Sunday, February 20, 2011

Making a List and Checking it Twice

Over the past few weeks I have alluded to my "checklists" that I use for school. Today I'll try to explain what it is I do plus I'll give you a link to a generic one at the end.

I've been homeschooling now for eight years. The first few years I used a paper teacher planner. This worked rather well as I only had one child. I have never ever been good at pre-planning what we will be doing too far in advance. Over the years I've realized that it just throws me off especially when we take an unexpected day off or head out for an unplanned field trip. I always have a general idea of what I want to cover each day and we simply move forward. I don't worry if we'll finish our math book in a year. We'll finish it when we finish it.

However, I have come to realize that if I don't have some sort of overview of what I want to do each day, I tend to forget math or spelling. Yes, the basics will slip my mind as we delve in to fun things like art and music and history. It's how we're all wired here.

This caused me to develop a checklist for me. And that was simply what it was. You can view it HERE. I was able to do two days and/or two children per sheet. (Although, I just realized the Google Document didn't not covert the columns so it comes out on two pages.) I filed these away and called it my "record." This helped me know what I needed to cover each day. I based it off my "Subjects And Days" sheet. You can see that by clicking HERE.

Now here is my disclaimer about my "Subjects & Days" sheet....this is my ideal day. I never complete everything. I will also say that this is from two years ago and our school day looks vastly different now, but this will help you see my starting point.

Last year we introduced "workboxes." Workboxes was a big new craze that swept homeschooling circles in the last year or so. The essence is you set up your child's work into separate boxes and they move through a schedule you give them. All their work is in one place (huge plus) and they can work virtually  independently (another huge plus). This year I got lazy.

Instead of continuing to use workboxes, I switched back to my trust checklist. It helps keep me more accountable as well. Each evening I correct the older boys work (J7 & I do all his work together) and write up their checklists for the next day.  My current school year checklist can be viewed HERE.

The only downfall I am having is with N9. He is skipping work and then I don't discover it until that night. We're working on it, but at almost 10 years old, he is quite capable of working independently. We still do school "together" for certain subjects and yes, I have a checklist for that as well.

Overall this really works well for me. I hope you can glean some ideas from it yourself.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I feel the same way, I like planning but hate when we don't get to everything, and then if you don't plan at all you forget something for sure. Your checklist is a good idea. Thanks for stopping by my blog.


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