Schedule - Teaching (& modeling) time mgmt (whiteboard pic)

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
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Schedule - Teaching (& modeling) time mgmt (whiteboard pic)

Unread post by kfrench »

Ideas for slow 1st grader

Posted: Mon May 07, 2007 11:20 pm
Well I have a first grader girl who has half the school work of her big sister and still takes longer. She has always been this way and is in most things slow and steady. Of course today she did 4 math problems in 1 hour.

- I do find that setting the time does get her moving.

- Also having a recess or snack waiting if work is done when the timer rang.

- I also find I have to give her more time than needed so she can succeed because if she fails to get done in time then she just gives up on trying. SHe blames her little brother and big sister and the tv and anything and nothing for distracting her.

- I also try to break things up into little tasks maybe doing 15 of math then doing phonics then reading then back to math etc and she seems to sometimes stay more on task.

- On some days especially for math I will just say the problem to her and she will give me the answer. She thinks fast she is just a slow writer and things get stuck and she forgets how to write her numbers and letters but she is a little perfectionist and has to erase messy things. So sometimes we use white boards for writing so it can be easily erased.

- Sometimes you have to figure out what really motivates your child. FOr my daughter she loves her stuffed animals and sometimes we have to take them away until she finishes , for my eldest son the only thing that motivates him is xbox so he has to finish all school and chores and everything before he can play and it is limited and taken away if he needs a punishment. For my older daughter, recess and a snack is enough. I have also used points rewards and rewarded bonus points for work finished quickly they could use points to watch tv, play computer, go somewhere, etc.

- She has done it so I know she can do it so I often remind her that she can do it.

My older son and daughter were slower and they have gotten faster over time my eldest is really fast. Faster than me for sure. Good luck and just hang in there. They do get faster at least I sure hope she does. I think it bugs me a lot more than it bugs her.

A time limit?

Unread post by Melissa5 »

scmlg wrote:I understand that a time limit for experiments, crafts and such wouldn't be all that great, cuz you wouldn't want to stop if you are having fun and learning.

What about Math, Spelling, and so forth? Some days my kids will focus, work hard, and be done with an assignment in 15 min. flat assuming they understood everything. Other days they aren't focused and that same assignment could be an hour. Last year during those moments I put a timer on and they lost a privilege if they weren't done due to laziness. So, let's say I schedule Math for 40 mins or something. What if you are done? Do you close books and finish the next day? Or do they have to finish on their own time?

I'm thinking of putting times for the subjects in my MFW teacher's manual above the date.
I have six kids and four doing school this year and so I had to do some sort of schedule because I can't be with everyone at once. We also share the computer and certain books so I had to make a schedule of when to use these items. If my children are done early they can continue working down their list on items they can do w/out me or interfering w/someone else or they can take a break. It's a good time to grab a drink, go to the bathroom, get a breath of fresh air, sharpen a pencil, etc. If they keep working down their list usually the extra time adds up and they can take longer recesses.

If they do not get their assignment done w/ in the time period, they are to move on, and it becomes homework or they can go back and work on it during their 'extra time' . I make my kids take their scheduled breaks even if they are behind, because I feel they can concentrate better. Homework is to be done after school has been finished for the day and before they have free time. They may choose to have a snack and do their chores if they want a break from school before they do their homework, but they are not allowed any leisure activities.

I try to schedule plenty of time for them to get their work done. I want them to feel successful and have motivation for that extra free time.

My first schedule didn't work this week. I have already had to completely change it. Saxon takes us more time than Singapore, but I think we got it down.

After typing all this out I've forgotten what you were asking in your post. Sheesh! I hope I am somewhat helpful, anyways. :)

I also want to add: I made up individual schedules for the kids to have to carry around with them. Only for school. I also made ones to post on the wall so everyone could see what everyone else was suppose to be doing (this is mainly for me).

