homeschool, organization, organizing, writing

Top Uses for Post-it Flags and Tabs

I can’t believe that I have never written about one of my favorite organization tools. They’re little, but they’re so cute and so versatile. What are they: mini, sticky tabs and flags! A Post-it by any other name is just as sweet (no, this is not a commercial). It usually works just as well, too. Let’s take a look at several different categories in which we can use sticky flags: bookmarks, textbooks, homeschooling, home management, Bible, other stuff.
The most obvious (to me) usage for Post-it flags is as bookmarks. Let’s get a bit more specific, though, then we’ll add to the list.
·         Bookmarks
o   Fiction
o   Non-fiction
o   Citations
o   Sections to reread
·         Textbook markers
o   Start teaching
o   Extra study
o   Instead of highlighting in borrowed books
o   Please help, Mom!
o   Assignment
o   Quick reference
§  Vocab
§  Abbreviations
§  Check lists
·         Bible markers
o   Teaching
o   Studying
o   Memorizing
o   Witnessing
·         Manuals for quick reference
·         Start/stop workbook sections
·         Corrections in homework to be done
·         Instead of tabbed dividers in 3-ring binders
·         Mark information in file folders
·         Sign here designations
·         Mark important information for others (boss) to read/note
·         On calendar/by door for stuff to take out the door
·         To do
o   In a book
o   On a steering wheel
o   On a calendar
o   Beside the door
·         Mark musical selections in a longer piece of music
·         Favorite recipes
·         Grocery lists
·         Wrap around toothpicks for herb/plant markers and cupcakes
Disclaimer: while I love these little guys like nobody’s business, I did a quick poll of some friends, who graciously added to my list.
Q4U: What are your favorite uses for Post-it flags?

homeschool, organizing, planning

Staying Organized on the Go: Co-ops

            Homeschool co-ops can be a wonderful enhancement to our home studies. But it always seems to be a hassle to remember all of the books and materials we need each week/day, not to mention the times when we’ve had to turn the car around because little Susie left her essay in the printer tray at home.
            One solution is to have a designated co-op bag or container. Place everything that you need for co-op each week in that bag and only in that bag. Make sure that everything that gets taken out during the week to be worked on is returned promptly to the bag or container. If you’ve made yourself a note to add something to the bag or container for the following week, put it in there as soon as you get home—before you have a chance to forget.
            Another solution is to make sure each kid has all of his co-op belongings together the night before. Perhaps each of them needs his own backpack or book bag, and as he works on things throughout the week, he puts them right back in said bag as soon as he is finished. As soon as papers get printed, they’re retrieved and placed in the appropriate folder, ready to go out the door.
            Yes, just like all of the other solutions mentioned in this book, this one will also take some training and some reminders. It would be wonderful if children remembered such things after the first introduction, but then again, you probably wouldn’t be reading this book if they did!

Come see me over at Heart of the Matter Online today! I’m speaking at their fall conference at 3 p.m. (EST), and you can still get tickets!

homeschool, organizing, portfolios

What’s in a Portfolio?


I’m over at Heart of the Matter Online today talking about homeschool portfolios. Go take a look!

