This has been an interesting year! When we began homeschooling this year, things were going rather smoothly! I even did a video about how I planned and shared my weekly sheets that I created to help keep us on track. However, the thing is, often, the best-laid plans go awry when life kicks it up a notch. I worked hard at creating a system I believed was going to work had our year progressed in the same manner in which it began. Sometimes, things happen, and you have to step back to start anew.
You may remember that I was running my web design and social media business. I was working on six-week projects with concrete start and finish dates, and I had more time to homeschool all day if needed. Then, my husband and I decided that I would look for full-time employment that I could do from home. NextRep offered me a position as a customer service agent with their team. The work required that I train during a set time but then provide service during a pretty flexible schedule. Unfortunately, answering calls in my bedroom, as opposed to an office, was challenging and made what could have been a GREAT job a nightmare (the perils of downsizing from a three-bedroom to a two-bedroom). As I contemplated using my MS degree to go back into the classroom, I was contacted by a company with whom I had previously applied for a Social Media Manager position. They were looking for someone to work full-time and not necessarily from home. However, after the initial meeting, it became apparent that it was a great fit.
I now work about thirty-six hours a week for a steady, reliable income. I began the job two weeks before Christmas, and I was rolling full-steam ahead from the very beginning. I also continue to do web design as I have a few obligations to complete before deciding if I want to close my shop permanently.
Starting in a new position left, what amounts to, microscopic time for homeschooling in the way that I had planned. That is not true. I could have continued with the schedule and planning, but it was not in our best interest. Between ADD, depression, and anxiety (all mine), I decided that the best thing to do would be to sign Mya up for Time4Learning. I was hesitant at first because we had previously tried this online curriculum only to discover that Mya figured out how to buck the system (she’d click through really quickly for 30 minutes just to play the games). After reviewing the curriculum again, and deciding that because she was older now, she would be better able to understand the requirements, we signed her up again.
Within two months it became apparent that she was not retaining any information and that her learning style is not conducive to an independent, online, curriculum. I did what any parent would, and I cancelled our subscription and turned to something else. For the most part, we have been using the materials I had chosen at the beginning of the year and doing so in a very flexible manner. Rather than the massive amounts of scheduling like I was doing early on, I now make lists.
Enter the Bullet Journal.
Planning and organizing are a task that most people avoid.I love it but understand that it is stressful and requires too many components to ensure that I am doing things correctly. It’s not necessarily difficult. It’s just that there are so many options. Here were my requirements.
- A system that helped keep things neat.
- One book that I could carry around and that is it; a system that was simple and condense. I have been using a Passion Planner for two years which is a goals oriented planner for my everyday life and the Our Classroom Planner that I made and sell on Teachers Pay Teachers for homeschooling. But the truth is that it’s just too hard to keep track of EVERYTHING.
- A system that allowed me to utilize my natural desire to brain dump and list the things that I needed to do while providing flexibility and ease.
- No stickers
- No cute spread layouts.
- A simple pen and pencil system
The Bullet Journal is that system. It allows me to create the lists that I need (To Do List; Shopping Lists,; Book Log; Homeschooling Projects; Menus, etc,) all in one place. There is an index so that I can find things quickly and even with a massive migraine like the one I have had for almost two weeks, I can check things off without having to look at the glare of the screen. It works for me, and I’m shocked that I haven’t utilized it sooner.
If you are interested in how learning more about the Bullet Journal, head over to my personal blog and read 11 Tips for Starting a Bullet Journal Quickly.