Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Journals-



In the last post I mentioned how I use Journals as a way of documenting what we have done and how I kind of learned this from my days with working with The Wilson Reading Program. This is an OG based program whereby your creating lesson plans and documenting progress and "trouble spots" as you move along with the child.

I needed a way to remember at times what we might have worked on. This is not a state requirement here in New Hampshire but I wanted to do this as a way of tracking their work a bit more closely.

It is nothing at all fancy, just two spiral notebooks ( I used one for each child) that I write in daily adding the date and the subject and basically just what we did - it is also a great way for tracking progress with say a program like All About Spelling- or trouble spots in math or help in creating the child's individualized spelling list that Ruth Beechick suggests in here program Learning Language Arts Through Literature.

Perhaps some may find this helpful in their own home school organization and tracking, I know for me, I would never be able to function without this ~ :)

Organizing: Our Two-Child Lesson Planning Sheet-

Here is my most recent lesson planner page I had created for me. I tend to get really frustrated because I can never find a planner or something that works well for me. I know what "I need" but could never seem to find just the right thing. ( I added an extra page just in case I needed to write more.. the nice thing about the smaller boxes? You won't OVERPLAN, like I do sometimes. :)

I realized working with my journals I use daily ( where I hand write in what we do for each subject, a habit I picked up while working the OG program for Wilson Reading System) - (will share some of that later ) that I just needed to be able to quickly write down notes to keep me on track as to our direction and something I could glance at quickly ( I am visual too) and not have to pull out a book for each child as I go to see where we are headed.

This seems like it will fit my need nicely so I wanted to share with some of you just in case you were searching for something like this as well. I have added this to the Learners At Home website (found on right hand side under my pages- under lesson plan templates ) I did not make this into a PDF this way, you can go ahead and save it and alter it as you need to for your own use~ :) There is a website you might have heard about that also has many templates for organizing Donna Young Homeschool. com - you might find something there as well.

Weekly Lesson Checklist & Schedules

While working with my other learners Pocket Assignment System I decided to adjust my other learners weekly schedule as well for next year and the remaining of this year.

This schedule is helpful because he can go right to it and it keeps him on track completely when it comes to his studies and what is needed. I work closely with this child so you will notice I do not have times and specifics as to what we are learning because we do, work so closely together it is not necessary. As he grows and becomes more independent in his learning I may add more but, it is hard to say, because he is learning to know exactly what is expected of him and really sets his own pace which is really what I am aiming for anyway.

You will notice in Math he has three different programs~ that is because he now LOVES math and believe it or not wishes to work all three, not every day, but works usually works Horizons three days a week while he will work Teaching Textbooks for two days and we use MOTL whenever we are introducing a new topic, always, because for him this seems to work best.



Example of my older son's schedule (note that there is times specified to help with tasks and time management). This schedule works best for him, we have been working this schedule for quite a while now (all except for the past two weeks where we blocked our studies where we only worked History and Science for two weeks, which was SUCH FUN) - we really need to continue to do that once in a while~ for next year.

* a special thank you to Cindy for sharing with me her excel doc in helping me create my own version (still learning, but getting better! ) *










Happy Planning and Organizing~

Our New Pocket Assignment System- for Visual and Tactile Learners

A New Pocket Assignment System
(its not fancy but could be a powerful tool)

We have been on vacation this week and are really enjoying our much needed time off. I decided to try and take some time to get my planning and organizing out of the way this week, since when we come back from our break we will only be doing formal studies for another six weeks or so.
After that we will be on our summer studies which consist of interest directed and also unit studies that are fun to do for the summer months.
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I was reading a new blog (Desert Ramblings) that my friend Cindy had just started and am already "hooked" as they say~ she just started the blog and her topics so far have really been a few things I had been interested in and have been think about most recently. She began explaining about how one of her sons was having trouble with transitioning from one subject to the next throughout his day~ I have a learner like that and became very interested in her new idea~ a pocket chart assignment system.

I really liked this idea so I decided to explore this a bit further to see if this could work for one of my boys who always has struggled with his lists and keeping track of where he was going next.
I thought this might really work well for him.
Both boys are SO very different, one does very well with his lists and the other just seems to get confused so I could see I needed to individualize things a bit more for them.

Here is a picture of my version of the pocket chart assignment system. I did not get the pocket organizer because I wanted to be sure this worked well for him before investing the 25.00 or 30.00 that these cost. Once I see it works well I will go ahead and order this for him ~

An explanation of how it might work for us~
*I made pockets for each subject. (labeling each one )

* Below each subject I added another pocket with a "red check" on it ( this is his finished pocket)
* Underneath these pockets I have a pocket for each day of the week that has his daily assignments in it. ( each envelope is color coded so the cards match the day of the week)

*On each colored card I wrote his daily assignments, (these are the basic assignments not specific to a particular lesson but rather the daily requirement needed ie., - Math: "do one lesson in your Teaching Textbooks". ) when I need to give further details I will attach a (same color) post it note to the card with more specific directions for him.

* The clothes pins have written on the "notes" and "work saved". ( As I was writing up his lessons I could see how this could help with time management and organization, because on some days if he sees he would rather work longer in, lets say, history then he could take his "typing card" and move it to his "work saved" clip so he knows he still has to do that lesson for the week.

I really think this will help him learn how to manage his time, organize his subjects and because of the tactile ( moving the lesson card to the finished pocket) ( moving a lesson card to his clips) and the visual ( color coded cards for each day of the week so he can "see" at a glance what the day is and what is needed) he will really begin to see and learn better habits for managing his studies and taking control of his own lessons.

My other son has no interest at all in working his lessons this way~ he is quite happy with using his checklist I had created for him that has his whole week laid out for him and also is color coordinated which I will share in my next post as I continue to share my organizing ideas~

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