We are cruising toward the end of our first year homeschooling. We’ve tried many *many* things along the way, some have worked, some have been abominable failures. 🙂 As a die hard “researcher” we’ve never been at a loss for resources. In fact, we’ve been a little overwhelmed with resources, and I’ve spent a good bit of time testing out “systems” to keep us organized.
Here’s the things I needed in a homeschool resource system.
I needed to be able to remember the things I’d found. (LOL)
I needed to be able to find/locate the thing I vaguely remembered finding months ago.
I needed to be able to find the things I remembered only bits and pieces of but never the name. lol
I needed to be able to connect a resource with the subject to which it correlates.
AND… I needed Hanna to be able to do all these things too.
We’ve tried Dropbox. We’ve tried Evernote. We’ve tried setting up subject folders in my google chrome. This worked pretty well, except for the last thing, I didn’t really want Hanna rifling through my laptop every time she needed something. 🙂
Then one day, in a stroke of genius, I came up with this.
Actually it was in the middle of a meltdown, that went something like this:
AAARRRRGH!!! I don’t know what to do?! What should I do?! I hate school!
After a conversation where I was annoyed that she wasn’t doing anything but the very basics (math and reading), and she was frustrated because she didn’t know WHAT to do, we developed this system. And so far, it’s working like a champ, and is standing the test of time.
We sat down and decided (together) what subjects needed to be covered and how often she would work on each subject. The subjects we included were math, reading, science, social studies (including history, geography, and cultures), writing, typing, grammar, and creative.
We decided on every day for some things, and 3 times a week for others, and even once a week for others. We agreed this was not set in stone, it would be an experiment we could and would come back to as needed to adjust and tweak the plan.
We chose a color for each subject, and then put a post it note of that color on the board for each time it needed to be worked on. 3 blue post it notes for science. 5 pink post it notes for math. Until we had a post it note for each and every thing needed to be covered during the week.
Then it was up to her to choose what she would do for each thing. When she finished a subject for the day, she writes what she did on the post it note and moves it over to the other side of the board under the day of the week. 😀
Here’s a quick video run down of the process, and you can see the system in action.
This made me happy. I felt she was being more consistent with all the subjects.
However, this did not solve her problem at all.
She was still frustrated about WHAT she should be doing for each subject every day. It dawned on me I could just tell her what to do, and we tried that for a day or two. Um, not so much.
Then I was hit by another idea!! We created a little “resource center”. Where we put together a notecard for each subject. We then went through all the different places/ways I’d been saving things and wrote them all down on the cards. Each activity was separated by subject (and some were in multiple subjects). She now had a simple visual reminder of all the things she could choose from.
Here’s a quick video where you can see our new resource center in action.
It’s worked like a CHARM!!
And some days… not so much.
You know, nothing works perfectly, all the time right?! <3
More days than not though, she’s working much more independently and choosing her own path for her school work. I love it! It was one of my goals for this year, letting go of being told what to do, and when/how to do it, and starting to think/act more for herself. <3
This system was a test run, and we really like it. It’s easy for her to work independently. It’s also easy for me to document all that was done in a week. Win/win. We are finding the post it notes aren’t the perfect medium, and looking for a better “board”. We’re thinking of going entirely with a corkboard, so she can pin the squares and they won’t fall off. I personally was thinking a magnetic board would be cool… so we’ll see.
I’d love to hear if you’ve found or put together a system that’s working for you. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. 🙂