Monday, October 3, 2011

Clipboards {Home School Organization}

My motto for this school year is INDEPENDENCE.

I think because I've had the luxury of Graham and Asher in the same grade, they've been slightly spoiled in getting my undivided attention.  As far as school is concerned, that is.
I admit to doing some hand-holding these last few years.
They needed it at first.  Boys are easily distracted by anything and everything, or at least my boys are.
But they are getting bigger and I'm needing more time to work with Samuel (and I'll need to throw Joseph in the mix next year), who gratefully, is not as easily distracted.  I can give him a task, and he pretty much finishes it without me having to prod him.  But now that he's in first grade, he needs more of my time.

I'm not introducing this as some new idea patented by me. 
It's nothing more than list-making (which I happen to LOVE!)
I confess to making lists and putting tasks on the list which I've already done, just for the satisfaction of crossing them off.  Anyone else share in my OCD qualities?

All of our boys have a favorite color.  Through the years, it has become their color.

Graham is green.
Asher is red.
Samuel is blue.
Joseph is orange.
Nathan is yellow.

So every Sunday night, I print out a sheet for each day, in their color, of all they need to do on that particular day.  I also put whatever worksheets they have for the week under their daily sheets so I don't have to fish for them while we are in the middle of our school day.

For us, our Mondays and Wednesdays are the same.
And our Tuesdays and Thursdays are the same.
The deal is if you can get it all done on Monday-Thursday, then we will have a fun day on Friday.
And guess what?

For four weeks now, it's worked like a charm!

My old system was to have my own notebook with what we needed to get done each day in it.
When they did it, I would cross it off, but they had no way of knowing really what was to go on that day.  It was all in my little head.
So I would say something like, "Time to do English and Spelling!"  
And then, I would get multiple groans.
But now, they know it needs to get done, so they are pressing me to get it over with.
It's not that they now love English and Spelling passionately or something, but they know getting things done is their ticket to lunch or playtime.

And I think they like to cross it off almost as much as I do.
They get mad at me when I do it for them.

An example of what Samuel does on Mondays.

And example of what Graham would do on Mondays.
Asher does the same.

This is how they start the day.  
Clear expectations.... ahhhh!

 I'd love to hear some of your organization ideas in the comments section.
Off to start my Monday.


Lori said...

we do something similar to this only in folders. Each day has a different folder and inside one pocket holds a page listing all assignments for the day and any worksheets, then as they finish they place it in the opposite pocket so it's ready to be graded. But I like the clipboard idea because the whole week is right there. They can work ahead :)

Danell said...

My mom did the same thing with us only we each had a little spiral notebook. We loved to see who could get done first each day:)

Katherine said...

I love how you organize. This is so totally inspiring to me. I have done the same thing for -- going on-- 5 years now, but I'm realizing more and more that things need to change. I am tired of my system and I LOVE yours. Seriously, I'm not just saying that. It looks like such a clear-cut, no-frills, "this is how it's gonna be and this is what you're gonna do" kind of system. I have questions that I would like to ask you when it's not my bedtime. I will try to FB you sometime soon so you can give me a few more details. And, oh my goodness... your schoolroom is immaculate! I am so jealous! Mine is such a disaster, I wouldn't dare take a picture of it! Where do you find the time...?! Give me your secrets. :-)

Sarah said...

K, you are sweet. You know I straightened up the school room to take the picture :) Would love to hear what you do...
L, folders are a good idea too. I think I chose clipboards b/c my boys are so into sports, so they feel like a coach :)
D, I didn't know you were home schooled. Isn't that a good thing that I didn't guess it ??? ;)

Krista Sanders said...

Reading when I should be sleeping. ; )
Nothing better than a new system that works for you. I use a combination of both-- folders and daily lists. I fill each kid's Monday -Friday folders on Sunday night-- all the work for the week. Then they each have a laminated list for each day (all days different this year) that I post on the wall that has to be checked off before the end of each day.
Yes--your school room looks fantastic!

Danae said...

I am new to your blog (I actually found it from a Craft Weekend post) but I also homeschool and my two oldest are boys. I absolutely LOVE this idea! Thanks for sharing it!

Rochelle Barlow said...

I'm definitely going to be using this checklist with my kiddos. They are obsessed over checking things off and I know this will help motivate them to get their work done!

The Duckworth Family said...

Awesome! Sounds like what I used to do (we are in a transitional state...not sure what we'll change yet) but I created their to do list for the whole school year...there is no way I would keep up with weekly. So I bust out a few days of work to have the schedule (down to what pages from each book each day) for the school year. We also do Monday through Thursday school with a fun friday if they get their work done. Definitely has worked great!