Monday, December 14, 2009

Kids, Homeschool, & Schedules

Since I began homeschooling NINE (gasp!) years ago, I've tried any number of different schedules. For many years we didn't need a schedule. But I've found that sometimes we need one for various reasons... Young siblings on the sidelines. A particular personality who craves order. (Sometimes that's ME!)

The last time I used a schedule, I wrote it and everyone else followed. This time I'm doing it a little different...and loving the results!  Here's what I did...

Gather supplies:
  • pocket chart
  • old business cards or small pieces of cardstock in 3 colors
  • markers
As part of school today I had LilDude make labels indicating every half-hour. On orange cards I listed the parts of the school day that are landmarks: breakfast, lunch, and (sometimes) nap. On blue cards LilDude wrote down each of the things he does independently during the day. On green cards he posted things that he needs my help with during the day. Then, in the bottom right of each card we listed how much time (in 15 minute increments) each job takes.




He then placed all the time cards in the pocket chart, followed by the orange cards. It was then his job to make the schedule for our day, using the blue and green cards. I really didn't care what order he put them in (which gave him a lot of control!) as long as all the jobs made it on the chart. I did suggest that he put the "school" type cards before lunch as much as possible. I also explained that during the blue card (independent work) time that I would be doing household jobs.

As he finished each job, he turned the card over so I knew it was complete. This worked great! He does well on a schedule, but especially if it's a schedule that he has some control over. The fact that he has to think through what he must do each day and analyze just how much time it will take to get it done is an incredible life skill. He'll do this each morning so that the day's schedule is fresh in his mind.

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