I posted on my instagram this morning about a new routine we started in our home schooling. With Travis returning to “normal” job hours recently, it has caused me to adjust to now being the sole school teacher in the house (for the most part)… and learning to tweak things to the way I feel works best. With Travis’ previous work schedule (being home during school hours and gone at night), he did majority of the schooling… Lets just say, his ways are not my ways :) – so I am finding sanity in some new methods as of late.
One of those methods is using a binder and weekly schedules to help teach the boys independence. I started reading a book about the Charlotte Mason Method… and while some stuff I agree with and some I do not… one thing I did agree with was how she taught her children to be independent… So so important. Extra important for the mom of many who depends on independent older ones in order to deal with the responsibility of younger ones in the mix of it all.
For these binders I searched pinterest for a weekly schedule print out that would be easy for the boys to follow. You obviously could make up one yourself in Microsoft Word or Google Doc… but for me, finding something already made is always a win win :) – I found THIS ONE. It is free, feel free to click HERE to print and save the file yourself.
It is a basic weekly schedule that has room for you to write assignments for each child.
With the curriculum we use its pretty simple to do this. We use primarily all abeka work but also teaching textbooks for Caleb’s math and a few other resources for science, healthy, history and so forth. Right now since we are behind schedule this year, we are focusing more on the CORE stuff like math, language arts, writing, spelling, that sorta stuff… the rest is just extra and if it happens, awesome, if not, its ok.. I plan to be more on top of it next year if we have a normal routine ;-) – at least I hope to be.
Ok! SO to the point.
I write down Taite’s assignments on his printed out schedule.
I then organize in his binder with dividers each subject and all his worksheets.
I also add in a portion in the binder with extra paper. His test papers. Speed drills and other supplies he needs.
If he has reading books for that week, I place those in the side pockets of the binder. I also put a little zipper pocket thing to hold his pencils, erasers and a sharpener. This way I dont have little boys getting up saying they need a new pencil every 30 minutes.
I sat down with the boys and encouraged them to start on their work whenever they wanted in the morning. If I slept in with baby Reed and they got up super early… once they ate breakfast and woke up a bit, they were welcome to open their binders, see what needed to be done and to get started.
I encouraged the independence by creating a “treasure box” in the room, filled with little things from the dollar tree. As silly as it may seem, this seriously has been such a motivation for them! The idea of getting to go rummage through a box full of tiny toys pushed my boys even more to get their work done and to do it well. They have done so great at being independent with this system. In fact this morning I woke up at 9am… I was up til 3am sick… and so I did not feel great this morning… when I got downstairs though Caleb and Taite both ran to me and said “Guess what!?” I in my still groggy voice said “…. what?” They said, super energetically “We are almost totally done with our seat work!!” – yall it was 9am. HAHA! I was like “what time did you wake up?!” they said “7am. So for those two hours they spent it on their own, doing their work without my even saying to start.
We obviously still had work to do after I got up. We did an hour of Health and Caleb still had computer work to do for Math and they both still had reading… The bulk of the busy work though was done and can I just say, this is huge for us. To not have to sit there and PESTER them to finish that seat work has been such a blessing.
While this system is still fresh for us… and obviously newness does wear off eventually… I foresee this working long term and look forward to it teaching my boys the power of independence and responsibility.
It also has been great for me at staying on task… and not skipping stuff as easily.
So in short, thats the Binder Method :)
Hopefully it encourages someone reading and works for you all too.
Feel free to comment with any questions you may have :)
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