Thursday, January 16, 2014

Project: Organize the Family - Part 1

As I said before, 2014 is the year that I will finally get my kids & husband organized and make them stay that way, whether they like it or not!

The first thing I did was get all the calendars ready. Each of the kids has their own wall calendar in their bedroom. At the end of the year, we fill in the calendar for the next year with all the important birthdays & holidays. I only include the dates that are important to that child. They don't really need to know the birthday of a cousin they don't remember, who they haven't seen in 5 years, & who lives in another state. I include things that are important to them, holidays/celebrations they want/need to know about. There is also a calendar in the living room. This calendar has all the family birthdays that I know (I suck at birthdays & know I am missing several), all holidays important to anyone in our house, and any other important dates we need to remember. I also make notes on each month about things that need to be done some time that month ( clean gutters, change furnace filter, etc.). Whenever we set up an appointment, I write it on this calendar (sometimes someone else writes it, but I really hate when they do because they always write too big & sloppy). This one is where everyone can see it, and we refer to it almost daily. We also have an online calendar that sends us reminders for appointments. (Yes, I realize this is a lot of calendars, but I prefer the mix of paper & tech.) We use Cozi for its calendar. We did use it for the shopping list for awhile, but they changed it so it no longer sends your list to you as a text on your phone. So, now we only really use the calendar feature.

the family calendar

The kids & I also each have a day planner. These two belong to Jay & me (Dea has hers in her room):

I filled out the small calendar in the front with all dates important to that person:
 It's kind of small, but there's a lot of writing there.

Each month is filled in with important info & dates:
This one is mine.
I even add in reminders to send people's birthday cards the week before their birthday, so I don't forget (I am seriously horrible with birthdays).

So far this year, the kids have been doing a pretty good job of using their calendars & day planners. I'm actually kind of impressed (usually, they would have completely forgotten about them by this point).

For us, this works. We have the online calendar to send us reminders. We have the wall calendars for us to look at daily, and we have the day planners which are portable & easy to write in. I also like that with this combo, the kids are getting to try out 3 different types of calendars. They get to see which one they prefer, what each is best used for, how to use each one, and how helpful each one is. That should help when they have to decide for themselves what organizational tools to include in their lives.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Bye-Bye Marine Biology

Over the weekend, Jay told me he wants to drop Marine Biology. He just isn't enjoying it as much as he thought he would. I really think that much of his problem is just that he is looking forward to next year's Science, so not really paying attention to this year's anymore. He can hardly wait to start Chemistry & Forensics. I think that he thinks he will get to start those early if he stops Marine Biology early. I told him that wouldn't happen, but he still wanted to drop Marine biology. Ok, that's fine. He wanted to study it. He chose it as Science for part of the year because he needed something in addition to Dinosaurs. If he no longer wants to study it, I'm fine with that. So, we're dropping it. He can use that time to do more for his study of Herbs or dedicate the time to his History studies.

Marine Biology Grade 4

Study of marine ecosystems & animals. After barely getting started with this study, my son changed his mind about wanting to study Marine Biology. So, we cut it short. This is what we managed to get done before he asked to drop it.


Seven Underwater Wonders of the World
Realms of the Sea
Smithsonian Ocean
The Coral Reef
Wild Waters Photo Journal

Marine Life of Catalina Island
Search for the Great Sharks: IMAX
Killer Whales
Shark Week

Saturday, January 4, 2014

And we wanted this game why?

One of the things I want to do this year is to have a weekly game day/night. The plan is Saturday afternoons, between lunch & dinner. Today was the first Game Day of the new year. It had to wait until after dinner, though, as we had to run some errands & didn't get home until time to make dinner.

For today's games, we chose 5-Second Rule and Trivial Pursuit. We chose 5-Second Rule because it was a new game. Someone gave it to us as a Christmas present, so it was our newest game. This was the second time we played it since getting it. We're really having fun with it. It's a very easy game to learn. Someone reads your card to you. Each card asks for 3 of something - 3 famous dogs, 3 presidents, etc. Someone flips over the timer, and you have 5 seconds to answer. If you can't give 3 of whatever the card asks, the person next to you gets a chance, and it continues around the table until someone gets it or everyone fails (when stealing, you can't use answers others have already given). This is one we all have a chance at, which is good because you don't often enjoy playing a game you know you have no chance to win.

We chose Trivial Pursuit because we picked up 2 versions second hand months ago & have only played once. When I was a kid, the adults would play Trivial Pursuit at family gatherings. I always wanted to play. I have always loved trivia games & really hated boring kids' games like Candy Land or Chutes & Ladders. The most interesting game they had for us kids was Monopoly, which isn't really that great of a game.  So, I'd ask to play Trivial Pursuit with the adults, but was always told that I was too young. By the time I was no longer "too young," they had stopped playing. So, I had never actually played regular Trivial Pursuit. We have owned Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit for years. You could say we are fans of LotR. We own the extended versions of all the movies (and of course we have the first installment of The Hobbit). We have 2 paperback sets of the books & nice leather-bound copies of LotR & The Hobbit. My husband & I both enjoy the books & movies. My husband reads the books every year. So, we have the LotR Trivial Pursuit & play it with the kids. They wanted to try regular Trivial Pursuit, and I'd never played, so we bought it when we found it. It really sucks, though. The questions are boring and mostly things about which none of us could care less. Seriously, the number of sports questions we were asked was ridiculous, and none of us watch sports. I really don't think Trivial Pursuit will last long here. We have several other trivia games that we enjoy far more. I think maybe we'll donate both versions of Trivial Pursuit. There's really no point in keeping them when nobody enjoys them.

We just bought 4 new games.We will be playing one of them next week for Game Day. The choices for next week are Dicecapades & Munchkin (this is one of our new ones).