Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Home Education Week {Recipe for Success}




    Recipe for Success Wednesday, April 2

    It is also National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day! So share a recipe…figuratively, as in two parts love, one part creativity, or literally, as in a super quick, nutritious meal your kids scarf up. Think about what you do in the day, what helps keep it organized and you sane (or how you got past that need for organization and saneness!), and curriculum materials you find effective.

    My kids like meals that don't require recipes.  Things like: mac & cheese, hot dogs, sandwiches, soup, pancakes, etc.  So I will not share a recipe. 

    I am not a very organized person and have trouble sticking to a schedule.  But I do like to make lists and lesson plans.  However, as Captain Barbossa says in Pirates of the Caribbean: "They're actually more guidelines that rules"  That being said, I have found a couple of things that are essential to my attempts to keep up with everything.  I long ago gave up any pretensions to organization and sanity, but these things help me to hide that fact!

    Homeschool Tracker

    Homeschool Tracker - There is no way I could keep track of grades, assignments, resources, time spent, credits, etc without this fabulous software.  And I can't even begin to imagine the amount of time I would waste trying to create Excel spreadsheets or Word documents in a futile attempt to keep track of these things!  I have the paid edition of the Tracker, but there is a free version as well.  I try to enter all the basic assignments in advance (this is part of the thrill of lesson planning for a new year! It's fun for me!) and then add and update as we go.  This year I started printing out an assignment list for each of the boys on Monday morning.  Then they are responsible to manage their time and keep track of time and due dates for assignments.  And I can tell them to work on math without having to figure out which pages they are to work on that day.  I absolutely love this program!

    I have a chore system, schedule, and posted rules that are not perfect but do seem to help us.  For chores, I have chores written on color-coded index cards and select eight each weekday that are the minimum requirements for the kids to do.  (that's two per person in my house)  Then the kids get to draw their chores randomly from the eight that I want done that day.  Things like pet care and setting and clearing the table are in the mix every day and some others change.  This has gone a long way to quelling the complaints like, "Why do I always have to feed the cat?" - "Why does he always get the easy chores?" - and the complaints of general boredom from being assigned the same job day after day.  "The Rules" are worded almost like a contract, they are printed out in large font, and each of the kids has had to sign it, indicating they have read and understood the terms of our agreement.   Then if when a dispute arises, I can refer them to "The Rules" rather than try to make things up as I go.

    I try to find curriculum that will enable me to teach more than one kid at a time, and non-consumable products are my favorites many times. 

    Once again I'm a day late in getting my post up.  *sigh*  I really am enjoying the chance to read some other entries though - even though I don't have time to comment on everyone's.


CrossView said...

ROFL! Sorry. I got to the end and chuckled!

I'm forever a day (or two or...) behind on posting something. So nice to know I'm not the only one!

andijeane said...

Thanks for leaving a comment on my show and tell post. I feel so special that I'm one of the ones who got a comment! :-) Our projects might have looked great, but they were also done in the fall of 2006! I don't have much to show since then.

I love Homeschool Tracker; I have the Plus version too. I am constantly amazed at how versatile that program is! And I love your chore card idea; I think I'm going to snag it and adapt it for us. My kids are pretty good about chores, but I'm definitely getting the "why do I always...?" stuff a lot lately.

Thanks for your tips!


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