Monday, January 7, 2013

Teaching kids to use a planner


2012-2013 Student Planner - Floral Style

A few weeks back at our mom's Christmas get together for our homeschool co-op one of my fellow co-op moms mentioned that she gets her kids in on the scheduling for their school subjects.  It was really more of a passing comment in conversation and not really a lengthy "how to" but it planted a seed that I ran with this week.

Typically in the fall I do the planning for the year.  The last two years have been a little "looser" than in the past (check out the planning click at right for all the information) but most years have included sometimes even detailed spreadsheets for each student.  It takes me quite a bit of time but it keeps everyone on pace and helps us know we're getting it all covered! 

This start to 2013 I decided to get kids in on the planning like my friend Kimberly had shared.  I started with planners from Home Educating Family Magazine, they're called Well Planned Day planners.  They were on sale since they only go till this June which was a perfect time for me to try it out.  I'd been wanting to get into getting the girls more organized and teach them some of those skills soon anyway.  (I have been through this with my boys, ages 19 and 17 with "limited" success.)

I had them each pull out their new planners and we started with their syllabi from our co-op and wrote in all the chapters and assignments that were due when.  We'll add as we go some of things we do together and give due dates to the things I assign particularly for history as we go.

So, time will tell if this will help? !  But initally they liked the design of their new planner and I think they just might even start jotting some of their personal things in there too.  Things like story ideas they have (they both like to write), maybe addresses for their pen pals and camp friends, we'll see...

It's a great time with the start of the second half of the year to try it out and give your kids a chance at organizing themselves.

One thing I think was a mistake the first time around with my boys is that I expected too much too fast.  Working as a substitute teacher has taught me one thing regarding this planning stuff.  They drill it and drill it and kids get lots of reminders on filling it in and sticking to it.  Now I will tell you that I think they go overboard but if they go over I sure went under with my boys.

Pretty much I gave them a planner, showed them how to put things in.  I might have watched them do it for a week or two.  Then I went on to maybe for the next months or so asking or reminding them to put due dates in but that was it.  With my girls I'm going to try my best to give them this whole semester of reminders and actually physically doing it with them and watching them write it in.  I think and hope that will make a difference!  Again, we'll see....


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