What does a hard-working homeschooling mom do with all those 3-D projects, art papers, grammar workbooks, and math tests? Keep everything? Yikes! Throw them all away? Horrors! Of course, Grandma’s refrigerator makes a wonderful display area, but when Grandma’s fridge is full, there is an alternative that can make both the savers and the throwers happy, believe it or not. The solution is to make a portfolio to showcase a selection of each student’s best work throughout the school year. Portfolios are required by law in some states, but they are a good idea for everyone for several reasons: preserving hard work, providing evidence for skeptical grandparents or other family members and friends, planning purposes for younger siblings, and recording grades and/or levels earned.
I’ve made portfolios for each of my children for each of the twelve years that we’ve been homeschooling. Since I know that the word portfolio strikes fear into the hearts of many homeschooling moms, I’ve broken down the process for you in order to make it not so scary. I also wanted to provide you with some motives behind the idea for creating portfolios for your children if you are not required to do so by your state law
The word portfoliobuzzes around the homeschooling community faster than a case of chicken pox. Merriam-Webster defines it as “a selection of a student’s work compiled over a period of time and used for assessing performance or progress.” Notice that the definition contains the word selection. A portfolio does NOT contain every single piece of paper ever touched by your children’s pencils.
It includes a representation of completed work, which has the best writing samples, the best test scores, the best artwork, the best note booking pages, and the best worksheet pages. It also entails pictures of 3-D projects, field trips, and other activities that can’t be condensed to a single written document. I traditionally keep most tests for our yearly portfolios. For subjects with a lot of papers (such as math worksheets), I keep one out of every twenty or thirty worksheets. For subjects with fewer papers, I keep one in every ten or twenty pages.
What about dioramas, full-sized body outlines, and salt-dough maps? What about all the learning games we play instead of doing boring worksheets? How are those activities documented in a two-dimensional portfolio? Take pictures! For a while, these projects occupy a place of honor on the dining room table or on the window seat. Then they graduate to living under the guest room bed. When the next project is ready to reside under the guest room bed, the first one moves to the circular file. But first, I take a picture of it. We set the little people up again and the kids pose as I flash the pictures I forgot to take when they originally made the project. You can make professional scrapbook pages to go in your portfolios, or you can slap the pictures onto cardstock, write up a few labels, and call it good.
Field trips can also be documented with pictures. If you usually sling a camera around your neck and annoy even the most photogenic of your children with the flash, this will be a breeze. In addition to documenting trips with photographs, you can incorporate ticket stubs, programs, and maps, either hand drawn or removed from an old atlas with your route highlighted. If it’s relatively flat and can be taped or glued to paper or cardstock, then it can go in a portfolio. Another idea is to place smaller items in an envelope and then attach the envelope to a piece of cardstock. Remember to label the envelope.
If you’re a journaler, or if your children enjoy journal writing, you (or they) can include weekly or monthly journal pages documenting the highlights of your school year. This might also be a good, nonthreatening exercise for the reluctant writer. It’s interesting to look back through the years and see how your priorities have changed. Children will oftentimes be amazed that their favorite subject in second grade turned into their worst subject by seventh grade, or the reverse. They’ll enjoy remembering friends who have moved away and their favorite co-op classes.
Finally, what would a portfolio be without lists? You can include lists of goals for the year, books read, resources used, and more. These can be located at the front of the binder so they don’t get mixed in with the math papers or the science lab reports.
If you give your children report cards each year or graduation certificates, these may be included in your portfolios as well. I prefer to put these kinds of documents at the very front so they don’t get lost in the shuffle. If you don’t want to punch holes in special items (or can’t due to size or format), place them in clear sheet protectors.
Happy portfolio-ing!

Q4U: How do you keep samples of your kids’ work from overtaking the dining room table?

anxiety, encouragement, homeschool, planning, writing

What’s Next?

What should I do next? That question has often left me in a tizzy trying to figure out which item on my very-important-to-do-right-now list ought to be the next thing to receive my attention. Yes, I’ve read the books on prioritizing. Yes, I usually make a physical, written list of all that needs to be accomplished in a day. But, my lists always seem to have the word urgent beside each item. How do I choose what to do next?
A few months ago as I was cleaning out some files, I can across a copy of a page out of an old devotional book that was sent to me by my mother years ago. It contains an ancient poem that sums up what one must do on those occasions when it seems impossible to do anything. It simply says to do the next thing. I’m going to take the liberty of quoting the poem in its entirety here. The original author is anonymous.
          Doe the Nexte Thynge

From an old English parsonage down by the sea
There came in the twilight a message to me;
It’s quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven,
Hath, it seems to me, teaching from heaven.
And on through the hours the quiet words ring
Like a low inspiration: “DOE THE NEXTE THYNGE.”
 Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity, guidance, are given.
Fear not tomorrows, child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus, doe the nexte thynge.
 Do it immediately, do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand
Who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe ’neath His wing,
Leave all resulting, doe the nexte thynge.
 Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
Working or suffering, be they demeanor;
In His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance be thy psalm,
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing.
Then, as he beckons thee, doe the nexte thynge.

Did you have plans that got shot out of the water before 9 a.m. today? Me too. “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). Is your hand empty? “For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you’” (Isaiah 41:13). Still not sure where to turn next? Isaiah 30:21 makes it clear that God will show you which direction to go—if you listen to him. “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’”
So, what’s next? Is the baby’s diaper emanating a stench? Change it. Is your fifth grader stuck on the mysteries of making equivalent fractions? Teach her how. Will your husband be home for dinner in an hour? Put supper in the oven. Find the next thing to do, and then do it. The longer you spend agonizing over what to do, the more time you waste. Just do the next thing. 

