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Friday, January 2, 2015

Blog Site Changed

January 2, 2015

I've switched to a WordPress platform. Please bookmark my new site:

http://startafamilydaycare.com/

Thanks.

Joyfully progressing,
Caz.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

So Cliche, I know!

It's so cliche, I know! Writing a blog post for the New Year, but I can't help myself. I come by it honestly ;) It's the start of a new year, and I'm reflecting on work and life...


I've been thinking about ways to support families who want a parent to stay home, and are looking at home-based daycare as an option. I'm resurrecting my blog with this goal in mind - four years in (second time around) in the family daycare business. A chance to share how I spend my days and why. A chance to elevate the work. A chance to challenge myself.

I'll also chat about teaching, education, homeschooling, and life.

Inspired by some wonderful friends in the blog-sphere who inspire and motivate me daily, I am joining the conversation.

Joyfully writing,
Caz.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Comfortable Home

Banana Bread working on a collage this week

Since I started running family daycare last September I have been working to find ways to make life more efficient.  I LOVE working from home, but because we are here so much it gets messy. Really quickly.  In the past, I can remember leaving for my day job, dropping the kids at school and returning to an untouched, tidy home at the end of the day... happy sigh...




To give an honest assessment of how the house looks right now:
  • George is starting paper mache for his Science poster presentation at the kitchen table. Muffin Mouse if there too working on math.
  • Banana Bread is playing (messing things up) quietly in her room.
  • The lunch stuff is on the kitchen counters still.
  • A half-folded bin of laundry is on the couch in the livingroom.
Science project underway

Over the past year I have found some strategies that work toward my goal of achieving a comfortable home. For me a 'comfortable home' is one that is reasonably clean, tidy (only current projects are out), and well organized.

Oh, and I should mention that I did not replace my housecleaner who came a couple of times per month when she moved. I'm using that money to pay for my horse riding lessons instead... so things are more "comfortable" and less clean than they have been!

  • The daycare kids and I tidy the toys and play space three times a day (before outside time, before nap, and before stories at the end of the day.)  This advice came from a long-time family daycare provider and it is so important. It creates an atomsphere of order, but allows for freedom in play (I'm not tempted to tidy as they play.)

  • My bi-weekly toy rotation is a big help. I re-create the play space every two weeks (move livingroom furniture, set-up a new dramatic play theme etc.) This routine prompts me to clean under the couches, find lost toys, and dust areas that otherwise go unnoticed in the day-to-day living.

  • I pretty much do all the laundry one day a week. If I don't prioritize it on one day it becomes a nasty, drawn-out process for the week (forgetting stuff is in there and rewashing etc.)
  • I know I've mentioned it before, but I always come back to it - Flylady is the basic structure I return to when things feel out of hand around the house. Hot darn, it just works.

I've also become a huge believer in home delivery!! 

  • Our dog is groomed in a mobile pet grooming van every 2 months for the same price I paid to drop him somewhere in town. This saves me from spending one of my days-off running the dog around town.

  •  I have my groceries delivered to my door.  There has been some trial and error with this system, but I now have it fine-tuned.  I have an organic food bin delivered every two weeks from Share Organics. I also have other groceries delivered every two weeks from Thrifty'sThis frees me to spend my time menu planning, and eliminates the couple of hours spent shopping on the weekends.  I do still make a couple of trips to Costco in a month, but I find that more fun than work!

OK. I've got to go put the lunch dishes away before the little ones wake up from nap!

Joyfully comfortable,
Caz.