Thursday, May 21, 2015

Simplifying Homeschool the Spiral Notebook Way

Admit it.  This is the time of year that just drags, and it drags slowly. The children are read to break free of school work, and mom's brain is on how to become more organized for the new school year.   

Are we doing enough? Are we falling behind? What in the world are we accomplishing?  I found myself asking these questions time and time again. I also found that one subject was getting far more attention than another.  There was just nothing there to really hold my girls accountable, and the old , " I need you to get this done because I assigned this to you." standby was just not working anymore. It honestly didn't matter if it was me telling them to get it done. Things just weren't getting done. 

I did find one solution. Though not entirely perfect , and not an original idea of mine ,  it can be as simple as a 25 cent notebook. " No way," you say. Yes, a notebook. 

I had read an article about this simple , yet innovative idea of using a notebook to keep track of our daily progress.   I just felt like we had zero direction and something really needed to change. 

So when I read the article I immediately grabbed some notebooks that I bought in the beginning of the year and went to work.

 For Maggie and Hannah, I went as far as color coding each subject when I wrote them down. I added check boxes so that I knew what was done and what wasn't.  Each evening I went through their books, and wrote down any page numbers , drills that needed to be done , flashcards, activities  etc so they knew what needed to be done each day. If they needed to see me to start a subject I also added that in the book as well as a check mark so they knew they followed my directions. 

Now for children Katie and Marilyn's age ( K is 15 and M is 17) they needed to take more personal responsibilty for writing down what they were getting done each day.  If I had an extra activity for them I would write it down in the notebook.  

The one idea I really liked from the article I read about notebooking your daily assignments was reserving about 10 pages in the back of their notebook for the girls to record the books they've read this year.  This will definitely come in handy when I can rip it out and add it to their portfolio for their end of the year evaluations. 

This definitely is a more simplified version of the Workbox system I have used for quite some time.  I just find that it's a more compact way of doing a workbox system especially if you don't have the room for boxes or plastic totes. 

Honestly there isn't a right or wrong way to do the notebooking system. Some people write in their children's daily assingments. Some parents have their children take ownership ( I don't recommend this until at least 8th grade, but of course children may vary) and write in what it is that they are doing each day. Some people use colored pencils. Some people draw boxes. Whatever it is you decide to do, make it your own. 
Whether you use the notebook system, or the workbox system. Honestly it does help you to organize an otherwise unorganized day. 

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