Sunday, October 23, 2016

Loop schedule for Morning Time

It isn't called Morning Time or Basket Time here.  It is called Lounge Learning.  :)

There are so many things I want to fit into our LL time but I can't sit down for more than forty minutes before I want to fall asleep.  I have been learning about looping instead of block scheduling and think that I should give it a go for both our big subjects and our lounge time.

Here is the cycle for Lounge Learning.

Geography will cover things like our states, capital cities and major landmarks.  Then we will move onto continents, main countries and well known landmarks around the world.  The others are fairly self-explanatory.

The core things I do every time only take about 20 minutes leaving 20 minutes for one or more of these in rotation.  Good time length for me and my sleepy brain.

Best wishes

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Homeschool Goals Brain Dump

It won't be pretty.  This is just a list I made one day when inspiration hit after reading a home school book.

Before school is done I want my boys to:
- know a good range of word roots that are common in English and Science
- know where countries are and what basic history they have... language, culture and politics and current language, culture and politics
- understand the basics of political outlooks e.g. socialism, communism, democracy, dictatorships, etc
- be able to observe their world, to be able to focus on the details when necessary and to be able to discern the beauty and the patterns of life
- be curios and to ask questions, to know who to ask, how to discern which sources are trustworthy
- appreciate nature
- by physically capable of using their bodies for fun e.g. rock climbing, tall trees, swimming, cycling, obstacle courses, trampolining
- recognise art and music that culturally significant
- be able to communicate effectively with the written and spoken word
-appreciate art by learning calligraphy, basic free hand drawing - perspective and lighting, and basic drafting
- be prepared for a technology-based world e.g. internet safety, online manners, typing skills, word processing, databases, spreadsheets
- have read or listened to some of the great books
- be able to prepare at least 5 different nutritious dinners, 2 desserts and a variety of lunches and breakfasts
- be able to the clean the centres of yuk in a home - kitchen, bathroom and laundry
- be able to wash clothes and take care of them well
- be able to create a budget and manage expenses within the income they have

Sometimes just letting it all flow out brings out up thoughts I had never consciously considered before.  This is a list I will be coming back to again.

Best wishes
Jen in Qld

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Trigger List for Weekly Review

I have been reading around the web about GTD's philosophy of task management. Misty has a whole series here on how to implement GTD for homeschoolers. I don't think she mentions it but I quite like an idea I came across of using a trigger list in my weekly review time so that I can make the next week better.

Here is mine.

Trigger List for Weekly Review

Week in Review


1.     Which area of the house was looked after well this week?  Who did the work mostly?  Why did that work?  Can someone else help?
2.     Which area of house needs urgent attention?  What 15 minute job there would help it most?  Who can do it?  When?
3.     Which are of the house needs attention as a second priority?  What 15 minute job there would help it most?  Who can do it?  When?
4.     Which area of house was missed this week?  Does it keep getting missed?  Why?  Who can do the work?  What needs to happen first?  When will that happen?  What needs to happen before that?  Who will do that?  When?
5.     What routines worked this week?  What parts of the routines fell apart?  Why?  Does anything need to happen to make the routine work better?  Who is going to do it?  When?


1.     What subjects were most consistently done?  Why was this subject a success?  What helped them to go well?  Remember to repeat the actions associated with this success.
2.     What subject/s was missed this week?  Does it keep getting missed?  Why?  What needs to happen first?  When is it going to be done?  By who?


1.     Were we prepared for planned events?  What worked?  What was missed?  What can we do so that we are better prepared next time?

Next Week

Events coming up -

What needs to happen before?  Who needs to do it?  When are they going to do it?  

Best wishes


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

My Weekly Planner

It sometimes takes some tweaking to find a style that works for me.  I knew I wanted the whole week's work laid out but due to my varying levels of energy due to allergies and my late nights at work I didn't want to restrict certain work to certain days.  If I am having a good day I want to zoom through as much as possible but if not then I want to at least hit the basics and not feel guilty at dropping the rest.

This is what last week looked like.  You can't see in the scan but each morning I highlight with yellow highlighter the work I aim to get done that day.  Sometimes it is just the basics list, other days it is more.  The good thing is that if something got highlighted on Tuesday but didn't get done on Tuesday then I just have it highlighted ready for Wednesday, no guilt due to a "Due Date" written beside it.

As you can see I could with working getting even my Bare Bones Essentials done consistently but I am starting to see a pattern of what gets dropped on a busy day.  I may have to adjust my time management or my expectations.  :-)

 Best wishes

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Homeschool Manual


Have you ever had a really good idea but then in the flow of life with its ups and downs never implemented it?  Or maybe you have?

Today I found I had implemented a really good idea... twice.  :-)

As I have shuffled things around in this house I got 2 filing boxes in one place at one time and in looking through them realised that I had set up an almost identical filing system twice over for our homeschooling papers.

After having to read a training manual at work this last week I realised that I need a manual for homeschooling.  I am creating a document that lists out my goals for homeschooling, my plans for school, where things are stored and how the paper should flow through this system.

I am even thinking of creating a flow chart to show where things go when.  lol  Too much?!

Folders and boxes are now getting labels with official sounding names like Future Planning - Lesson Plans and Materials (a binder for the overview of topics and how they fit into the big picture) and Future Planning - Subject Materials (a large file box with folders for each subject for those miscellaneous things you find like a great game or crossword puzzle or fun activity, and folders for each resource that I have to copy to use eg Critical Thinking books, and folders for lessons plans with the materials that relate to them and a list of other resources and their location.

