Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Trying to Stay Organized - Home school Edition

Each day we head into the school room (or lay on the living room couches) and "do" school work. But there comes a point every day when we all are asking, "Are we done yet?" or Momma's asking, "Did we get it all done yet?"

It's also about that time when the phone starts ringing, the stomachs start growling, the dog starts barking and the kids are running around like wild animals (because they think they are done)...

and Momma's brain is fried.... she can quote Animaniacs, read Chicka-Chicka Boom,Boom blindfolded, knows the Bible verses of the week, has solved Anna's incredibly challenging work problems and sings all the Shurley English jingles by then. But "Did they finish?"

So to give some organization to my day and have the answer to that all important daily question (ha ha haa), I have some helps and ways to stay on top of the kids work. I thought I'd share;)

One big one around here is "everything in it's place":) While I wished it applied to laundry and the stuff that accumulates on the kitchen counters, it DEFINITELY applies to our school books. And a simple, hand-me-down shelf does the trick for us... each kid with their own cubby and their do-done charts on top with stuff to file/finish underneath.


Some of us need a little more visual reminders of what tasks still need to be done!
This is our take on the do-done chart.

 I made little cards with a subject title and graphic on one side and a smiley face on the other;) And then cut the cards to fit into a 9-pocket baseball card holder (had some extra from couponing).

Simple, easy! And those days when everyone's hard at work, it's nice to glance down and see what each one needs to complete!

These sit on top of the cubbies and are easily visible.

I will say that they don't get used daily. But when we are starting the year or have times when they start asking "are we done yet?" these do-done charts are very helpful for us.

What do we actually accomplish and how do I know and the kids know WHAT to do???

For years, I have been keeping a very simple subject plans in a simple chart I found a long time ago. I like that I have room for all three kids individual assignments and  our "together" work on ONE day per WEEK.

When looking for a planner, it was one of my requirements that it's simple and I have a week at time on one page. I like this because often tasks/projects get moved around during the week... but by Friday it's all done! And I feel like I get a better view of the day/week when I can see everyone's work at one time:)

So here's a sample week. Regrettably I didn't have anything planned for my middle two to read.... no worries!! They have plenty in the library bag but I just didn't have anything specific to read this week.

As I planned for this year, I was reminded of one of the blessings of home schooling is that the kids can work ahead if they are able (or desire) to do so. And if THEY know what their assignments are they can start working on them before I ask:) And if they know our schedule for the week, they will better understand why our workload is a little heavier on some days and what days we get to meet with other home schoolers:)

So I made them their own re-usable schedule templates stored as the 1st page of their daily notebooks. Each weekend I fill in their schedule to match what I have written in my own planner for them. It's laminated so it gets used week after week and I write on it with wet erase markers.


A closer look at the 4th graders'.

Yes, I do write in games/practices, lessons, library visits, church functions and home school outings because they want to know when these activities are going to happen and they affect our days, too!

And yes, I am low-tech:) I'm sure there are some great spreadsheets that can be printed off daily/weekly... maybe I'll go that route... someday.

For now this works well for us;) And this Momma is thankful for these little ways to organize our schooling that make a BIG difference in the efficiency of our days;)

Submitting to Works For Me Wednesday and Welcome Home Wednesday.

1 comment:

Suanna said...

I like laminated sheets that have our plan on them too. I find the weeks I use them we get more done well.