Look Back and Laugh 002 {Switching Seasonal Clothes}

Sorry I’ve been so absent lately. My website is still down way too often and so for those not on Facebook you may think I have abandoned ship, but this is not so! Please don’t give up on me. As for today’s link up, this isn’t an embarrassing moment, but it is a funny exaggeration so that’s why I am posting it for today’s Look Back and Laugh. Maybe some of you will relate.

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Now that we finally have some spring weather it’s time to pack up the sweaters and bring out the shorts. This is always a big task to tackle, but this is the first time I have done it with 4 children. And let me tell you, it is a NIGHTMARE!

I have been working on it for daaaaays. Maybe there are people that have containers and storage for all this, or their closets are big enough  to fit winter and summer clothing year round. None of this is the case for me. We have hobbit closets and live by the philosophy if it wasn’t worn by 8 different children then someone didn’t get their money’s worthSo clothing rotation in our home is an art form and one that I have yet to master.

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One problem is how to group things. There is the obvious grouping by size and season, but we have up to size 10 and both genders. If I had a bin for each size, gender, and season we would have forty bins of clothes. So I try to scale down as I go through everything.

Let’s start with the first son. I have to decide if it’s something that will fit him next year. If yes, I put it in the size “8ish” winter pile. If not then it is either a future dust rag, donation, or I hang onto it for when the next son is in size 6 or 7.

See that’s the other problem, just because something says it’s one size it doesn’t always fit that way so you may have everything from a 6 to a 9 in a closet at one time. Then you have things that you want to pass on or give back to a specific family. That’s another pile. There are always a couple items that look like they need to go through the wash once more before being packed up, so you’ve gotta throw those in a pile. Or maybe it’s something you feel is valuable enough to sell. Start a pile for that too. Do this four times over and you have 23 piles and house that looks like an episode of Hoarders Buried Alive.

winter-clothes-in-storage

I do realize in hindsight that there is no 5T or 6T, but after going through so many toddler clothes I got carried away with the T.

Then heaven forbid your child realize you are getting rid of one of their prized possessions. Oh it’s all over! Go ahead and bring in a professional counselor for this part. Yesterday SJ wanted to know what the letters on the trash bag spelled and I told her it said “Donation” and she gave me a quizzical look. Donation? What is donation? She asked. I dodged the question. We’ll talk about it later.

Then Z saw a pair of jogging pants in the trash pile and he freaked out on me. I told him they are a size six and too small, but he began to protest.

Z: That’s just a label mom. They still fit me.

Mom: They have holes in them. They are going in the trash”

Dad: You could cut them and make them into shorts.

Mom: He has plenty of shorts! You stay out of this.

This conversation went on for a long time and I kid you not he wore them to school today. Sigh.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I am just as much a culprit when it comes to clothing attachment issues. I see a vest that Z wore for Easter of ’09 and I react like my 13 year old dog is being euthanized. 

It’s all just too much. I mean, I understand why we have clothes I guess, but sometimes I wonder if they are overrated. Maybe unisex rompers will become a thing. Until then I better get back to sorting or it will be winter again before I finish.

By | April 19th, 2016|Laughter|1 Comment

Hope For Homeschooling In Small Spaces

 One of the things I have learned along the way in this journey is how you can homeschool in a very small space. When we had to pull Z out of school last year I just began working with him in the parent lounge in the upper level of SJ’s school, and I was amazed at what we accomplished.

 It made me realize that you can homeschool almost anywhere.

If I had to share one tip for someone homeschooling with limited amount of “classroom” space I would say to become best friends with your local library.

 

I know every library is different, but even the most basic of branches have books, that much I can guarantee. This is a great way to get some free resources and not have to keep them stored. Just use, learn, and return. Our library even had “learning packs” that you check out according to themes like rhyming, manners, music, etc. Each big duffel bag included toys, games, flash cards, books, videos and more that were all focused on that one subject. It was awesome.

Now, I am not a homeschool expert by any means. I just happen to be curious about it and interested in learning more. So I asked some friends of mine to share their input about homeschooling in small spaces.

Jen and her husband have 4 children and have lived in a variety of different apartments and rental properties which all would qualify as small. She is the one that sent me the poem that I posted yesterday and she is the first one I asked to help me share tips on homeschooling in small spaces.

Her number one piece of advice was to keep things simple. When it comes to supplies and curriculum Jen likes to make sure she is using what she has and if not then get rid of it. She also says that their family table is multipurpose. They use it as a dining table, but it is also where they do school.


With three small boys at least one of them has to be running around half naked right? 

Jen not only tolerates having a smaller home, she actually appreciates it. She says “Everyone has varied reasons for homeschooling. However, usually a common denominator regardless of reasons is a desire for togetherness. Small spaces certainly provide that! Yes, some days are hard, but I wouldn’t trade it. I like being able to hear and see what is going on from my perch in the kitchen and I like that it gives us ample reason to choose an intentional lifestyle.”

Lastly Jen pointed me to a great blog resource, Raising Life Long Learners (which has tons of info on homeschooling in small spaces), and Philippians chapter 4 (an encouragement for moms in the thick of this stuff). I will definitely be checking those out.

I also want to introduce you to another friend of mine. 
Andrea is the lady I called up when I began teaching Z. She has tons of helpful advice, especially when it comes to homeschooling boys, because she has 6 of them.
That’s right, SIX! 
Andrea and her husband made do with 1,600 square feet for the longest time. They did eventually add on, but she said there is still not a ton of room to work with. I can imagine. When I asked her advice about homeschooling in small spaces she talked about using the dining room table too.
She likes to buy educational place mats (including the ASL alphabet, which makes me grin), she then covers the table with a clear table cloth she buys by the yard at Hobby Lobby.
Andrea has lots of little organizational tips like keeping art/school supplies in an over the door shoe pouch hanger, or having a “locker’ for each child which she uses crates for.
One thing I thought was neat about both ladies is that they are not trying to duplicate the traditional school environment. If you want to have a desk or a locker in your home then that might be fun, but I like the idea of learning in the home environment and just embracing that.
Let’s talk about one more friend. Ashley and her family are always on the move because of her husbands job. 
This pic of Ashley has nothing to do with homeschooling. I just wanted to show it because it’s cute.
This means small and temporary living quarters. 
It would be difficult, or impossible to switch school districts non stop, so they have chosen to homeschool on the go and it’s worked out extremely well. They use an online program called k12 which brings the virtual classroom to the student, and because it is a charter school it is completely free!

Her boys have been able to learn about the world while traveling through it!

If you are waiting for the ideal space and the perfect situation to start taking charge of your children’s education then consider some of these stories. Homeschooling isn’t for everybody, but if it is something you desire then be encouraged that there is lots HOPE, even for the littlest homeschool.
Check out my index page for more of this series
By | October 29th, 2013|Lifestyle, Schooling, Simple Living|35 Comments