Need a shot in the arm for your homeschool?

Get Thrive Together, a monthly email that brings you:

  • the best of the homeschool blogosphere,
  • current happenings in education-land,
  • and great quotes that will refresh your homeschool mama mind.

Yes, I want Thrive Together!

* indicates required



Recent Posts

Some links on this site are affiliate links. A percentage of qualifying purchases support this site. 

HFC is powered by SiteGround.

Subscribe to our Mailing List

Get the news right in your inbox!

Privacy Policy

Mom’s Everything Bag: Organizing & Saving Time

Mom’s Everything Bag: Organizing & Saving Time

Moms today have it incredibly easy since the invention of smart phones. We can pay bills, make homeschool plans, take pictures of our cute kids and share them with family and friends, all with a few flicks of a touch screen. I recently handled our entire Christmas from my phone during nursing sessions, everything from ordering gifts and dinner ingredients to writing and sending cards.

That’s about all that makes modern motherhood easier; we still have toddlers who throw fits, teenagers who test the limits, and loads of worldly dangers to help our kids face. Anything that can make our days easier is a welcome relief. That’s why I devour Mystie’s blogs and why I wanted to share one of her golden nuggets with you.

The Portable Command Center

As a mom of four, three of whom are three years old or under, I find myself all over my house all day. I joke that the reason I don’t workout is that I get a workout running up and down the stairs and hauling babies and toddlers all day. Really, I just don’t like working out. I’m sure none of you have that problem.

When I sit down to do something homeschool-related with my 8-year-old, I may be nursing upstairs or in the living room, feeding the toddler at the dining table, or hiding away from sleeping babies in said third grader’s room. I never realized how much time I spend going to get that “one thing we forgot” in the other room, though I’m sure my 8-year-old realizes how often I send him to grab something from elsewhere; I can’t yet count on the next oldest to actually bring the thing to me.

Enter Mom’s Everything Bag.

Call it a toolbox, portable command center, or whatever. I call it an everything bag because it has everything I need (not actually everything).

Mine is a craft tote bag that I picked up at Michael’s for about $17 on a 40% off sale (I also saw them at WalMart for the same price), but Brandy got hers from Amazon for around $5.

Whether you choose a craft tote with a thousand pockets like this or a simple plastic tote like Brandy’s, the important thing is that what you need fits, and is accessible. I have a closet full of backpacks and other bags, but the fact that I don’t have to unzip pockets with this bag is a huge win when I usually have one hand occupied with a baby. Everything’s accessible and visible.

Necessities

You’ll want to personalize your own bag, but here’s what I put in mine just in case you need some ideas:

  • Water bottle. I’ll never kick the coffee habit, but at least this way I have no excuse not to get at least some water in everyday.
  • Pens & pencils. Lots of color here, both because they’re fun and also because I grade with colored pen. Pencils for the kids because they are forever searching for a pencil even though they know we’re doing school and they have their own supplies.
  • Kindle, iPad, iPhone. I keep different electronic resources on different devices. Now they’re all at hand so I don’t have to push pause on school to go find the Kindle or iPad. This alone has saved a ton of time.
  • Timer. We don’t use this for a lot of things, but needed to formalize how much time we’re spending doing certain things. My guy likes to know we won’t be doing math forEVER.
  • Mom’s commonplace book and bullet journals. I try to model writing about the things I’m reading, hence the commonplace. And my bullet journal keeps my to-do list and notes on other projects I have going.
  • Kid writing journals. I have the kids write everyday, and somehow these get lost constantly, so for now it’s a million times easier for me to keep track of them.
  • Catechism, memory work flash cards, ruler, play clock, sticky bookmarks. The miscellany will change, but right now we’re using our catechism and flash cards for Morning Time, ruler and play clock for math, and I always love to have new sticky bookmarks handy.

There you have it, my toolbox/portable command center, my Everything Bag. Thanks to Mystie and Brandy for the idea!


(This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting HFC!)

Need a shot in the arm for your homeschool? Get Thrive Together, a monthly email that brings you the best of the homeschool blogosphere, current happenings in education-land, and great quotes that will refresh your homeschool mama mind.

Sign up here:


Rhiannon Kutzer

All posts

1 Comment

  • Brandy Vencel September 25, 2015 at 6:27 am

    Okay that tote?? Totally cute! Love it. 🙂

  • Leave a Reply

    Nice to meet you!

