Monday, Monday… Today is a little bit of a rough Monday morning. Usually I LOVE Mondays and attack them with vigor, but today I’m not feeling well. I don’t know if its a cold or something more. I think today will be a day of rest and recovery. Hopefully this will pass soon.
One thing I find SUPER helpful in our homeschooling, sick or not (but MOST helpful when I’m not 100%), is a weekly school schedule. We get a ton more done when its written down and the kids can find “what’s next” without having to come find me. If we don’t have a list the time they need another assignment is usually when I go change, or shower, so there’s a huge gap between subjects. Then, the school day will drag and drag. The schedule eliminates a lot of that dead time.
When the kids were younger I made my own schedule in excel. I aimed for Saturday, but more often every Monday morning, to fill in our weekly assignments. I’d take a quick look at what we did the previous week, what scheduled events we had, and plug in our work. When we worked through assignments I’d highlight them to mark them as done.
Last year I switched over to using Homeschool Tracker Plus. I’m starting to see that I will, at some point, need to track our stuff and generate resumes and transcripts. After researching I felt HST+ would help with that the most effectively. It will do it all – but there is a fairly steep learning curve. I wish many of its features were easier to use and more intuitive, but it does the job. I love that I can download some schedules, as well as save ones I make for Big for Little to use later. It’s pretty handy and I’m glad I took the plunge.
Now, every Monday morning I print a schedule for the kids. I make sure (sometimes even before I print!) that the correct assignments are in grids and that what we did last week matches the schedule. I regularly have to tweak and update, but it’s worth it.
Once the schedule is printed it goes on our schedule board. I used to put it in the kid’s notebooks, but this way it’s easier for me to have a completed work list and transcript tracker. When the kids complete an assignment they highlight it. Highlighted means done, and done well. I love having the list posted in an easy spot to see – its so much easier to get a visual on where we are in the day, and it’s motivating. By Friday I love seeing this:
One other bonus of the schedule – independence. The kids love managing their work and with the list there is substantially less nagging. “What’s left on your list?”, is usually the only thing I need to say to help the kids get back on track. It’s awesome!!