest products.

Beware of Marketing Strategies
Avoid marketing ploys designed to draw your attention to a particular product. Knowing some of the tricks of the trade will ultimately save you money. Beware of end-of-the-aisle dump bins, island displays, recipe related item placement and middle-shelf items. This is typically where higher priced and impulse products are placed.

Learn to Be a Label Reader
Reading the product label is the best way to find out more than what is advertised on the box. Ingredients are listed in order by the quantity actually used when making the product. The ingredients used in the highest quantity are listed first. For example, if you are looking for avocado dip you will want to see avocadoes listed in the first part of the ingredient list, not the last part.

If you are looking to cut fat from your diet, be careful of words such as “lite” or “fat-free” which can have broad definitions. By reading the label you can get a better idea of what the fat-to-calorie ratio is as well as other valuable nutritional information.

Watch the Scanner
It may mean you need to put down the magazine, because this is no place to get lax. Keeping your eyes peeled to the scanner has dual advantages. First, it will keep the cashier more alert. Secondly, it will allow you to stop the checkout process if an item is showing the incorrect price. Keeping the store circular nearby is also helpful in disputing an incorrect price. You can also ask the cashier to stop ringing while you accompany the employee to the aisle to check the price of an item.

Article Courtesy of: Donna L Montaldo

http://couponing.about.com/cs/grocerysavings/a/groceryshoptips.htm

Tuesday Tips – Panic-Free Pickup

Home organization, Keeping My Home, Kerry Beck 1 Comment

You’ve just gotten that call from an unexpected friend or family member that they will be over in 20 minutes…and your house is a mess! You go pick everything up and throw it in a random drawer or cabinet. After your company leaves, you start to look for the TV remote or cell phone or book that you’re reading and you have no clue where you put it. Does this happen to you? Here’s a simple solution: Keep one of those over-the-door shoe holders inside the entry closet or utility room. Stick everything in there when you need to clean up in a hurry. Then you will know exactly where you left your stuff after your company leaves.

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