Book Review – The Organized Homeschooler by Vicki Caruana

I really liked this book!  This is from the Introduction . . .

“When we decided to bring our children home to school, I was suddenly faced with more organizational challenges than ever before.  At first I tried to order things the way I did when I had my own classroom as a public school teacher.  The more I tried to make our homeschool look and feel like  a classroom, the more frustrated and disappointed I became.  There was a definite flaw in my system . . . My [new] goal was to have what we needed when we needed it and to have my children just as able to maintain that order as I.”

I can attest to the fact that this is VERY important!

From Chapter 1 . . .

“The premise of this book is that becoming more organized is a matter of the heart . . . The second premise is that you can  become a more organized homeschooler, even if you are already quite discouraged.  You can because you can do all things through Him who gives you strength (Philippians 4:13) . . . Your desire to become a more organized homeschooler is one that is pleasing to God.”

She goes on to discuss the heart of organization and its purpose, then organizing your thoughts, time, space, supplies, paperwork and family.  She also discusses habits, nuts and bolts, a workable filing system and master lists.  Every chapter ends with a short list that basically summarizes the chapter. 

What I Liked:  I really liked Chapter 11, The Nuts and Bolts of an Organized Homeschool.  ( I even looked the author up online to see if she had a website.  Sadly, no.)  She talks about almost every system out there and their pros and cons.  She recommends color-coding your students supplies, which is VERY helpful; we’ve been doing that for awhile.   (Our only problem is we can’t always find orange AND purple in addtion to the standard colors, since we now need seven colors.) 

What I Didn’t Like:  The only thing I didn’t like was her mild emphasis on how much TIME you should spend doing school.  In the Chapter “Organize Your Time,” she writes, “if you homeschool and say you are always done before noon, I might…raise an eyebrow.”  When my kids were younger, I sure WAS done before noon–at least before a late lunch!  (My BRAIN was done, whether I wanted to be or not!)  Even today, most of my interaction with my kids about school is done before lunch.  After that, they’re on their own.  Now, the author does say that creating a balance is key, so maybe she just has a different idea of balance than I do.  (She does have only two kids, not seven!)

Other than that, I thought the book was very helpful, and I have implimented a few of her ideas, and hope to try more as time and money allow!  I think the biggest concept I came away with was, if it isn’t easy to get or use or put away, it’s not a good system, because nobody (especially a child) wants to go out of their way to put things away properly.  I’d have to say that one of our biggest problems (and time-waster) is not being able to find things when we need them!

Note:  I should add then when I first read the title, I thought it was a book for STUDENTS, but no, it’s for the MOM!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: