Tuesday, August 9, 2011


The concept of "batching" is profound, imho. It's what made Henry Ford famous (it wasn't the car, it was the assembly line, dontcha' know), what Cheryl Lindsey wrote about years ago in the now defunct Gentle Spirit and what Tim Ferris goes on about in The 7HWW.
Batching is effective because set-up and break-down cost as much in terms of time and energy for 1 run as for several. Having worked on the house re-build I can attest to that. Getting set-up well often takes just as much time as whatever actual project we are working on (hence, the lack of pictures for the porch yet- it is still our staging area for all of the wood - working/painting/reclaimation projects we are doing).

Things we are batching:
the aforementioned wood-working projects. Last week-end Viking Man repaired a couple sets of drawers, finished the wall for the lockers on the porch and made 2 screens for porch windows. The kids and I also built cube bookshelves, art clips, a shabby shelf and library cart last week.
Painting projects: 2 many 2 mention. Spray paint is my new best friend. I'm partial to black these days. Cub actually called me obsessed. Hey black is a timeless classic, I'm not obsessed, I'm...passionate. It's easy peasy to line everything up, paint or spray away and then wash all of the brushes at the same time.
School Projects: Getting curriculum decisions made, our school area set-up to be effective, tools created or gathered. HOTM "not back to school blog hop" is great incentive to get things in order. Today I'm making Major World Conflict cards (we're doing world history overview) using Amy Pak's Homeschooling in the Woods CD's and Drew Campbell's Living Memory.
Gardening Projects: Canning, drying and freezing, though we are mainly eating it as we harvest or canning- just not enough freezer space to share. Yesterday KB, Feeche and I canned 30 quarts of grape juice, 2 gal of grape wine, 13 pints of jam/jelly, made a quart of Pesto and prepared 5 lb's of beets for pickling. We got a ton done and we were tired at the end of the day but overall it was easy for a couple of reasons: the kids know how to can (home ec at the Gracious Heart Homestead is fairly comprehensive), they know how to work hard, they are invested in organic, whole food; we don't buy juice 'cause it blows the grocery budget but they all love juice. It helps to get a ton done when you have motivated help : ).
Writing Projects: I have some deadlines coming up; the kids know it and have stuff to do while I'm doing that.
Classes to b taught: fall is fast approaching. I have material gathered and will be setting up time to get it honed and have been mulling. Soon, very soon, I'll be setting aside an afternoon to create a syllabii.

I have found that in order to really get stuff done it's important, for me anyway, to write things down. If I don't write it down I'll forget or get stuff out of order, or only accomplish 1/2 of what I'd planned on. It's also important to gather your supplies before you start. There is nothing more frustrating than to be in the middle of a project and realize that you have to stop and go to the store or that the jam is going to jell in the pot, rather than the jar, becasue you don't have enough lids.

What are you batching these days?


Blondee said...

New follower here! :)

Batching is a great break down of what needs to be done without it being a mile long list! Right now we are gearing up for another year of schooling, canning our bounty from the garden, preparing for a rough fall with an upcoming surgery for my daughter (she has Asperger's and SPI- so nothing is really 'easy' with her) and trying to navigate how that will effect our first month of schooling. Lot's of little things to take care of in between.

Please feel free to stop by my 'place'. I'll be back! :)

Regena said...

I always batch my field trip planning, too! I think it makes me much more efficient at getting it all done and insuring that trips are more meaningful to what we're studying at home....