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Dealing with Chronic Illnesses, Part 5: Organization Helps

I’m over at Heart of the Matter Online today. Hop on over and check out our other fabulous posts by our very talented writers.
Before y’all glare at me for suggesting more work for we who can barely manage the basics most of the time, let me assure you that being organized can help us. I promise. The end result of becoming and staying organized outweighs the effort and the time. I understand the overwhelming fatigue that comes with a chronic illness, especially if the one who’s sick is mom. However, having one or more children who have chronic illnesses is enough to sap the energy out of even the most energetic of us.
Benefits
When you feel well, take advantage of it, but try not to overdo it! When you don’t feel well, you’ve got routines, plans, and procedures in place that can just work themselves out. Obviously, the toddler is not going to feed himself breakfast, although he may try, but I’m more focused on school work and perhaps a little necessary housework.
What to organize
The question really should be, “What shouldn’t be organized?” Academics, routines, and appointments can be written down and displayed prominently for all family members to access easily. School supplies, art supplies, and toys can be in labeled containers. For those with nonreaders in the house, try using pictures instead of words, both for putting away toys and for routines.
How to keep it working
Don’t expect everything to get and stay organized with just a snap of the fingers a la Mary Poppins. Start slowly when you feel up to it. Gradually work your way towards a more organized home and a more organized routine. A little at a time, train kids to put stuff back, look at charts, and groove to routines.
Attitudes are everything
The right attitudes can go a long way towards making everyone feel more positively about homeschooling, organization, and chronic illnesses. The book of Proverbs reminds us that “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken,” and “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones” (15:13; 17:22 NKJV). Let’s write these encouragements out and post them on the refrigerator beside the chore charts and schedules.

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Dealing with Chronic Illnesses, Part 4: Taking Care of the Kids

Let’s face it: a household need a certain number of things done daily in order to run smoothly (or at least stumble along). And moms with chronic illnesses don’t always have the energy to do them. That means we often have to ask our kids (and hubbies) to step up to the plate. But what’s a mom to do when the kids resent being asked to do extra chore or being told mom can’t do something for/with them?
One of the biggest advocates for Mom’s health and kids doing chores is Dad. A father sets the tone for the whole house. If Dad plops on the sofa every night after work and asks about dinner and clean clothes when Mom is clearly not up to either, he sets up false expectations for the kiddos. On the other hand, if he willingly pitches in and encourages the children to help as well, he’s not only blessing his wife, he’s also exemplifying an attitude of servanthood.
What happens if a chronically ill mom is all your kids have ever known? That’s okay! They’ll learn how to do household chores early on. They’ll learn to be independent (in a good way). Hopefully, your kids will have extra compassion towards those who are physically weaker.
What happens if a chronically ill mom is suddenly sprung on our kids, especially if they have previously not had to do many chores? They’re in for a surprise. It’s all about expectations. In general, change leads to frustration. When a major life change like this occurs, it’s best to sit the family down and address these issues at the current level of expectation. It may be a bumpy adjustment, but don’t back down when the kids start whining about never having to do their own laundry before. They’ll adjust eventually. Promise.
Here’s what one friend had to say, “If Dad is frustrated and complaining, the children will follow suit. My husband never hesitated to clean do dishes, scrub floors, do laundry, etc., when I was down with pain. He encouraged our daughters to serve similarly. There were times when my girls were frustrated (junior high/high school), but they eventually grew to appreciate all I was able to do despite my pain. Also, I feel that my chronic pain was a plus in homeschooling. I was physically unable to hover over them or spoon-feed information. They were on their own. I wrote the lesson plans, and they carried out their work without me. They learned to dig for answers and be resourceful. Community college professors said they had incredible study skills—but that’s because they had no choice but to develop those skills. It’s all good.”
It may take a few years—or more—for our children to appreciate hard work, responsibility, and serving, but it will probably happen. Proverbs 22:6 reminds us, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
How can we try to keep our children’s attitudes in check?
·         Model servitude
·         Model a good attitude
·         Don’t ask them to perform extra chores when we’re able to do them ourselves
·         Study together biblical examples of people serving others
·         Be patient when they are frustrated and unhappy, but don’t feed into it
·         Encourage them to snuggle in bed with you to talk
·         Let them express their frustrations in an appropriate way
How can we make sure our kids know that we appreciate them and the sacrifices they’re making on our behalf (at least in their minds)?
·         Say thank you. A lot
·         Spend time with them on their terms when we’re able
·         Say yes when possible
·         Take them on special outings when possible
·         Give them little, unexpected treats just because
·         Make an effort to ask someone else to take the teens on field trips and other outings
·         Give hugs and kisses
·         Write them thank you notes for special (or even regular) acts of service
·         Let them hear you praising their actions to others
Of course, kids and teens will be frustrated from time to time, but aren’t we all? It’s that root of bitterness that we have to watch out for. Ephesians 4:31 admonishes, “Let all bitterness . . . be put away from you.”
Bottom line: there’s no guarantee that our kids won’t spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours stretched out on a therapist’s couch whining about their forced slavery. But there’s also no guarantee that kids who have been raised in church won’t forsake it, either. While we have no control over how our children choose to feel, I believe our number one defense against the root of bitterness in our children, especially as it concerns how our physical limitations affect them, is prayer. 