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Unread post by mrs_mike98 »

I agree - if you set a time for a certain subject, and if the child finishes before the time is up, then for us, the child can have free time, or we move on to the next subject. If they're taking too long, we stop at that point, and either come back to it later or the next day, or if its because of laziness/playing around and not focusing, they have to do it during what would normally be their free time. So far that hasn't happened yet, lol!

The way I've found to determine what times to set for each subject is to spend a week paying attention to the average time it usually takes. I never spend more than 1/2 hour on one subject anyway, and most average 20 minutes or so. Most times I schedule in 30 minutes to allow for wiggle room and we always finish with time to spare, which the kids love.
Erin, blessed mama to 5 boys :-)
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Unread post by RachelT »

Hi! We did MFWK last year and I just had a large block of school time and followed my TM or changed the order of things a bit to work for us. Now, I have been working on the chores this summer with the kids and need to work more on the schedule for beginning school again next week.

*If I go in order of how subjects are laid out in both our K and 1st grade TM's the art, science and activities or projects look like they are always done at the end of the day, so that time is more open-ended because math, reading, etc. are already done. I think the order of subjects is this way on purpose and it's one more reason that I appreciate MFW!

What I like about the concept of a schedule is that I can make time for teaching my 2 dc together and one-on-one. Last year, I tried to do everything together in K and then my PreK'er would just be dismissed to go play when I had lost her attention, but then I didn't have time for her by herself. This year, I hope to get them both to dawdle less and know that they will have scheduled breaks and even "fun" things to do during their own choice time, while I am working with the other child . I am going to try it and "tweak" it, as needed. I know that I will have to adjust time frames, but I look forward to giving them more than enough time to complete something and having time to take a short break. Last year that I felt like we had to get everything done because once they began playing, it would be hard to get the school work going again.

We've had relatives visiting for the last week, so I know it will take some time to work toward an earlier bedtime and earlier wakeup time. I have been trying to get up at the same time every morning myself, first (which has been my own struggle), and then I will work with them.

May God bless your planning!!
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
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Ideas to speed up language and math

Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us »

tamerc wrote: It looks like I could use suggestions for language and math. I think this is where we are getting hung up the most.
Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:02 am
If you're not already using a timer, I would encourage you to try it. Allow a reasonable time for each lesson (see TM for suggestions near the front of the book) and commit to moving quickly from one subject to another.

Also, if you're not already pulling out work the night before, it might help to take that step. Place a blank notecard in each book, marking the page(s) you'll be working on the following day. If there are preparational steps you can take for art and science, take them prior to starting your school day. Also, "pack" lunch so you don't have to stop to make it during school.

If you are working diligently and still seem to find yourselves working longer than you would like, try saving independent work for later in the day. Anything your student can complete without you could be saved for outside of teaching time. I'm sure others will come along with more insight. HTH.
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Unread post by Mommyto2 »

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:37 am
My ds hates a timer and freezes up and can't work if there is a timer...

I try to mentally set a timer and make sure we are only spending about 15 or so minutes on math, spelling, book basket. If he is taking longer because he is playing or messing around, he has to do it on his own after lunch.

What I noticed is I was trying to put too much on his plate. We were working on history before the states and I was trying to get him to remember so much historical information that it was taking a long time. Once we hit the states and I backed off a bit school seems to fly by.

I also try not to introduce more than one new concept in a day as those take longer. So if we are doing new stuff in math, we will do easier stuff in LA.

Also I made the commitment to start earlier. We now start at 8 a.m. and try to be done by noon. I leave reading time to be done later in the day (usually in the car on the way to sports).

I read their read aloud during lunch as I have their undivided attention and they don't keep asking if they can go play while I'm reading. :)

MJ in IL
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Unread post by MJ in IL »

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:33 am
In my house, in addition to the trying to squeeze too much into my children's brains in a short time :) transitions slow us down.

