Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Homeschool Checklist #3

Makenna's checklist is very similar to both Ben and James, just even more expanded.  This is my first year homeschooling her,so we had quite a bit of adjustment waiting for us at the beginning of the year. 

It was a little rough, but thankfully we've worked through it and are both really liking it now.  Looking back, the three biggest things that helped Makenna's (and my) day run smoother were:

#1. Having assigned seats.  I'm laughing right now because this still seems crazy to me, but I know it made a HUGE difference in her day.  She needed to know that her seat was in the same spot every day.  I'm not sure why, maybe to make it seem more like regular school, but I do know she needed it.  How?  Well, when she asked me if we had assigned seats, I said, "Nope."  And then when I walked into the schoolroom the next morning, both boys told me excitedly that they each had their very own assigned seat!  I immediately looked at Makenna and she was grinning like crazy.  Another reason?  They're still "assigned" 3 months later.

#2. Having a slightly more regular schedule.  Makenna is used to having the same subjects at the same time every day and she really (REALLY) had a hard time when I told her that we had to be a little more flexible than that.  We compromised by making the checklist more routine-ed by attempting to work on the same subjects in the same order every day.

#3.  The backbone of our school day is...

...the schedule/checklist.  I love that it gives the kids a sense of control over their day.  They can look at it and see exactly what they need to do every day.  The know what's left and as we've gotten farther into school (and made a few changes to the checklists), they know how long each subject usually takes.  It's even better for Ben and Makenna because there is so much they can do on their own.  For example, Makenna's blue highlighted sections are ones she either needs to do with me on or are subjects that we do together as a family.  She knows that she can do everything else as quickly (or slowly) as she wants as long as they all get done before the end of the day.

I have to admit, I was pretty nervous to have Makenna home this year.  Partly because she's older and has a more demanding curriculum but also partly because we are so very similar (in both good and unfortunately, not good ways).  What I've discovered?  I LOVE IT!  Every day isn't easy, but I love having her here with me.  I love getting to learn with her.  It is seriously fun. 

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