Monday, July 30, 2012

Student Weekly Checklist

Last week I talked about how I keep track of our appointments, housework, and other tasks with my Weekly Planning Sheet.   For homeschooling, I plan a lot less.  Well, I plan some things (math) more than others, especially if it's something (math) I don't feel like I have a good handle on or if it's something (math) I don't particularly enjoy and probably won't make a priority unless it's scheduled in advance.  I do like to understand the big picture and create goals for the year and create a vision and themes for each month, but I have moved away from strict weekly lesson plans.  It's much easier for me to keep a weekly rhythm, some kind regularity to our learning activities, so I don't have to plan so much.  Instead, we just do.  (I haven't settled on a weekly rhythm for the upcoming year, but I will share that once I figure it out.)  

My big girl is going to be in fourth grade this year.  Fourth Freaking Grade.  I don't like to make a big deal out of grade levels and we do borrow a lot above and below recommended grade levels, but for some reason that number is messing with my head this year.  It sounds so . . . big.  Anyway, she's doing more independent work as she gets older (fourth . . . grade . . . *sigh*).  It makes life a little easier for me, especially to do more games and activities with my younger daughter, and she really likes having some autonomy with her work.  We've used other assignment sheets in the past, but, again, nothing quite fit what I wanted.  So . . . once again . . . I made my own.

This is really just a student version of my weekly planner, with Saturday and Sunday and the blogging section absent.  I use it to fill in things I want her to do on her own (usually math or spelling), but this year I'm also going to help her take ownership of planning more of her own activities.  Of course she doesn't have to write everything down, but if she wants to break up a project into manageable chunks, this gives her a place to practice doing that.
I printed enough for the year (front and back), but I haven't decided how to give them to her.  I'm not sure if I want to put a few at a time in a folder, or make a spiral bound planner just for her where she'll also keep reading lists and such, or maybe if I should put them in a binder, since we'll be doing more binder notebooking work this year.  Any ideas?  I'd love to hear if any of you have suggestions for helping students manage independent work as they get older.

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