Monday, September 17, 2007

Dude, Where's My (Homeschooling) Stuff?

I never realized how much of my life was on auto-pilot until we moved last month.

We downsized to a rental house, so we’ve been unable to bring everything in yet (we have to go through all of it first and weed out the things we don’t have room for anymore—ugh!) While I did set aside a couple of plastic boxes for our schoolbooks so they wouldn’t be lost in the shuffle, I forgot about all the little things we used back home when we did school each day, or the fact that I kept them in specific places so that I never had to search for them.

Now I’m relearning what it’s like to be completely disorganized. For example, this morning I was working with dsds14, and I needed a project so he could practice his cutting skills. I usually use a picture from a coloring book, but I didn’t know where his coloring books were. So I went online, downloaded a Scooby-Doo picture, printed it out and had him color it. So far, so good.

But then I had to find his kid-sized scissors. Back home, I kept them in a file cabinet right behind the dining room table (we used the dining room as a schoolroom). Well, we don’t have a filing cabinet in the dining room now; we don’t even have a dining room anymore! Fortunately, I remembered I had a small pair of scissors in the office, and ran to get them (if I don’t get back quickly, he’ll be off like a rabbit).

I’d only just sat back down next to him when it occurred to me that I’d need a glue stick so he could paste Scooby onto a piece of construction paper. I always kept a glue stick next to the scissors in that same file cabinet that sat in the dining room. Who knows where the glue sticks are packed now? I decided he’d have to settle for tape. That I can find.

I wish I could say the same for the construction paper. However, at the old house, I kept the construction paper in the basement by the art supplies, none of which I have seen since the day I packed them into one of the many boxes that are sitting in the garage here, or in our storage unit in town, or in our second storage unit an hour down the road. There’s no chance I’m going to find the construction paper today; maybe not even this year.

So I suggested he just turn Scooby over and write Daddy’s name on the back and give it to him as a present. His stubborn gene must have been sleeping in today, because normally, a suggestion like that would never fly (like Mom, he prefers his routines). But moving has apparently discombobulated him as much as me: to my shock, he agreed, and Daddy got a lovely Scooby Doo cut-out to decorate his side of the office (yes, we’re sharing an office now, but that’s a post for another time.)

Searching for things and substituting other things is becoming a way of life for me, particularly since we started up homeschooling again two weeks ago. Everything else we’ll find eventually, but the school stuff is what we need right now. I can’t believe how much I relied on my systems for keeping track of our possessions! “A place for everything and everything in its place” allowed me to work efficiently without stopping to look for things, kind of like being on auto-pilot, with everything running so smoothly you don’t have to think about it. I may have to reread my own book so I can get back to an organized life again!


Janet said...

I'm with you- I can't stand it when my life isn't organized!

Lostcheerio said...

I am SO like that -- I have things in "special" places that only I know and understand, all over the place. This drives my husband insane. However, as long as I know where it is I'm fine. If we ever move, or I decide to scoop out my brain and store muffins in my skull, and he has to take over homeschooling Benny, we're sunk. ;)

Dana said...

"Where's my...?"

Hear it all day long. My 8yo can be writing with her pencil, go to the restroom and come back to no pencil. We have not yet figured out how she has such a special knack for losing any and everything she touches, but it truly is a gift.

We started making her work to pay for items that just can never be found because some things we need, but I don't want to buy a pencil sharpener every week. Hopefully she will get better. Or the stuff monster will stop eating stuff.