Every year we change up our homeschool, just a little bit, as we tweak what works and get rid of what doesn’t. Last year, we had a schedule that was emulated from Magic and Mayhem. It was the kind of loose schedules where the kids had one subject a day. This didn’t work well for my children because they burned out before lunch. They also started to dread a certain day of the week. They did not want to do math all day.
So, this year we have more of a traditional school schedule. It’s not that we are going to be abandoning our unschooly or eclectic ways, but we need more routine. Two of my sons are ADHD, and while homeschooling is shown to be very advantageous, routine is also a very important component as they age.
Another tool that I have put into place in our homeschool is a daily journal. There are many different articles on all the ways to use a journal. Some use it for daily writing practice or for daily work with scripture. The way that we use it is by writing down 5 “assignments” that I want my kids to do each day. That way if there are lulls in the day where they are feeling bored – or if there is something that we really *need* to do – it’s right there for them to check off.
I really enjoy that when I am putting my littlest down for her nap, or if I am busy in the kitchen, or just not able to tell my kids what their next assignment is, that they can just go to their journals and look for themselves.
In the short time that we have used them I have found an incredible increase in independent learning. My boys are taking responsibility for their own learning and are excited to see what they have to do next. Plus who doesn’t love checklists?
I also have a journal for myself. This is where I do most of my homeschool planning. I sit down each week and look what we want to accomplish. Then each night I am able to transcribe it into their journals.
Do you use a journal in your homeschool? Let me know in comments.