This post also appears over at Heart of the Matter today. Go check out the other fabulous contributors!

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Taking Care of Mom, Dealing with Chronic Illnesses, Part 2

In last month’s article, “How to Bless Homeschooling Moms Who Have Chronic Illnesses,” I listed a few things that other homeschool moms could do to help a fellow mom in need. The list was hardly comprehensive, but it was a start. This month I want to address a few ways that families can bless their own moms who have chronic illnesses.
As if homeschool moms don’t feel enough guilt already about not being perfectly patient, perfectly knowledgeable, and perfectly organized, those who are chronically ill also add in a hefty dose of guilt for not always feeling well enough to participate fully in family and homeschooling life.
Younger children don’t understand why mom is on the couch—again. They don’t understand why mom can’t play tag—again. They don’t know why mom can’t pick them up—again. They just know that they’re sad because you’re sad. Younger children can still help mom feel better, though. Little chubby arms encircling mom’s neck and sloppy kisses are the best therapy. Chronically ill moms can let their kids know that the best way they can help is to dispense that kind of medicine. Mom would probably feel better with a blankie and a stuffed animal to snuggle with, too. From a very young age, children need to feel needed; we have a chance here for a win-win situation.
Older children and teens also have a difficult time understanding why they need to make dinner, watch the littler ones, and skip the youth group party when mom’s not feeling well. Oh, they may understand the words pain, limitations, and lack of energy, but they don’t get how it applies to their lives. The solution is to train them to be godly servants as Paul advocates in Philippians 2:2–4 (MSG), “Do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.” If I figure out an easy way to get this concept through a thick-skulled teenager’s brain, you’ll be the first to know. But, we’re all on the faith journey together, so maybe we need to offer up a bit of grace with our training.
Children can be trained to do just about any household chore, including cooking simple meals. Of course, as they get older, they are capable of taking on more responsibilities. The trick is to utilize the times when you’re feeling good to teach these types of skills. Rather than feeling guilty for making your children help, think of it as home economics training for their futures.
Instead of sounding like I’m preaching to the husbands, I’ll just encourage the wives to let their husbands know what they need. I will also encourage the husbands to be sensitive to their wives’ needs. There, that wasn’t too preachy, was it?
Moms, I bet you thought you were off the hook, didn’t you? Nope. How can you best take care of yourself? By letting go of the guilt. I know, I know, that’s easier said than done. Use the following Scriptures on grace to combat the guilt. “At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, ‘My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.’ Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift” (2 Cor. 12:8–9, MSG). “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift” (Eph. 4:7, NKJV). “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’” (James 4:6, NKJV). “Grow in grace and understanding of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18, MSG).
Many blessings of grace to you and yours as you struggle through homeschooling with a chronic illness.

This article also appears over at Heart of the Matter Online.

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How to Bless Homeschool Moms Who Have Chronic Illnesses

I’m over at Heart of the Matter Online today!

