Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Making a School Chart

I have talked a lot in the past about how I am much more a “rhythm” than a “schedule” person.  I used to love schedules, when I was in school, knowing what time to be wherever was important.  However, after kids, I wanted to be able to go with the flow a bit more.  That especially hit home when I would try and put my new baby to bed at 10 and 2, and realized she was more interested in sleeping when she wanted to sleep rather than when I put her down for a nap.

That little baby that loved to do her own thing is now almost 7 years old.  My, how time flies!  And she is a little less enthusiastic about surprises throughout the day.  Instead, she likes to have an idea of what comes next.

I think that is only natural, of course.  As children grow up, they want to know a little bit more about life and what they are going to be doing during the day.  I realized that my not so little girl loves to know what the plan is for the day.

While I always have a plan, she hasn’t been involved with it at all.  She has no boxes to check off; instead she just listens to what I tell her to do.

I appreciate that she listens to me, but I have noticed lately – especially with school – she isn’t as enthusiastic about completing one subject and then going to the next.

I wanted to test my theory a bit, to see if what I thought might be troubling her (not knowing the direction of the day) was the problem, or if it was something more serious like not enjoying the coursework we are doing. 

I decided to have a morning meeting with her to tell her what I expected of her through the day – what subjects we would be working on, piano practice, and a craft.  She responded the way I hoped she would, with enthusiasm.  Having that morning meeting where we discussed what she would need to do that day was a huge help.  I didn’t need to go into the specifics all that much, like the order in which to do them, but I did tell her what would need to be done before she could get back to playing.

I realized that what she needed was a checklist – much the same as my own checklist.  Giving that control to my daughter, for her to see what needed to be finished before she moved onto more free play was exactly what she needed.

My solution for the time being was to create a laminated checklist for her to use each week.  She has a dry erase marker that she can use, and she can keep the sheet in her school bin to check off as she completes tasks.  This is a very simple checklist, which includes the subject, and boxes under the days of the week so that she can check them off.  It does not include all the coursework I expect her to complete in each subject.  Just a general list of what needs to be done each day.

Some subjects are required every day – Bible, math, reading; while others are only a couple times a week, like science and history.  If she wants to do more than the required subjects each day, I’m not going to stop her, so I listed boxes for each subject on each day.

I think that we will have to adjust it as we go along.  I’m sure at some point she will want to have more detail such as what pages she needs to read, what math lessons she is doing.  But, for now, this is what we are working with.

Do you give your children a weekly checklist?  Do your kids want to know “what’s next” or are they content to go with the flow?

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  1. Love all the new planning links. Thanks so much! I am still tweaking my routine. I think I just have to accept it will never be 'finished' but constantly evolving.

  2. I think it's healthy for kids and adults to have a loose schedule of what their days look like. I love the fact that it doesn't have to rigid or too planned but it allows them to feel more "in control" of their day. I know how fiesty almost 7 year olds have busy days! Well done :)


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