Thursday, January 23, 2014

Index Cards

When I was in college, I used to work on research papers using index cards. Each card represented a different topic or a source with all of the bibliographic information and facts gleaned below.  When I'm tackling a really complicated project at work, I often pull out the old index cards to provide a familar comfort and tangible representation of my research and thoughts.

Their use has moved into our family life.  The kids use them all the time at school for vocabulary words in spanish and study tools.  They become shopping lists, to-do lists and notes of love and support tucked into lunches or taped to the front door for E as she leaves for swimming in the wee dark hours.

For this, our third snow day, the big kids were given online assignment #3 from one of their teachers.  The 8th graders also had science fair stuff they could do to get ahead and little L had to fill out an animal report due tomorrow (so funny that he chose a spotted salamander and used as his reference "my brother Aidan").  They also had a few chores to do around the house.

Rather than spend all day bugging gently reminding them to get stuff done, I pulled out my trusty cards.  Each kid got a card with their responsibilities for the day.  I simply handed them out and told them I expected them to get completed by the end of the day.  15 minutes later I looked up from my laptop and saw A and M quietly working at the table.  L asked me a few times how to spell something, but other than that he worked diligently on his report including a detailed drawing with body parts identified.  I'm not sure how much D got complete, but he's my guy that always seems to get things done without too much harassing encouragement.

I just sent the 4 little guys off to the sled hill, while E went to a friend's house to make some cheesecakes. Korean barbecue beef is in the croc pot and the house is peacefully quiet.  I promised them popcorn and hot cocoa when they get back (it's currently 21 degrees out there so not sure how long they'll last), but for now I'm enjoying the calm.

I'm giving full credit to the index card.


  1. I'm giving full credit to you. (Although, I do love a good index card.)

  2. I am also a fan of the index card, though I switched a few years ago to post-it notes. I like that my daily to-do list sticks to the front of the book, etc. Though there are -- of course -- still index cards at the ready.

    Peaceful house :-)

  3. My home is littered with index cards--they're everywhere I always buy more because, oh goodness(!), what if I run out??!?

    I love that they (and YOU!) worked some magic today. Well done!

    We have tomorrow off (it was a scheduled workday and they decided to keep it) as well as Monday. I'm going to be ready to see the back of Bitty come Tuesday morning, aren't I? ;oP

  4. I love the imagery of your last paragraph.

  5. We had an entire week of snow days last week, mostly because of the cold. Apparently, sending children to school in anything less than 10 degrees equates to inhumane treatment. Altho, I gotta admit, the treatment they're getting home isn't great either, lol. This is a great idea, though. Will have to pass it along to hubby, as he's the one home with the boys. Hoping your kids (like mine, FINALLY!!) get to go back to school this week :)

  6. As the mother of 4 and grandmother of 8 I have had some experience raising kids. My twin boys were born when my daughters were 9 and 10. As expected, though the siblings are now very close, there were always problems, but nowhere near the complicated ones that you face daily. What I want to tell you is that no matter how hard you try, in the future one or more of them is going to say that you didn't treat him or her fairly at times. Can't be helped! The one child of mine who hasn't chosen to be a mother is the most vocal, but the others, who are now parents, understand and are more aware how hard the parenting job is and that I tried to do my best for each of them. So my message to you is hang in there and don't beat yourself up so much. I think you are doing wonderfully well under all the adverse circumstances of your life. Cynthia

    1. Thank you! That really means a lot :)