Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Organizing Your Homeschool Day

Tutorials all day yesterday...first full day at home today. Ready for tomorrow. #homeschool

I also could have titled this post, "How a Dry Erase Board Saved My Life."

Nothing profound here.

In fact I'm probably just the last homeschool mom on the planet to think of this.

A dry erase board in our school area.

Ta-da! ::crickets chirping::

I warned you.

I know, I know...right about now, you're probably finding yourself in need of forgiveness for coveting my, downright genius, creative/organizing/homeschooling skills.

I do's a curse sometimes.

Here's how it works...for me:

Each child has a "must get done" list for the day.

The list is written in order of priority and they must work in order. (for some crazy reason they still try to save Math for last...silly kids...they must really love it)

As each child accomplishes the things on their list, they check it off.

Even the teenager comes down out of his cave a few times a day to mark off what he has accomplished. I still have no explanation as to why he has been so on board with this new system....hmm...come I think of it, he hasn't once asked, "Hey mom, aren't you gonna scream up the stairs like a banshee to ask me if I've done Algebra anymore?!"...I'm sure that has nothing to do with it though.

How does this help you ask?

The benefits have been two fold:

For the kids:

  • A visual list of what must be accomplished has helped them to be more focused and intentional with their time. 
  • I have seen a new sense of motivation and purpose in them
  • A much smoother workflow throughout the day. Long gone are the days of , "mom, what do I need to do now?" or losing them to t.v. or games because you are busy helping a sibling and can't stop to see where they are or point them in the next direction they need to go.
  • A strong display of ownership, independence, and accomplishment in them. 
  • They really dig this checklist thing.

For mom:

  • Let me just say this ::deep long exhale::...with a Junior in High School, a 7th Grader, and a 5th grader, this school year was starting to feel mucho overwhelming. This new system helps me to purge my brain onto something tangible and has reduced forgetfulness and stress. Keyword being reduced.
  • I can breathe so much easier when I can see what we have to tackle, what we have tackled, and what still needs to be tackled.
  • I have noticed that this takes away a lot of that "we're not doing enough" mentality that we homeschool moms seem to be plagued with. I can now see with my own two eyes that we are in fact doing so much more than I ever realized. 
  • We are getting more work done. It's true.
  • No more sitting through dinner thinking, "we still need to do math", or, "great, we're behind again" as my head hits the pillow.
  • I am able to see (I'm a visual learner) exactly what we are accomplishing everyday and I am able to end our day knowing that everything that needed to get done.
  • I get to smell the markers. They aren't Sharpies, but they will suffice.

So there you have it.

A dry erase board, 4 holes in my living room wall, and a few colorful markers later...sanity.

Heck, it only took me 7 years to find it.

**Dry erase boards are super pricey. Two words. Hobby. Lobby. This one was $23 plus they usually have a 40% off coupon on their website under "in store specials".
**Or if you are in the creative mode you can make your own from shower board...or what they hey, why not paint an entire wall???

Disclaimer: I do still own a real camera and I do still know how to get a "level" shot. Sometimes I'm just too lazy to do either.

Tutorials all day yesterday...first full day at home today. Ready for tomorrow. #homeschool

"My every mortal breath, is Grace and nothing less"

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