    I’m Rhiannon.

    You can call me Rhi for short (as in “rejoice”). I’m a fiercely independent homeschooling mom of five, a Navy wife of 13 years, and a creator of various things: articles, a semi-regular newsletter, quilts, furniture, and the occasional knitted scarf. This is the site where I write about our homeschool journey and news and happenings in the homeschool world. more about me.

    Rhiannon

    Subscribe & Follow

    Popular Links

    Let’s Thrive Together!

    Need a shot in the arm for your homeschool? Get Thrive Together, a monthly email that brings you:

    --the best of the homeschool blogosphere,
    --current homeschool news,
    --and great quotes that will refresh your homeschool mama mind.

    Latest Posts

    Instagram

    • Happy New Year and all, but more importantly, today we got to watch our @wyo_football win the Arizona Bowl. (With a freshman QB starting for the 1st time ever, btw 😮😮😮💪🏻) Way to go Pokes! #theWorldNeedsMoreCowboys #OneWyoming #GoWyo
    • We always have so much fun doing projects from @artforkidshub #homeschool #trynewthings #watercolor
    • Morning Time Details! E. (12), S. (almost 8), and L. (6). Our Morning Time morphs as the kids grow and change. It usually includes a combination of memory work and reading aloud. We try to cover a WHOLE LOT of things: Shakespeare, Bible, poetry, catechism, hymns, timeline, art study, composer study, and Ambleside selections for nature study, tales, and church history. This term I’m adding Plutarch.
.
The hard part is figuring out where I want to aim, with the 5-year gap between E. and S., and then L. being a newbie to full-on school. Having moved twice in 2019, I nixed MT and just focused on individual work. That came with costs. Shakespeare, Plutarch, art study, and composer study suffered. Memory work barely happened at all. I was BUSY. We missed out on discussing things together. Now that we’re settled, it’s time to restart MT.
.
This term I’ve decided to aim Shakespeare and Plutarch at the oldest, while the girls listen in and do handwriting/drawing/fine motor. I won’t ask them for much narration. Our reading schedule for these is AMBITIOUS. Maybe crazy. Then we’ll do all the memory & read aloud stuff that suits everyone. These lessons are SHORT. Then E. will go do his individual work while I read aloud w/ just the girls.
.
Also, “Morning Time” is a misnomer, considering we break it up throughout the day. It should really be called Morning/Lunch/Nap Time. I need a new name. Circle Time? Except we don’t sit in a circle. Together school? Except we’re together doing school all day. I don’t think English has the word I’m looking for. Maybe Tertulia or Salon?
.
Our actual coursework is: the Scottish Play, Plutarch is Alexander the Great’s life, our artist is Gustave Courbet, composer is Paganini, Bible memory is Psalm 46, Hymn is Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me, read alouds will rotate from Burgess Bird Book, Trial and Triumph, Blue Fairy Book, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Vanderbeekers, & picture books. Timeline is from Classical Conversations. Poems are Charge of the Light Brigade, Winter Night by Teasdale, and The Land of Nod.
.
Whew! It’s gonna be a fun term! What do you guys do for Morning Time?
    • #homeschool #family #weekend projects. Oldest got through a CPR course, curtains are hung, first batch ever of hard apple cider is bottled (a big learning experience!), and Morning Time for the next term is planned. 👊🏻 Time to call Dominos so these people can get fed 😂
    • Oh Halloween. That day when I pull costumes out of thin air at T-minus one hour ‘till trick-or-treating. Then one kid melts down in the middle of the fun, and is carried screaming to the car, with me hoping all the while that no one thinks I’m abducting a child. And, my favorite non-PC thought: one kid suggests we should have dressed as hobos, since we’re going around asking people to give us free candy. Phoned it in this year, Kutzers. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ #gladitsover For the record, we had a soccer player, an archer, Spider Girl, a princess, a tiny farmer, a witchy mom (Is that even a costume or just a Thursday?), and Bat Dad.
    • We may not get school started until 8 or 9, but we eat well while we read. “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life.” I think the house smelling like bacon counts as atmosphere. 😂🥰
.
#homeschool #charlottemasonirl #homecookedmeals #livingbooks

    Follow @rhikutzer

    Twitter

    Find me elsewhere:

    ×