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Making the Most of Sheltering in Place

Organizing, Remembering, Learning, Baking...

Making the Most of Sheltering in Place
April 20, 2020 iteachus
Family doing homework from home

Making the Most of Sheltering in Place

Over the past month I’ve managed to organize my office and a large portion of my home. It’s not something I like to do, especially if I’m busy with something else that is also a necessity, like working, doing laundry, keeping the house clean, exercising, cooking, etc. It is so easy to put something off thinking that it is not a priority without realizing that by not taking care of the small things, you are actually slowing down your progress to take care of big things. How many times have you misplaced something and ended up losing time and being stressed out and frustrated because you couldn’t find what you needed? How many times have you put off folding the laundry, but when it was done you realized, “That wasn’t so bad!” And then after you felt so much better about yourself for being productive and because your clothes were organized and easy to find.

In order to get organized in my office I needed to stop piling papers up on top of each other and thinking, “This is organization.” Instead, I needed to be able to sort things by month: receipts, notes, task lists, insurance cards, boarding passes, deposit slips, invoices and so much more. But instead of being able to access it simply by putting the items into folder, I just kept stacking them into piles and eventually stuff would get misplaced or thrown away.

So I used this extra time we have during Covid to run to Target, with gloves and mask, and find some organizers. Target saved me with a great and simple solution that is affordable and stylish – two of my favorite words.

Open File Organizer

When it comes to getting organized I don’t like traditional office organizers. I don’t like file cabinets, I don’t want to have to pull open a big metal drawer. That feels depressing and too much like work. But when you give me something like the above wooden open hanging file organizer – well, now you are speaking my language!

Designer Hanging File Folders

I paired this organizer with these stylish folders and suddenly doing a task that I loathed to do was creative and fun. I think that is the key to doing anything you don’t like to do, find a way to make yourself enjoy it. If you don’t like to clean, make it game. If you don’t like to organize, turn it into something beautiful and creative. We are all unique and for some people organization is easy, for others, math is easy. Neither is easy for me. So during this quarantine, I have been creating a way to become organized and I can see how it is impacting every area of my life. I’m forming new habits, writing more, and even budgeting.

Rustic Home Office Collection from Target

Check out this collection to get some great ideas for organizing your home office.

Create a Time Capusule

When I was a child I always enjoyed the idea of creating a time capsule. One of my elementary classes created a time capsule and we all got to put something in it. We moved and that was so long ago I wonder if the teacher ever dug it up?

So what is so great about a time capsule? For your children it is a time to talk about history and to take a moment to pause and remember what is happening in our lives right now. So much of our lives are catalogued online with digital backups, but what about the tactile things in our lives that mark time? Newspapers, magazines, toys – these are just a few items that can be sealed in a time capsule and re-opened years later. In the worksheet that we have included below, you and your kids can list what foods you like and television shows and even favorite family activities.

Bake with Your Kids!

I’m sure by now you have figured out all kinds of things to do with your children, however, just in case you haven’t seen Rosanna Pansino’s baking channel on YouTube we thought we would share it with you today.

I first heard of Rosanna a few years back when my friend’s daughter was watching her show. The episode that was playing was called Nerdy Nummies. I love watching Food Network and I was surprised at how much fun this channel was, but, more than that, it is so creative. I like to think of myself as a creative person, but I like how creativity can be hyper focused in specific areas for some people and they can create the most amazing creations and make it look easy!

Check out this Babee Shower Cake made by Rosanna:

Babee Shower Cake by Rosanna Pansino

This Babee Shower cake is so adorable and if you check out Rosanna’s website there are a number of adorable baked goods as well as vegan recipes. But not all of Rosanna’s desserts are complicated, some of them are just simple strawberry shortcakes or brownies. What I like about baking at home with children is that you get to taste and enjoy your hard work. You can use baking to teach about science and chemistry and it is an activity that the whole family can participate and enjoy.

Rosanna Pansino Frozen 2 Cakes

Check out the video below to see some more of Rosanna’s amazing creations.

Learn How to Write Creatively and With Impact

When I first started teaching myself how to design websites, I learned a lot from YouTube videos. YouTube is great and is still a valuable resource, but my favorite and most affordable “go-to” resource for learning something new is Skillshare.com. Skillshare has classes by some of the best in the business on almost any subject. (And if you are reading this, you may want to start your own training videos and post them on Skillshare.)

What I like about Skillshare videos is that they are broken up into short segments. If you are creating content this is a tutorial in and of itself. Learning how to create outlines with good flow, that is a big part of any project. So before I even start a Skillshare class I’m already learning!

One of my favorite things to do when I have some “me” time is to sit down and write creatively. When I was in college I read a book called “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. Julia’s way of unlocking creativity was to sit down every morning and to just write three pages of stream of thought writing. Basically it was a way of exercising your brain and removing a lot of clutter before starting my day. It was a hard practice to keep up and I don’t do that anymore, but, when I have a creative block I will pick up that habit until I can write again.

But back to writing creatively, Roxanne Gay, a New York Times Best-Selling author gives us a short class on how to write essays creatively and with impact.

Roxanne Gay Skillshare

Here is Roxanne’s video tutorial outline:

  • Introduction
  • Start with Your Why
  • Key Idea: Looking Inward and Outward
  • Key Idea: When Truth Matters
  • Key Idea: Read to Know What Works
  • Conducting Research
  • Write Your First Draft
  • Revise Your Work
  • Getting Published
  • Final Thoughts
As a writer and designer sometimes I don’t even know where to begin, however, if I have some help with the base structure and a jumping off point, then everything else seems to flow with ease. If I am spending all of my creative juices trying to think of something that I’m really passionate about to write, then almost nothing happens. So I keep Evernote at the ready and I’m constantly jotting down notes. Sometimes my notes are not even complete thoughts, but descriptive ways of describing something that I will use later to put into one of my pieces of writing. An example would be this line from a children’s book I’m writing: “So she hid her anger, stuffed it deep down inside, but she didn’t feel better, she just wanted to hide.”
I find that my most creative time is in the morning when I am first waking up. But I’m too tired to get full on into writing mode, so sometimes I take notes using the voice memo feature built into my phone.

Write. Then Edit when You Are Done.

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received when it comes to creative writing is to write the entire piece from beginning to end and then go back and make your edits. Sometimes you can get bogged down in edits, second guessing yourself, and interrupting your flow. You can always go back and correct grammar and punctuation later. And you can get help with editing as well so that it doesn’t impact your creative process.
Roxanne Gay’s Creative Writing Class

Become a Teacher. Change Lives.

Whatever you are doing during this time when we are all at home, we hope that you are staying safe and moving forward. You may have had plans to get married or start a new job. You may have had big plans, but now, you have to make a new plan. Perhaps that new plan is to become a teacher, an artist, a doctor, a writer. Whatever your goals, we are here cheering you on!

If you are interested in becoming a teacher, check out our online teacher certification process and you could be teaching in a matter of weeks.

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