Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Student Planner.

I had a hard time deciding how I wanted to organize the daily assignments for the kids. I looked into the super-popular workbox system. It seems that this has caught the homeschool community by storm and is all I read about when searching for ways to organize daily work.

After taking a really good look at it, however, I decided that it was just not going to work for me. Having 12 boxes for each child is not my idea of something I want to do. So, I searched and thought for a long time until I finally came down with a system that I think will work for me and my kids. I didn't come up with this all on my own...I don't want to reinvent the wheel! But Kelly, over at Life on the True Vine, came up with a great little system for her crew (she's a mom of 8, by the way!). I decided that it was a WONDERFUL idea and I set to out create my own little system.

First I purchased a file box for each child. I found these great brown, leather ones on clearance at Office Max and was extremely happy to be staying away from the typical plastic boxes.

I then labeled 13 hanging file folders. One is labeled "Checklist," and the rest are numbered from 1-12. Inside each hanging file folder is a vinyl file folder (I stayed away from the paper ones for durability). I chose not to label the folders by subject since I might mix things up and put things inside that are not exactly part of our core curriculum.

My next step was to create a checklist or daily planner for each child. I didn't want anything complicated, as the children are still young and this will be the first year that they will be using a planner to keep track of assignments. After doing an exhaustive search, I decided to create my own using Excel. I included all our subjects (although I won't be doing them all on a daily basis) followed by a space to write the daily assignment. Once the assignment is complete, the kids can put a check under the "Complete" column. This sheet will go into the file folder labeled "Checklist."

The file folders labeled 1-12 will contain any work to be completed. These will also all be done in order. For example, one of the first things we do in the morning is our daily math drill using Calculadders. This worksheet will go into the #1 file folder and can be done independently (the kids have their own special timers). If the assignment requires the use of a workbook, such as phonics or spelling, the workbook can go into the file folder. Assignments requiring the use of a book will only include the name of the assignment in the folder and not the actual book.

All work is obviously not done independently, but this system will give them a head's up as to what they are to do each day.


yhenriques said...

Thanks for sharing this, Liz - you've done a wonderful, thorough job and it's inspiring!

HeatherH from the WTM Board :)

Hen Jen said...

thanks for sharing your system. I really like the file box.

you mentioned special timers for each kid...can we see? I just have a few cheap white ones from target, they break fairly often..always looking for more stuff, er buy!

(Hen Jen from the hive board)

Diana said...

Have you found that you need both the checklist and the numbered folders? Wouldn't you just put the book/paper in the folder with a note as to what is to be done? I'm just curious because I'm in the process of creating something similar, but I'm not sure why I need a checklist too.

LittleFlower1220 said...

Liz, I love it! Great it better than the boxes! :) Thanks for sharing! :) Erika

Sophie said...

thank you for sharing your plan here. I'm trying to get something like this together for my 1st grader. What I'm wondering though is how you do your lesson plans? Does this mean that you will have your lesson plans for each kid, then write it on the daily checklist AND put everything in the folder.

Last year, for K I was spending about 2 hours every other sunday planning for the next 2 weeks. It seems to go better if I only plan specifics for 2 weeks at a time. How can I make a checklist for him without having to copy all of my lesson plans, which seems like a LOT of extra work?

Liz said...

Thanks for all the questions!! Please check the "Just Answering Questions" entry.