I realized I was throwing in a "quick" load of laundry, then having to spend 5+min. to regather the troops! Or my request for finding a quick snack led to cooking?!? Even yesterday, we started new math and neither son could find his math book...they had only used them 1X.

We have our school drawers are recently reorganized and I do try to have everything within my reach where I need it (e.g. RA in the LR, science in kit) We will continue to work on this here.

We got through everything, including Spanish, with me having a bad cold and dd had simple dinner made for us by the time my dh came home from work! They were all pleased with getting through everything!
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Unread post by TriciaMR »

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:46 am
We spent from August through November just working with my dd memorizing her math facts (addition and subtraction). I came up with different ways to help her. And we practiced and practiced. I didn't want to go on to the next book until we had those down.

Well, it has paid off. She whizzed through re-grouping (carrying), which I thought would be a big stumbling block. Her dad has been working with her before bed time on money concepts. We're hitting those now, and having those math facts memorized has made a big difference. If you want to, stop and do it.

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:35 pm
I had a friend whose child struggled with math facts. She stopped math and ended up having him play Math Blaster every day for 3 months. He'd walk around the house, point his "finger gun" at his mom and say, "What's 2+7?" If she didn't get it right, he'd "shoot" her (say "ka-pow"). Once his brother started learning his facts, they did it to each other.

My daughter is very right brained, so I had to make up stories to help her remember. For example, "Super hero 7" - the horizontal part of the 7 is his cape, and he has a 3 on there. If you're adding a number greater than 3, you take 3 away from that number, and add a one to it for your answer. So 4 + 7 - the 7 takes 3 from 4, which gives us 1 left over, and then put a one in the tens place and you have 11. (It works for my dd - it might confuse your son, though.)

Jenn in NC
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Unread post by Jenn in NC »

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:23 am
Just agreeing with Trish that getting those math facts down pat makes everything math related so much smoother. It is well worth the loss of some forward-motion in your math program, imo (you will make up for it in the long run anyway)... I really think that at this stage of the game it can make or break math for you and your child. At least that was our experience.
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Unread post by LizCT »

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:24 am

For a while, I was loading work on my 8 yo dd to get through the material. I noticed that things were taking us a lot of time to get through - and lots of tears. In particular, I am referring to math and PLL. Once I backed off and started giving less to do after we go over the teaching part (1 or 2 pages in the math workbook instead of 3 or 4), I found my dd doing additional pages on her own from time to time, and we are moving faster through concepts than I would have expected.

We also put aside new concepts while dd worked on math facts. She is still working on them, but has improved so much that her work is a lot easier now.

I think too that sometimes we feel a bit insecure about how much improvement our "students" are showing in their visible work (handwriting, etc), and we put pressure on them to achieve more and improve at a faster rate. That could be reasonable, but it wasn't in my case. I realized that I was holding an invisible yardstick and measuring myself and my daughter by it. I don't know where it came from - but it had on it the things that I thought kids her age "should" be able to do. She is making an effort and progress in all areas. That is what is important in our house. Any external "shoulds" had to go out the window.

I don't know if any of this will make sense to anyone else, but I hope so.
Liz in CT

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:49 am
PLL: You don't have to do all of the copywork lesson, or just go for 10 minutes and stop on those days. And you only have to teach PLL 3 days/week. It's ok to balance the week with 3 R's and fun stuff.

And many of the lessons in PLL can be done orally. If I were wanting to get the day moving along, I would just have my child read a few sentences and tell me the subject in them. Well, I'd probably just say "tell me who or what is doing something in this sentence" instead of saying "identify the subject of the following sentences," but that's just my teaching style. And using a book we were already supposed to read would help to cover several school subjects at once.

He may not be ready for a lot of independent work in many subjects, so you may have to make sure that the things that you are asking him to do independently are things he can do. You may be doing that already, but I'm just rambling out loud.

