Organization (for the organizationally challenged): Part One, An Overview
Before jumping into the topic of organization, I need to state a disclaimer: I'm not an organized person, nor do I believe being organized makes one holy. I view organization as a necessary evil.
So why blog about it? Because neither am I a fan of chaos. For anything to get done in a timely manner, a plan is needed. There is a level of organization necessary if we are to succeed.
But after the plan is made, it is not our master.
Adherence to a schedule or plan or any organizational technique should be based on its effectiveness, not on its existence. Let's say our school starts at 8:00 AM with math as the first subject. If morning energy prevents my children from sitting still, I'm foolish to stick with that plan. Wisdom demands I change something. Perhaps we begin school with a hands-on project that uses energy, or an hour of outdoor exercise precedes sit-down school time.
When how well I've stuck to the plan becomes my measurement of success, rather than how well my children learned, I've put the proverbial cart before the horse. Organization should be a tool to help me achieve my goals, not the goal itself.
So, what is the goal?
That's the real question that must be answered before we even begin to make a plan. Let's say one of the goals is to make the most use of time during the homeschool hours. For some, this will mean planning subjects in order with the clock determining when one subject ends and another begins. For others, this means a start time and an ending time with subjects placed within that time frame and moving from one subject to another depending upon the children's progress. And for others, there is no start and stop time, but school is based on the attention span and energy level of the children.
Choose organization tips that work for you.
In future posts, we'll talk about some of those tips, but as we cover them, we want to recognize that not everything works well for everyone. I can be impressed with a technique, but realize that it won't work for me or that I'll have to adapt it--no guilt allowed. For now, I'm offering one tip that absolutely will work for everyone.
Before you begin to organize, pray.
Gracious Father, we observe your amazing world and praise you for the organization we see. Please grant us wisdom to teach your children and to live our days in devotion to you. Please let us stay in tune with your spirit so we can discern what is good for us. Help us recognize that whatever plans we make, it is You who direct our steps. We come to you because of Jesus. Amen.