I received a review copy of The Organized Home Schooler by Vicki Caruana from Crossway Books. I was pretty excited about reading this, as I’m always looking for new ways to organize, and because we’re in the midst of transitioning our school room to a new space. I have to say, though, I found the first 10 chapters to be pretty dry, and not particularly helpful. The “Heart Matters” at the end of those chapters (example–remembering that I’m a steward of the school supplies God has given me), seemed way too preachy and patronizing to me.
Six of those first chapters dealt with different things in our lives that need to be organized (thoughts, time, space, supplies and materials, paperwork, and family), and I didn’t take away much from them. There was an interesting section about public vs. private space in the home, complete with a list of ideals Frank Lloyd Wright had when designing spaces, (I really liked “the house shelters the family not only from nature, but from the world itself”) but I found that to be a more general home design issue than a home school one.
I did benefit from the last three chapters, however. These focused on the actual organizing of the school room (great suggestions!), a filing system, and a whole chapter of lists (I love lists!). This was all very useful information, and I definitely have some ideas to implement in our school–including a hard one to hear: “if you can’t keep it neat, you have too much stuff.”
I wish the whole book had been as useful to me as those last three chapters, but even so, the content of those three chapters was excellent and very helpful. I don’t know if I’ll actually become more organized, but at least I have some good ideas from another homeschooling mom who’s been there, and is succeeding!