January 2018, Issue 18
“Organize Yourself for the New Year!”
by Homeschool.com’s Rebecca Kochenderfer
Was organization on your resolution list? If it was, you might be hopelessly wondering how to make it a reality. We’re here for you! Getting and staying organized seems to be a perpetual issue for many homeschooling moms – so it’s not just you. Just as we get one thing figured out, something comes along to throw a wrench into our plan and we’re off track again. Staying organized is so helpful, and I can’t think of a better way to put some “oomph” back in our homeschool! Shall we?
Follow a Daily Schedule
Following a daily schedule or routine is definitely our #1 tip for staying organized. Without one, you may flounder through the day aimlessly trying to figure out what to do and when. Children thrive on structure and seem to do better when they know what’s coming next. Also, having a schedule prevents the incessant “What are we doing now?” questions from the children.
Need help maintaining a schedule that works for your family? We’ve got homeschool scheduling ideas to help you out!
Create a System for Checking Work
One of the most tedious tasks a homeschooling mom has to contend with is checking work. Children usually have 5-7 subjects each day and turn in something for each subject daily. If you triple that (for three students), you’re looking at upwards of 20 papers a day – and that’s not including time spent teaching them! Implementing a system for checking work is extremely helpful. One idea is to have your students check their own work using the teacher’s guide or score keys that come with your curriculum. If that seems like too much work for them, you could set it up so that only the older children check their work or arrange for children to check their work in some subjects while you check the work in other subjects.
Even teachers in school don’t grade every piece of work students complete. In many cases, they simply give a “completion grade” (a big check at the top of the paper that shows the teacher knows the student did the work). If you’re behind and need to catch up, go through your students’ papers and give completion grades where you can and keep actual graded work to a minimum (like for tests and quizzes). However you arrange it, develop a system that works for you so you can stay consistent on tracking your student’s accomplishments.
Keep Track of Grades/Attendance
This can be as easy or as complicated as you’d like it – and by that we mean you can create a simple system or one that’s more in-depth. If you’re looking for something to keep track of grades and attendance to meet state requirements, you might need something in-depth like a spreadsheet or even record keeping software. If, however, you’re only doing it for your family’s benefit, a simple tracking system like a grade book or binder would work. This is something you’ll probably want to take into consideration when you choose a homeschool curriculum. Some programs do all the homeschool grading for you, leaving you only to grade written assignments and to print grade reports while other curriculum will leave it all in your hands. In any case, keeping up with grades and attendance will make you feel so much better in your organizational efforts.