Trying to use a writing journal independently at this age will get many students bogged down for the day. Many students who are still learning about how to form sentences, and how to get their thoughts down on paper, need to have a writing coach work with them. I'm just saying that may be an area that is getting him bogged down in the day. I have no way to know that.

Some of the things that he can do more independently at this stage --- book basket time. Reading time. Maybe even some of the science in Adventures -- at least helping to set up the experiment. But no, the science is not scheduled every day.

One idea for getting the music done --- it can be listened to while setting the table for supper (or even for your picnic lunch). It takes a few short minutes per week. You can do in on Saturday morning also. Look for simple ways to blend that into your day. I used to do the music CD's in the car while doing errands and such.

We hold off read alouds until bed time.

Shift around the day and do all of the unit study stuff first in the day. Nothing wrong with a quick shift here and there to do all of that.

I hope some of those ideas help a little bit.
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Unread post by Ariasarias »

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:37 pm
We have had trouble with taking too long also. This January we started using the timer and it has helped. My dd hated it at first; she saw it as punishment -- not sure why, but it has really helped me even know when to call it quits.

I also have used the schedule that is found in the TM and write in what's not there. My dd gets to highlight what she finishes. It has helped her see how much she has for the day, see that the end is coming and also she gets some choice as to what to do at times (like reading or book basket).

I have a 4 yo and a 2 yo at home too, so we do have some interruptions. During those interruptions, she knows she can choose something that she can do by herself.

With the music written on that page, it has helped me be more diligent in getting to it and it really doesn't take very long. For art we are using Draw Write Now and I give her an assignment from one of the books that she is to work on for 15 minutes each day.

Again the timer has helped her focus more on her work and also know that the time will end.

As far as math, she too is having trouble with her facts. I'm trying to slow down (which is very hard for me :)). I feel like God gave me the idea to get out the Math Sense Blocks (Cuisinare Rods now) and use those to practice her facts so she can see it better. It's already helping her. She needs more concrete practice.
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Unread post by Lucy »

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:21 pm
You have had so many great suggestions. I only wanted to add to one point that Crystal touched on.

My kids did not copy every time the book said copy these sentences. There are lots of lessons that are simply requiring your child to fill in the correct word. It is seeing if they know when and how to use correct grammar or vocabulary. They can do this orally. The time you want them to copy is like in lesson 2 of PLL, and even then you can shorten it to make your child successful at it, even if you only begin with one sentence. You can do the same thing when it comes to dictation. So that cuts a lot of the writing out of PLL.

I did have my kids copy the sentences in PLL if it was considered a composition lesson like in lesson 30 and 31. I would encourage him to use his best handwriting, but I would not try to teach or correct at this time. Use other times when he is doing just copy work exercises or practicing handwriting with his weekly verse. I know this bog us down and wasted time since it discouraged my kids from writing.

So I hope some of this will help you see how you can make it easier on both your son and yourself.

Unread post by TurnOurHearts »

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:06 pm
Just a snip-it here: we listened to all the Tchaikovsky last year while folding laundry. It's something the kids & I do together, and the music/stories made their work go quickly. They would sometimes even break out into silly dances when the narration would end & the music would begin - with a shirt or dress in hand! Fun memories from a fun year. :)
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How do I fit it all in?

Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us »

Thought I would share something with the new homeschoolers out there for what it's worth.

I've always been one to struggle with time management (procrastinator by nature, detail oriented to a fault, easily sidetracked). As such, I've done my best to write out a schedule each year showing who is doing which subject work at any given time, in an effort to keep us on task. Inevitably though, we would go off on some tangent and/or the kids wouldn't finish a subject workload in the allotted time for one reason or another (distractions, not grasping instructions, etc.) The end result was a day much longer (and thus more stressful) than I had planned for. NOT fun for any of us.

