Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My Schedule Wall-- What Works for Me Wednesday

My schedule wall...

 is one of my favorite "new" things this year. I have, well for all my years of home schooling attempted to FIND what schedule, non schedule, timing, method etc worked for me. I have yet to find it.

For one thing I believe that methods are ALL for a season, something that works at this point in your life might not work in another season!

I have however found what I believe will work for us for this year... with a little tweaking. I have used this method for only 3 days so I am giving you the idea of what I want and the implementation of the wall but I will need to continue tweaking it over the next few weeks. For instance I have found some of the timing (what I have one student working on vs. what I have another student working on) doesn't always mesh up.

I need to decide if:

  • I am going to adjust the wall accordingly, moving subjects around until I find the best fit
  • I am going to leave it as it with a few very minor switches and make this work
  • I am going to simply limit the working time of each student to a set number and anything left unaccomplished during that time is done "after" school
  • I am going to keep it as but work with the flow as best as possible.

I will most likely move things around a little bit, but keep the basic schedule I have now.  Items that are taking longer than I "thought" I will add a little time to and past that time I will say it will be done "after" school.  I am hoping that after a few days of "homework" the kids will adjust to focusing on their work and getting it done in a timely manner.  If not I will have to re-evaluate the timing.

So I got this from Brenda who I am sure got it from someone else....we love giving out "what works for us"  in the home school world!  Make sure to check out everyone else's What Works for ME Wednesday at We Are That Family

I have placed the cards up on the door with ticky tack so that they can be moved and manipulated.

Kate is the gecko.
Matt is the T-Rex.
Emily is the jockey.

and I am the turtle.

Each person has a subject they are working on-- if they all three have the same subject with ME, then I am teaching or they need me with them while starting or doing the subject.

Otherwise they might be working on different subjects all day and unless a turtle is on their card it is without mommy. 

This does not mean I am unavailable, it just means that I am not sitting, teaching etc.

The schedule wall also means that when the time is up the kids go to what THEY need to according to the wall- LESS INSTRUCTING from me...

They are free to come to me at any time with the exceptions of--- IF I am teaching with another student they are forbidden to ask me a question or disrupt me.  They are having a problem getting used to this but it is necessary!

A while ago Jennifer posted on her blog a way to remember that kids wanted to talk to her if she was busy doing something that the kids could not interrupt.  They each had a clip or something and if they came to her and she motioned them off they could not interrupt and they put their clip on her.  When she was done, she knew to come find that child and ask what they needed.  This might need to be put in action here... we will see!

Now we will NOT do every subject every day, for instance we switch off doing history and science.  We are doing English at least two days and usually three days and All About Spelling the other two-- but doing Spelling City daily.  Kate is still doing math every other day but doing math drills and math games daily.  I have placed art, skills and less core subjects at the end of the day... which mean inadvertently they will get cut! 

However I am implementing Brenda's BACKWARDS  DAY on Fridays so we start with skill, and art and work our way UP the schedule wall.  I will not be following it exactly on this day as lunch will fall at an odd time but this is where flexibility comes in. 
I will skip "things" in their entirety for instance skipping LOGIC or skipping All About Spelling occasionally but am hoping this will help us keep up with each subject in a more cohesive way... we shall see.

I have printed out this paper and I check off what we have done OR mark through what we have skipped so I will be able to tell what is or isn't working for us pretty well after a few weeks...

so what do you use to keep on task...


Brenda said...

I like the animals! That's a good idea. I could not have children coming to clip things on me. I would be swatting them away like flies. However, I can see having an empty can (covered in cute paper of course) on the table where they could clip and after I helped them I could throw the clip in the can.
Then you could also limit---like every child gets 3 clips that day. Only if asking asking asking is a problem. I used to give tickets in my 1st grade class. If you wanted to come up and ask a question after directions had been given, you had to give me a ticket. This eliminated, "Mrs. E, do I write my name on my paper here?" stupid questions. Do you really want to spend a ticket on that question? I think they got 3 tickets in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. The school day is long, you know. Just a thought...

Ticia said...

that's a great idea. scheduling is one of my projects for this month.

Barb @ A Life in Balance said...

I love the clip idea as a reminder for following up with the kids! I'm not homeschooling anymore, however, I do have 4 kids 7 and under and deal with the interruptions a lot. (5 kids total!)

I could write their names on clothespins, and keep them in a basket in the kitchen. Then, whenever I can't be interrupted, I could just remind the kids to grab their clothespin and pin me. They'll love that!

Liberty said...

I loe the different creatures - and that your wall is a door!
Blessings on your year -just finished ordering all our books!