Monday, February 14, 2011

Another Try at Organizing Our Day

I'm sheepishly admitting that we aren't necessarily consistent in our strategies to track progress through our daily schoolwork. I mean, I keep an assignment book for the kids.  But I do intent to teach my children how to redirect themselves to the next task in their day. 

Last year I made a weak attempt at pseudo-workboxes.  I decided to organize our "boxes" in file folders, and I've actually kept that system for my middle son, Luke, and youngest, Levi.  This year I purchased an assignment book for Ben from URTheMom.  That has mostly been successful;  we meet on Monday mornings to put his assignments into his book.  Most weeks, I let him divide his reading up as he wishes.

At the end of the school supply season, I happened upon two small pocket charts at Target for about 75 cents apiece.  They had been patiently waiting for their purpose until I had a brainstorm over Christmas vacation.  They are now used for our assignment charts:


The cards are from a download temlate at Avery.  They are nametag badges.  I printed the subject that needed to be completed on one side and then on the badge template just to the right, I created an outline of the subject with the word DONE boldy printed across it like this:


This weekend I have to laminate the cards so that they won't flop open.  The system has been working great;  we are trying to get back into it because we had family visiting for two weeks. 

What I like -- and what all my boys like -- is that they are feeling a sense of accomplishment when they turn over a card. Even for my oldest who has his assignment book, we've put items like "math drill" on a card so that it doesn't get lost amongst all the other assignments.  For my Lukie, it helps him stay focused and he ends up being a good reminder: "Mom, it's time to do Bible!" and I don't mind if he's telling me what to do next for school.  To make the boys happy, we made cards that say "snack."  They made their own cards that say "Adventures in Odyssey" so that we don't miss listening to that.  The best outcome is that I made a card that said, "Read Aloud."  We're back to making progress through some favorite read alouds.  Right now, we're working through a book I scored at a recent trip to Goodwill:  a three book combined volume treasury of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. 

Honestly, I don't know how long this organization system will last.  With my luck, it'll last about 3 days after I spend all the time laminating the cards. :)  But, at least we're trying.
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