This year is going so well, a huge improvement over previous years. And the reason is really quite simple. Timers! I got the idea to "move on when the bell rings" from Terri Maxwell (Managers of Their Homes). I'm not so rigid in this approach that I won't finish a discussion or ask my kids to put down their pencils in the middle of a math problem. ;)

But I do see that required instruction by mom is completed in the allotted time. It's challenging (at times) to effectively keep my kids on task, but I really need to lead by example so I make sure that my part is done. Independent work can become "homework" if need be.

My 9yo was not happy with this new method when I first explained how our days would go. She was concerned that her day would get longer and longer if we moved some work to the end of the day. But I explained to her that it's not a consequence for failing to focus on her work (I do move work to the end of the day when my teaching is occasionally met with an uncooperative spirit). I helped her see that we tend to go off on tangents when we insist of finishing every detail of every assignment, and that by moving unfinished work to the end of the day, the kids will be more motivated to simply complete it so they can call it quits.

If we take the occasional tangent to discuss life application of scripture, address character development, etc., no big. But if we get too bogged down for any number of reasons, it seriously delays the close of our school day. Using the timers is REALLY keeping us on schedule and I'm finding that because the kids don't want homework, they are now more diligent than ever about staying on task and completing their work in the time frame given.

Just thought there might be some folks out there like myself who desire to reduce distractions and stay on task. HTH.
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Michele in WA
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Unread post by Michele in WA »

We did start using timers for their piano/violin practice recently, so they wouldn't keep asking how much longer!! So, it makes perfect sense to use the timers for other subjects. Thanks for reminding me of such a simple idea!

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Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us »

Lizette, we used the timers in the past too, but not effectively. I was too militant about it ("Done, put 'em away, move on.) Plus, as you mentioned, we didn't finish and so I just extended the period.

This time, I have a few very clear goals in mind.
1. Get my teaching part done in the allotted time.
2. Keep tangents to a minimum (because I *know* we're moving on as scheduled, I'm much more careful to avoid those tangents that truly aren't necessary or beneficial). This step is vital, as I believe it was part of the reason we couldn't finish in the allotted time when I've used timers in the past.

And the big difference this time is that my kids work more diligently during the allotted time which means there isn't all that much being tacked on to the end of our day.

I did have to help them adjust to this new pace (so they are diligent but not hasty). But with the discipline of a very clear start and end time (boundaries I was guilty of violating in the past), we are experiencing a much more calm, effective and SHORTER day so far this year.

Btw, I use two timers (sometimes dd is scheduled to move on to something else before I'm done with my younger children). If I start dinner in the midst of school, then there might even be 3 timers (counting the stove, lol).
A proud adoptive mom of 4 children,
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Julie in MN
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White Board Schedules

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Staceyliza wrote:I know I've heard David speak about how his family does a white board schedule where each of them have certain activities that they remove during the day as things are completed and once they are done they have free time, etc.

We've started a lose interpretation of this where I just write the days schedules and chores on our white board and erase them as they're done. But I'd like to get a little more advanced with it. Does anyone have pictures of David's system? I'm a visual person and I need to SEE this is living color! Thanks for any help!
It's amazing to me how well this works compared with anything else I've tried.

When I think back to convention talks from David, I think they just abbreviate each subject. So, say you decide on book basket, notebook page, and spelling:


At our house, we had to fool with it for a few weeks, until we realized what was needed & what might get mixed up (SPelling & SPanish). I don't have a picture, but it would just be boring, like above.
Last edited by Julie in MN on Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post by TriciaMR »

I got magnetic tape from Michaels craft store and wrote subjects and put them in order we do things on the white board, as I only have one. My thought was that I'll add more strips (in different colors) for my boys, and when they are done, they can move the magnetic strips to the bottom of the board.

