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Summer Reading - books for all ages.
Featured Resource

How to Be Organized In Spite of Yourself


How to Be Organized In Spite of Yourself

Printer Friendly Version

Publisher: Signet Books

Author: Sunny Schlenger
Roberta Roesch

List Price: $6.99

Ages: Adult

Reviewed By: Peggy Flint

Time and Space Management that Works with Your Personal Style My dream is that someday I will wake up and find myself magically transformed into an organized homeschooler. Those who have seen my house in the past will either find themselves laughing until they cry or simply crying at the realization of how utterly hopeless that seemed. Fortunately, most of you reading this have never seen my house in the past—so I can either choose to try to impress you by telling you about those changes—or I can tell you about the book that is helping me to make those changes. I know...I'll do BOTH!

Let me share with you one of the changes. Today I decided to correct some old (read that 'very old') schoolwork that I had been dreading. When this urge struck me in the past, I would scurry around the house trying to collect papers from every nook and cranny, hoping I had at least half of the papers I was looking for. Instead, I walked over to the file drawer in my desk, pulled out the "To Be Corrected - Eric" and "To Be Corrected - Robin" files and sat down to correct them. When I was done, I recorded the grades in my grade book, walked back over to the file drawer and filed them in the appropriate files, some of which were "Corrected - American History - Robin" and "Corrected - Algebra - Eric". Grading the papers themselves was not quick and painless, BUT finding them and taking care of them when I was finished was wonderful.

Some of you reading this review will consider what I've done and realize that it totally frustrates you because if your student's schoolwork was buried in a file cabinet - it would be just that - BURIED! That's ok - it doesn't mean that my system is wrong and yours is right. It simply means that we have different organizational styles. I'm a "nothing out" type of gal. In the past, my house has been a disaster because I was always so busy trying to "hide" things that I never took the time to organize them and I wound up with a big mess on my hands.

This guide helps you to recognize ten basic organizational styles, pinpoint which style you are, and then learn how to take advantage of the strengths of that style (along with knowing what tools will work best for you). In my case, when I read about the "nothing out" person, I called my husband and said, "I FINALLY know who I am, and she didn't call my style Peggy!" It was truly a relief to see that I am not alone.

So what are these styles? They are broken down into two sets of five styles each. One set deals with time management while the second set deals with space management. Here are some short descriptions:

Time Management:
  • Hopper - This person likes to have lots of irons in the fire and works on several tasks at the same time.
  • Perfectionist Plus- This person gets so involved in doing everything right that they often don't get projects done at all.
  • Allergic to Detail - This person would rather make plans than carry them out.
  • Fence Sitter - Because they have trouble making decisions, this person leaves everything to chance.
  • Cliff Hanger - Time pressure is often required to complete a task, and this person leaves everything to the last minute.
Space Management:
  • Everything Out - Everything has to be out in front of them and they don't like putting things away in drawers.
  • Nothing Out - A clear desk makes this person feel in control because they hate to see clutter.
  • Right Angler - They believe they're getting organized when their piles have perfectly straight edges.
  • Pack Rat - They know they might possibly need things someday, so they compulsively hold onto things.
  • Total Slob - They believe it is more important to be creative than neat and are usually totally disorganized.
If you are like most people I have discussed this book with, you may see yourself in more than one category for time or space management. That's ok; I did the same thing until I took the 10 question quiz at the beginning of each category's chapter. The questions helped me to nail down what my management styles are and how I can work with them best.

I highly recommend this book for the frustrated homeschooler. I have found that it has not only helped me to understand myself and my organization style, but it has also helped me to understand at least one of my students and has given me ideas for working with them to get their materials organized. Now if I could only find an automatic schoolwork grader, I'd be all set
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Peggy Flint
Art and Peggy have been homeschooling their twins, Eric and Robin, since 1989. They started out teaching the kids, and now find themselves learning from their own children--and liking it.
Copyright © 1999 Eclectic Homeschool Association
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