One Way I Simplify Homeschool

IMG_3324Blank notebooks isn’t it fancy, hey.

I really am excited about this cheap, low maintenance method for keeping on track. I tried it at the end of last year and it worked really well. I have had these notebooks in a cupboard for years. I picked them up for $1.00. On occasion I have seen these types of spiral notebooks for as little as twenty cents.

Three easy steps. Let me share how this works…

This is incredibly simple, so there isn’t much of an explanation needed.  This system works in only a few steps:

1.a. First day I introduce the children to their new Notebook and tell them that this is her/his very own.  We call them Task Books.  I wrote them each a little note and explained how we would use these books together to accomplish daily responsibilities.

1.b. Write a list of attainable daily tasks for each day in each child’s own book.

2. Have the child check mark or highlight the tasks as they are completed.

3. At the end of the day I write up the next days tasks and am sure to add an encouraging note about the day. Example “I love how thoughtful you were today, thank you for my cuppa, x.”

 

Why do I love it and how does using these notebooks make life simpler?

  1. No more time on computer printing and typing out schedules or checklists. This means less ink, paper, time and energy.
  2. Tasks are not set in stone and I am more likely to vary each day. Flexibility is the key!
  3. The kids are less overwhelmed. The Task book lists only their tasks for today, no jumping ahead and becoming overwhelmed at the weeks worth of work.
  4. Kids seem to take more responsibility for their work. Everything they need is in their own basket.
  5. Encourages kids to write to me in their notebooks.
  6. You can enjoy using good old fashioned pen and paper. There is something soothing about slowing down to hand write.
  7. It takes me five minutes to write the next days tasks for two children.
  8. There is something about writing that triggers something in the brain and I can more easily tell if I am over scheduling. I feel like I am more in touch with where the children are in their studies.

The Warning …

  1. Resist the urge to overfill them or make them more complicated. Simplifying is about removing barriers, you do not want to inadvertently build more.
  2. This simple solution could change your homeschool, are you ready for that?

A Tip or Three…

  1. Keep them handy. We keep ours in the kids baskets right where we do most book work.
  2. In the reverse side of the notebook, start writing in a list of books read. This will become the child’s reading log.
  3. I like spiral notebooks because they can be found cheap and will lie flat or fold back. I was also able to add some ribbon as a book mark, therefore each day is easy to find.IMG_3329

What about the parents planner? …

Why yes, I do have one. Mine is a pretty covered notebook. My notebook is handwritten with all the things we do together as a family like a read aloud, out of home lessons, outings and other activities. This is where I get my thought down of what to cover each week. As you can see it is slimline and easy to carry around should I need to, not like a binder or even an A4 size bound book.

 

What is in it?

  1. 2016 Year at a glance calendar.
  2. Dates to remember calendar.
  3. Curriculum/Resource/literature ideas (a few pages for each child).
  4. Each month is tabbed. At the beginning of each month is a page for “Our Living Book List” for that month.

Why not give it a go.

Where Did I Get My Inspiration From?

I was inspired by a lovely homeschool mum Sarah McKenzie, through THIS post.

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Jessica Pilton

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