I already have Subject Boxes sitting in a bookshelf that have the current books that we are using for that subject and a small file folder that contains any worksheets or printed resources that will be needed for the current week.  Next week's work is in the Future Planning - Lesson Plans and Materials binder or the Future Planning - Subject Materials box.

The planning side of my personality is already feeling better.  I hate feeling overwhelmed.

So, how many people have a homeschool manual?  What do you have in yours and why did you decide to create it?

Best wishes

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Time Management Alone Not Enough - Essay

This is an essay I wrote last year for a Uni prep subject.  Thought I would post it here.  Looking back at it I can see it has a few wrinkles but still it got me a good mark.  :)

Having dreams and being able to put in place actions that will lead to their realisation is a feature of humans that sets them apart from animals.  Many wonderful inventions such as the light bulb, the aeroplane and liquid paper have been created from the dreams in the minds of passionate and creative men and women.  Knowing how to turn those ethereal dreams and goals into physical realities effectively requires appropriate tools for time management and the achievement of dreams and goals for individuals, and for our society as a whole.  Time management alone is not sufficient.
Most people get caught up in thinking that if they finish their daily To Do List or achieve that elusive goal that their life will be complete.  This action component of goal setting is not enough though, unless it is acknowledged that humans are not only a physical body completing physical actions but also a spiritual being that needs meaning in life. Covey et al. (1994) and Smith (2000) agree that goal setting without a guiding passion or value can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction with life.  To Do Lists alone fail to bring dreams into reality for most.
In “First Things First” Covey et al. (1994) writes of four generations of time management. It is suggested that people with the first generation time management style action tasks without thought of priorities while second generation style time managers plan and schedule but don’t relate these activities to their priorities.  While possibly being able to be effective in their lives, those who follow either of the former styles will most likely find themselves living without a definite purpose in life and a feeling of dissatisfaction.  They are not realising their dreams. 
Third generation style time management people “achieve sizable gains in personal productivity through focused daily planning and prioritization” (Covey et al, 1994:25). While this may sound worthwhile this style may also prove dissatisfying.  The fourth generation moves on to a higher level of thinking, involving being aware of personal values, and being in touch with an individual’s uniqueness and their possible contribution to this world as they make decisions about what is written on their daily lists and what are their goal and dreams for life (Covey et al, 1994).  This level of time management is more likely to realise the dreams of those who utilise it.
Many time management systems available today focus on the second and third generation styles of organising, planning and creating task lists and schedules.  They miss the essential heart of the matter: that humans have hearts, with passions and a creativity that no other living being on this earth has.  Napoleon Hill (1965) suggests that each of us has a Major Definite Purpose in life and that when it is discovered we will know it for it will create a surge of energy in us (Hill, 1965:53).  Covey et al. (1994) also discuss creating a Mission Statement that inspires the individual and anchors them to that passion that helps make life worthwhile (Covey et al., 1994:116).
In day to day life there is a need to remember that humans are passionate and when driven by worthwhile dreams can achieve great feats.  While setting goals and writing task lists is a creditable action, it is valuable to note that there needs to be value in those goals and tasks or life can become a mundane pile of completed lists instead of a life of purpose.  When an individual knows what their passions are and what they value in life it will lead to a more satisfying life for them and will turn add value to our society as they achieve their dreams. 
There is a definite urgency for a different outlook on time management systems that acknowledges all of an individual’s needs, both spiritual and physical, if the human race is to continue flourishing as individuals, and as a whole.  Having purpose and reason to complete those To Do Lists will benefit the whole human race, not just the individual, and is a worthwhile reason to change how time is “managed”.

Covey, S.R., Merrill, A.R. & Merrill, R.R. 1994, First Things First, Fireside, New York, NY, USA.
Hill, N. 1965, The Master-Key to Riches, Ballantine Books, USA.
Smith, H.W. 2000, What Matters Most: the Power of Living Your Values, Fireside, New York, NY, USA.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Good, Bad and the Ugly! Or is it vice versa?

So working 20 odd hours a week can really change how you manage your life.  D'oh!  Of course it does!

The Ugly bit has been that our days do not start early.  My boys often don't get themselves breakfast and by the time I get up after a late night at work they are often entrenched in TV and PCs.  That certainly loads on the guilt.

The Bad is that I am not getting all the school done each day that I would like to get done.  We are not getting to the flesh of an education, only making bare bones a lot of the time, so school feels more like all work and no fun.

The Good is that I have learned to focus more quickly in the morning and even if I haven't had time to make a lovely written/typed out plan for the week I can still pick up each book we use daily and do something from it.  We have been doing rote memorising of times tables on the lounge, and spelling, grammar and writing are happening about 3-4 days a week.  The boys also work independently on their maths.  That is a lot more consistent than I have been in the past where I could miss weeks without realising it.  It also certainly helps when I like what we are using so there is no angst in getting out the books to do something, no matter how small.

It is school holidays and I hadn't intended to take a break but we are slowing down a little.  The boys have finally decided to talk to the kids down the street that are about their age.  I want them to go out and play.  I need to get my head wrapped around more realistic expectations of working and homeschooling and trim those huge plans I had at the beginning of the year back so they are workable.  I also need to finish off my Cert 3 course.

So, it is time to take a breather, fine tune what can be realistically done over the next 3 months and get on with some studies of my own.  Actually I am feeling pretty good about a time out.  Let's hope I use it effectively.

Best wishes

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...