When we started to homeschool, we developed a rhythm to our days. My boys were both still in elementary school, 3rd and 5th grades.
Some subjects we would complete together, like History, Science, and Art. And with things like Math and Reading/Writing, they would work with me individually.
Once we hit the Middle-School years, and could peek over the hilltop to High School … I knew I needed to introduce more time management skills.
I found a great, free, customizable, planner sheet … very bare bones basic … that has worked wonders! We are still using it in high school.
At the beginning of the semester I type in the subjects down the left-hand side that each boy will be doing, and save a copy on my computer… printing out a couple of months’ worth at a time for my planning binder.
When I’m planning lessons each week, I write the assignments in the boxes and make a copies for the boys.
Every Monday morning, we go through the week’s assignments and I point out anything out of the ordinary, or give any special instructions.
My kids know that “one days’ work” means doing one assignment from each subject. HOWEVER, they have the freedom to mix things up a little. If they want to do all of their English for the week on Monday, and push back some Biology until later in the week … they have the freedom to do so.
They know that must have all of their work completed by Friday evening (unless they get permission to do “homework” over the weekend).
Were there weeks when everything didn’t get done?
You betcha. And consequences ensued (usually a loss of media time – TV, video games, etc.)
But after having used this system for several years now … well, I sat here trying to think of the last time I doled out a consequence for incomplete work, and I can’t.
It’s important to note that I do check in with my kids regularly throughout the week … and the day. Some of their assignments include the phrase “Do With Mom” or “See Mom for —”, and any work that is on the computer I check on. They also frequently have the option for oral narration instead of written, so that’s a good opportunity for me to check in as well. And when I check turned in work, I usually review it with them.
We also just about always have a study group going on for one or more subjects. I don’t re-write the assignments for those, just refer them to the packet for the class.
And if you’re wondering why “Pre-School” is on this high school student’s schedule, you can read about the Human Development Course we’re doing this year.
Overall, I’ve seen a great boost in time management skills … and them taking some ownership of their own education. Yay responsibility!
The boys like this system as well, because there are no surprises. They can see the expectations right off the bat, and know what their week has in store for them. I know, too, that this skill was a help to my eldest son when he started dual enrollment courses last year at a local college.
Do you see a need to increase time management skills in your kids? Give this a try! Use this simple to edit planner sheet or another one that works for you.
What have you tried that’s been successful in fostering independence in your kids?