If you go to my blog (see my link in my signature) you will see a picture of my whiteboard and an explanation of how I use it.
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
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Unread post by tiffany »

I'd like to hear more about how people do this. I could never quite envision it. I imagined having to constantly write it out every week because of the erasing. Now the magnet strip sounds like a good idea. Please everyone share how this works for them. My kids have a check off sheet, but I like the idea of having it out in the open. Better accountability and easier for Mom to see what needs to be done still.
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Unread post by kellybell »

I got tired of writing all that and trying to remember all what we had to do with extra stuff (music practice, memorizing verses for karate). With four kids, I found myself writing four lists, etc.

I DO write unusual things on the white board. For example, we are finishing up our Christmas thank you notes, and that's a one-time sort of thing, so I write "Jamie - Thank you to Aunt Jennifer."

BUT for the week to week things, I have come up with a grid for each child that has the days of the week across the top and a list of things to do each day below, in columns. Each child's is a bit different.

I put these grids in a page protector. Each week, the kids mark off what they have done with a dry erase marker. At the end of the week, everything should be colored in. If we have a special thing that week (ie. a trip to the zoo or something) I will mark a few things off on the grid, things that they can skip considering our special outing. Maybe I'll mark off a spelling, a math, a language, and a book basket.

My kids are free to sort of play around with the order of things. My son might be in a math mood and do three days worth of math one day. That's okay.

My three older kids (10,12, and 14) use these charts. I made a list for my nearly-8 year old who needs me near her most of the time. Hers says things like "ECC activities, math, piano, chore, quiet time, language lesson, spelling, clean room, clean desk."

After a few months, the page protectors get nasty, but they are cheap enough to replace when they do.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

Unread post by cbollin »

Thank you to MFW office staff for sending me the picture. Here is David's white board schedule that he shows in his workshops. Notice that "Johnny" is the youngest kid. the Older kids have "Johnny" listed as a daily task the same way that chores, and school subjects are. And, specific tasks as given to do with Johnny. I think that's the idea :-) So Jaime will read with Johnny. Annie will take Johnny for a walk.

I have no idea about the color coding, but it makes sense during power point presentation during the workshop (Help! My Homeschool is Chaos). special notes on David's white board: it only shows things that are done independently.
Hazell White Board from crystal.jpg
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Just curious about using workboxes and MFW

Unread post by kellybell »

Lee wrote:Thanks to all you encouraged me to take the plunge. Yeah! Our boxes came with ECC and K. I am loving exploring everything and the kids are excited. (yeah!) I am going to have a 5th, 4th, 2nd, and K with two young ones when we start. I am trying to figure out how to make it work. It would be nice to have something like this in place with 4 in school and two to be "chased". Any ideas out there on this?
Hi and welcome. ECC and K are terrific joyful programs and you'll have a terrific year teaching them.

We've done some things to manage independent work. Some did better than others.

1. We did the PEGS system, but not by the book. A friend with older kids gave us her outgrown system. With this, each child has a column on a peg board and the pegs hold disks for every chore, subject, music practice, etc. that a child needs to do that day. When a child does something, he pulls off the disk, puts it in a container. When his column is empty, the child is done. We never had a great place to put the pegboard where it wouldn't get knocked down at least weekly. Great idea though, but pricey.

2. We tried the Maxwell's Managers of their Chores and included school subjects. The kids each had a "chore pack" which was a clear nametag holder that had a card for each thing the child was to do. I put a "DONE" card in the very back. As a child did something, he moved the card for that task to behind the DONE and when DONE was visible in the front of the holder, the child was done. The nametag holders split on the side and they got all nasty as we taped and repaired them. We gave up. Nametag holders do great holding one piece of paper, but not a dozen or more.

3. We have tried the Hazells method of writing a letter on the white board indicating what needed to be done. That worked but I have a trickster who would quietly erase a letter and then say, "Oh, I didn't see a P for piano practice. It wasn't there so I didn't do it." Yes, we are working with this child, praying for this child, and disciplining this child but are "not there yet" with her. Crafty little one! Anyway, it was a simple and inexpensive method but we needed a method where the assignment was still visible, not erased.

