I sometimes read homeschooling blog articles talking about how to deal with criticism when you…
As most of you already know, my son greatly resisted stopping schooling altogether for the summer so on Sunday night I would print batch of worksheets and would put them on a pocket folder in his desk to complete at his leisure. This enabled him to do school whenever he felt like it without having to interrupt my laundry/cooking/diaper changing/(insert domestic chore here). This is a great organization system that promotes independent work.
The system worked very well except that sometimes the worksheets would last all week but sometimes he would finish them all by Tuesday. How could I make this system work during our school year? I had seen parents raving about the “workbox” system but that cool looking workbox costs $60 when on sale and takes up space, was there an easier alternative? And then the light bulb lit up.
I got 5 pocket folders and labeled them for each day of the week. You can get these on sale for as low as $0.15 each so you can do this for $0.75. The left side of the folder is labeled “to do” and the right pocket is labeled “done”. Each day Shammy will take the folder for that day, complete the work at his leisure and move it over to the done pocket. At the end of the day I will review his work.
My original plan was to buy color coded pocket folders but I already had these Lego ones so I just re-purposed them.
The entire day can’t consist of worksheets, what about the rest?
Last year I learned that Shammy needs an agenda for the day or he’ll continue to beg to add more work. I bought a spiral notebook for $0.17 (yay back to school sales!) And will write his to do list for the day, he can check items as he goes and knows that when he is done I won’t be adding more to the day. With the notebook he can go to the last page and see which lessons he needs to complete, chapters to read, etc. Another advantage of this system is that I will automatically have a record of everything that we did during the year, perfect!
This system won’t work for everybody, I don’t think it would work for all Kindergartners as not every child is as independent and bookish as my son but hopefully it will be helpful to some of you. I have a feeling that this system will make it easier for me to balance schooling and keeping a toddler out of trouble.
At a glance, it may seem like my kid is doing all of the work and I just do some prep the night before but that isn’t the case. I will still be involved in reading, science, art and will be on hand to help if he needs any help with math. Shammy will still get to guide the direction of his learning as I won’t attempt to plan, months or even weeks in advance but rather will daily adjust the goals depending on his interests. For example, if today he saw an interesting PBS documentary about the Apollo mission, tomorrow’s work may end up having a Moon and and astronaut theme.