Help for Haiti

Help for Haiti
This organization has been in Haiti for many years. They are trustworthy.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Conference Schedule, 2007

We will be running around like screaming banshees this year. Here is a listing of where we will be, and when. If you see a bedraggled and confused man, sitting on the ground, counting his fingers and mumbling to himself, please take pity on him and direct him to this list.
Also, if "SPEAKING" appears after the event Melinda will be presenting one or more of her workshops.

Indiana Association Home Educators (IAHE) - March 23-24, 2007 (Indianapolis, IN);
Indiana Homeschool Support (IHS) - March 31, 2007 (New Paris, IN);
Dayton Resource & Curriculum Fair (DRCF) - April 27, 2007 (Dayton, OH)- SPEAKING;
Information Network for Christian Homes (INCH) - May 4-5, 2007 (Lansing, MI);
Christian Homeschool Assoc. of PA (CHAP) - May 11-12, 2007 (Harrisburg, PA);
Fort Wayne Area Home Schools (FWAHS) - May 18-19, 2007 (Ft Wayne, IN);
Florida Parent-Educators Assoc. (FPEA) - May 24-26, 2007 (Orlando, FL);
Education Network of Christian Homeschoolers (ENOCH) - June 1-2, 2007 (Edison, NJ)- SPEAKING;
Christian Home Educators of Ohio (CHEO) - June 21-23, 2007 (Columbus, OH)- SPEAKING;
School Based Occupational Therapists & Physical Therapists - August, 2007;
Children and Adults with ADHD (CHADD) - November 1-10, 2007 (Crystal City, VA);

Sunday, February 11, 2007


My AD/HD family members like to spread out their belongings, and don't really seem to notice the stacks of clutter until my twitching is impossible to ignore. I realize that organizing and noticing details doesn't come naturally to them, so to simplify the tasks I sat down and wrote step by step directions for each room in the house. I listed what supplies are needed, where to find the supplies, what tasks should be done daily, which ones only need done weekly, and some jobs that could be done just as needed. I stood in each room, reading and revising the lists, until I was convinced that if each of the items on the list were completed the room would look reasonably clean. I slipped each list into a plastic sleeve, so the items could be marked off with a dry erase marker when completed. I put each sleeve on a ring, so it could be hung on a designated hook and easily located and replaced once a room was cleaned.
I still think it's a good idea, and it should have worked. Should have. It wasn't long before the excuses starting coming in - no dry erase marker could be found, the written list had gone missing and no one remembered moving it or seeing it, or my least favorite "The room looked pretty good already." Just yesterday, I asked my son Josh to please clean the kitchen since he had been assigned that room for the week. He started the dishwasher, then informed me he had to leave for work. Before I could say anything, he pointed out "But at least the sink is empty." A glance revealed dirty dishes in both sides of the sink, although there were fewer than before he started. I pointed out that the sink was not in fact empty, but Josh just cheerfully replied that at least it looked better than it had. Somehow my AD/HD ones equate "starting the dishwasher" with "I cleaned the kitchen now" even if the sink, counters, and floor are filthy. In their minds, the kitchen is clean and they are happy with it.
Reminders to use the list loop us back to the previously listed excuses. It puzzles me that they seem to like it when things are clean and they can find what they need when they need it, but they won't put forth the effort to maintain it even when I finally manage to get things truly clean.

Monday, February 05, 2007

organizational skills

Someone wrote to me recently, asking how to help adults who have never developed good organizational skills. Lack of organization skills impacts every area of life, and can leave highly intelligent people at a disadvantage when they can't get their hands on what they need when they need it. Being brilliant won't matter much if appointments are missed or deadlines aren't met. An average person who is organized has an advantage over an average person who is disorganized. Life is complex and there is a plethora of information to keep track of, so as much as we may inwardly rebel against the constructs of organization, we must acknowledge the necessity for it. Here are some tips that my husband uses to help his naturally disorganized brain to keep track of important things. He makes as many daily tasks as possible a habit, done at the same time and the same way so he doesn't have to think about them and remember what to do next. It's just automatic. He leaves his keys on top of things he needs to take with him later, even if that means leaving his keys in odd places like the refrigerator, because that way he knows he won't leave without the item he needs. He uses reminder alarms on his computer, thus freeing himself up from having to memorize dates and times and eliminating the problem inherent in writing notes on napkins and scraps of paper which inadvertently get thrown out by some organized person who thinks it's trash. He keeps a notepad and pencil handy when he has to sit still at church or some other meeting, because wouldn't you know that's when his brain tends to think of things and he can write them down before the ideas are lost. He has used audio recording devices, which I highly recommend for use in the car. That's much safer than trying to write things down while driving or at a traffic light. The problem we had with that was that the device got lost before a habit of keeping it in a designated spot was established. Despite that, it's still a good strategy. Just start out with an inexpensive model first!