Desire to imbibe our children with a thirst for knowledge has long been part of our goals, ideas always abound in our thoughts but how to translate this into the practical, the reality of educating and nurturing seven children is the question.
The simple reality is that in the not too distant past we had several children who for various reasons needed to learn to be more independent in their studies. As well, listening to older and wiser home educating mothers we realised that a vital skill we needed to impart to our children was time management. In the not too distant future we will be addressing the transition to the workforce/university education and we wanted to equip our children with as many skills as possible.
To this end we started by creating a personal weekly timetable. Our first efforts included what we wanted done on what day, this worked for a short time, work was being completed, but it had some disadvantages. One was that we felt we were racing the clock, another was that many of our children learn best by immersing themselves in one subject area and found it disruptive to stop one subject to start another. Finally we have come up with a method that has worked for many weeks now:) I have been home educating long enough to realise what works now is always subject to change, but I am hoping this will be a good fit for a while to come.
At the beginning of the week the children receive their ‘Weekly Expectation’ sheet, instead of dividing their subjects up into days they are written on an excel spreadsheet for the week ie. Maths complete 5 pages of Singapore Maths, Copywork write 3 stanzas etc. PC’s suggestion to add a ‘control’ factor of tick boxes met with approval from the children. This has been a wonderful way to encourage independence in the children as they can see at a glance what is expected of them, I now realise that part of the previous issue was that I was not clear in all subject areas of what they needed to do. This manner has also greatly addressed the time management issue as the children are the ones deciding when to complete their various areas of studies. They have control over deciding whether to do a little maths every day, work on it over a couple of days or complete it all at once. Valuable time management skills are being learnt. And of course this method allows for the need of those children who like to immerse themselves in one subject at a time.
For the visual I have included a sample of the children’s ‘Weekly Expectation’ sheets here. Keep in mind that the amount required and content vary weekly especially regards History. Time required to change details and print out sheets for six children takes me about 45-60 minutes per week.
ETA: I have repaired the above link for shared documents. My apologies for the time delay in correcting the problem, also for not being able to provide a quicker link to the spreadsheets.