Friday, October 26, 2012

Homeschool Checklists

My very favorite thing we use during school is our schedules.  I first made one last year with B.  It was my very first year homeschooling and I have to admit, it was a pretty big adjustment for both B and me. 

B was in 1st grade last year and while we were both excited to be spending more time together, we struggled a little bit with our schedule.  Well, B struggled a little bit more than me.  After a few weeks I decided it was due to him not having any control over his day.  He didn't know what was next or when we would be done.

My solution was a daily checklist that we printed out once a week.  On it was every tiny little thing we needed to get done EVERYDAY.  Not just the subject, but each little piece of each subject.  It ended up helping me out a lot too.  I would sometimes forget a little piece or part of a subject I had wanted to cover until after we'd finished school (and sometimes not until the next day) and this way, I had the reminder I needed.

The checklist worked so great last year, I made them this year too and now M, B, and J each have their own.  Just for fun, I thought I'd share them with you over the next few weeks. 

J is our Kindergartner.  He has the lightest schedule (a fact M complains about at least weekly) and most consistently LOVES everything about school.  In fact, we just got a handwriting workbook for him and he's so excited to have something new to do, he runs down to do handwriting first every morning. 

I've read about other families that have schedules associated with a certain time, but that doesn't work well for us.  We normally do the same things around the same time each day, but it's never exact and it makes me feel like I'm a little more flexible than I really am when I leave the exact time open (insert wry smile here). 

James day normally looks something like this:  He starts with math and then begins to work through reading.  Somewhere in the middle of reading, we pause to do opening with the the older kids (their favorite part is the song, we've been learning a new color song every week and we added a continent/ocean song a couple weeks ago).  After opening, we do all the rest of our together subjects: science, history, music, and/or art.  Then M goes off to do her own thing while J and B stick together long enough to do religion, required reading (library books to go along with our history and science curriculum) and memory work.  Last J and I will finish his reading and he's done! 

Including breaks, J's day ends anywhere from 12:30 to 1:30 depending on the day and how cooperative everyone is. 

My favorite part of teaching him this year has been getting to watch him learn to read.  He's learning so quickly and he's so patient (more than me most days).  J has an infectious smile and is almost always in a good mood.  I love getting to spend so much time with him!

(This is from a camp out he went on with his dad, uncle and grandpa last summer.  It makes me laugh every time I look at it.)

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