Planning and Systems

Self-admitedly, I am a recovering box-checker. I seem to work well with to-do lists and plans . . . Except when I make myself a “slave” to them, instead of the other way around.

However, even in spite of that issue, I have found that a general plan is necessary when homeschooling more than one child.

Here are some ways that have worked for our family in the past:

Google Sites:  This is available within a Google Apps account.  You can see one example here.  The idea is that for as long as we homeschool, this site can act as a living “transcript” of what my son has learned at home.  It can hold a range of utility from just general overview to the day-to-day nitty gritty daily plans and schedules.

Notebooks:  We have printed off our weekly schedules and hole-punched them in notebooks or clipboards – or stuck their daily schedule to our refrigerator. I’ve just left the notebooks on our main kitchen counter for easy access.  They can view their daily and weekly checklists, poetry, memory work, artwork, and other worksheets as needed. Here is a neat list of different aspects to consider organizing for your elementary student. And even though I house much of my personal calendar/to-do’s online, I have considered incorporating this Day’s Draft by Ann Voscamp into my planning in some way.

Project Management Systems:  The value of these is to introduce our children to powerful systems that are used by companies all over the world and to become familiar with the real-world aspects of communication/collaboration, milestone dates, and to-do lists.  These systems require initial “customization” and strategic thought to make it valuable and workable for all involved.

The beauty of systems is that they offer a sense of clarity and direction, helpful for both us homeschool moms and our children. Ultimately, the system created will only go as far as our overall leadership extends. It takes leadership to train our children to use the system well. They require much initial investment and even maintenance/tweaking along the way, but the rewards are worth it.

How do you schedule or plan your homeschool days?  What works best? What could work better?

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