4. So, we've moved to paper in page protectors. Each child has a list or grid (depends on the child) of what to do in a week slipped inside a page protector which acts like a little white board. As the child does the task, he marks it off with a dry erase marker right on the page protector. So, I can see what the child claims to have done and also (by sliding the paper out) can see what was under the page protector. This is what works for us. I can also add a sticky note to these pages if there is something special for the day. For example, today, I will remind my 15 year old to write her birthday thank yous to grandma and auntie. She's not likely to remember on her own!
Posts: 473
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Re: Just curious about using workboxes and MFW

Unread post by kellybell »

Wow, I'm surprised (and a bit flattered) anyone would really be interested in our grid sheets. They work but they are so far from flashy. But, they are cheap and don't take up floor space.

The grids do look a lot like the MFW grids. But, I added a generic goal to them. Let me see if it is possible to cut and paste. Hold on (insert sound of clipping and gluing, etc.) Nope. That didn't work at all.

Let me describe it.

Each child has an Excel spreadsheet (you have to select "print gridlines" to get a grid, otherwise you just get nicely spaced words).

It's labeled with his or her name.

Then the top row is "Monday, Tuesday, ... Saturday"

Then under each day of the week heading, I have the subjects and other activities that need doing such as Math, Language Lessons, book basket, violin practice, daily chore (that's a whole 'nuther sheet), quiet time, etc. It looks a lot like the MFW grid but it might have some other things such as "30 minutes" or "2 pages." I also have weird things on it. For example, we go to a co-op about 24 Fridays a year. So Friday's column has "empty your backpack."

Then, I have a few things under the heading "Sometime" such as three "Rosetta Stone" boxes. That means that s/he has to do Rosetta Stone three times, but it can be on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday or perhaps Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Just as long as it gets done. And there is one column of reminders such as "Do you need to do anything before your Scout meeting?" (Okay, I say something like "scout prep") or "Do you need to work on Karate?" These are just reminders.

Does it work? Well, sort of. One of my kids was born responsible. The other three need various levels of prodding and reminding.

I printed out a grid for each of my students (okay, the youngest has a checklist but this next year she gets a grid) and tucked each one in a page protector. As each subject is done, s/he marks it off with a white board marker. At the end of the day, the column for the day should be filled and perhaps a few "extras" should be marked off too. By the end of the week, the boxes should all be marked off.

If we have a field trip (or something boring like all four kids going to the dentist) and won't be at home, I simply take a marker and "excuse" that work from grids by marking it off. Same if a child is too ill to work.

The page protectors each last a few months. They get wrinkly, stained and nasty after a while...
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:44 am

Re: Just curious about using workboxes and MFW

Unread post by Crystallea »

I use a similar notebook system. I made up a grid for each of my students. I labeled them Day 1 day 2 etc. mainly because if Mondays work didn't get done on Monday we all felt "off". Then I scheduled their independent work on this grid. I then staple it to a folder with 2 pockets. Under this page I will put "reference" type pages from any of the workbooks we are currently using. On the right side I put the packets. I acually tear out the workbook pages to stapled together as packets. I staple Day 1 pages together, day 2 together etc. This is then put in a take home folder that I found at Lakeshore Learning. the folder fits on one side and any independent assigned reading book, pencils, erasers etc. fits in the other pocket. ( Clear as mud yet?)This clear plastic "folder" (for lack of better word) cost about $5.00. If we are heading somewhere that they can do some independent work all they have to grab the clear folder and go. Sometimes it takes us an extra day to finish the chart, but if we miss a day we just pick up where we left off. This seems to work fairly well for us, and the kiddos feel less pressure to finish a packet with 4-6 pages instead of 4-6 workbooks.
Just another idea
Wife to Randy, mom to Gavin 27, Ryan 24, Dawson 11 Bailey James 11, Brianna 10, Melissa 9, Jack & Sam 6, Micah 5
Blessed to have adopted youngest 6.
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