They look normal. They look healthy. They even look happy. Most of the time anyway. But they aren’t any of those things all of the time. I’m talking about homeschool moms with chronic illnesses. On the surface, they look normal, so we expect them to act normally. But they can’t.
Chronic illnesses can’t be cured even though they may be managed—sometimes better than others. They deplete energy, happiness, and general feelings of well-being. Often, they cause wide-spread pain. Homeschool moms who have chronic illnesses feel misunderstood many times. These illnesses are not all in their heads. They can’t just get over them.
These illnesses are not like other common sicknesses that elicit sympathy automatically. Please don’t think I’m trying to downplay the seriousness of other physical ailments; I’m not. I’m just trying to highlight a misunderstood category of illnesses.
People don’t want to talk about chronic illnesses because they don’t know what they are, and they don’t know what to say. Numerous chronic illnesses are also invisible, meaning that they’re not obvious. I’m just going to list a few of them, even though there are many, many more: chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, anxiety, lupus, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and depression. If you were to take a poll of the homeschooling moms you know personally, I’d bet that many more of them have a chronic illness than you thought.
Homeschool moms (or anyone else) who have chronic illnesses don’t want to be defined by their diagnoses; neither do they want to whine about them all of the time. Okay, maybe they would like to whine, but they usually suppress the urge! But, they still need our understanding and our help. Here is a partial list of ideas to let those special homeschool moms know that we love them and want to help them:
  • Ask how they’re feeling—and really mean it, but be aware that they may not want to talk about their illness(es)
  • Take them a meal or cookies for no reason
  • Offer to take their kids on a field trip
  • Don’t make them feel guilty for not being able to do extra activities
  • Offer to watch their little ones occasionally
  • Offer to teach an elective such as art, state history, music, or science labs to their kids as well as to your own
  • Don’t ask them to take on additional jobs or service projects
  • Don’t distance yourself from them because they can’t keep up with activities that you used to enjoy together
  • Send them an email (or even a snail mail card) to let them know you’re praying for them
  • Give them a hug—they aren’t contagious
  • Understand that no matter which chronic illness(es) they have, their energy level is much lower than it used to be
  • Understand that they’re even more frustrated by their limitations than you are
  • Ask if there’s anything specific you can do to help
  • Do for them what you’d like your friends to do for you if you weren’t feeling well

Dear Sisters, I leave you with some scriptural encouragement to bless your fellow homeschooling moms. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). “Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress” (Philippians 4:14). “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me’” (Matthew 25:40). (All references taken from the NKJV.)

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Planners and Responsibilities

Remember the teacher’s planner that enthralled you so much at the convention that you bought it? Its purpose is not just to look pretty on your shelf or on your computer’s desktop. It’s time to pull it out and start using it, or to figure out all the features it has if you’ve purchased an e-planner. Yes, I mean right now (well, after you’ve finished reading this)! If you follow a more traditional school year, you’ve probably recently started the new school year. The good news is that it’s not too late to start using your planner!
First of all, plan—at least roughly—your starting and ending dates for the school year. Be sure to incorporate holidays and other dates you know you’ll be taking off from official academics. Make sure you have 180 days if that’s required in your state. It’s okay if these dates fluctuate during the year—really—at least you’ve got a framework.
The next step is to write all these dates into your paper planner or to program them into your e-planner. The nice thing about e-planners is that they will calculate the number of days for you and it’s much easier to change dates if something unexpected comes up, and it will. This feature comes in handy towards the end of the year when the kids (and you) are getting antsy for the last day of school. Many states require you to keep and submit a yearly attendance log, which will be a breeze once you start using your e-planner. No more counting out days trying to remember if you did school on Columbus Day or not.
Mid-range planning involves breaking the school year down into quarters (or whatever units you use), then months, and then weeks. I plan which books will be read when and which projects go with which history and science units. I also look at every textbook, workbook, and living book we’ll be using to see approximately how many pages and chapters need to be done every quarter, month, and week. It saves time when I do my short-term planning during the school year, and it also helps me keep the children on track to finish each book by the end of the school year (but not three months early, unless we want to do it that way).
While this may seem like a lot of unnecessary work, it makes my planning during the year go much more smoothly. When I do my bi-weekly planning, I simply look at my chart and decide what and how much to do each day. That way when we get to the end of the year, I don’t discover a really cool project that we forgot we had or find a book about an explorer when we’re studying the Civil War.
Short-term planning, in case you haven’t figured it out by now, involves planning specific pages, chapters, lessons, and projects for each day of the school week. I have found that it works best for me to do this once every two weeks. Doing it every week tends to feel cumbersome and never-ending. If I do it only every three or four weeks, we tend to get out of sync too easily by an unexpected field trip or illness. It may take you a few tries to figure out what timing works best for you, but you will be much more relaxed throughout the school year if you take a little bit of time now to do so.
As I do my short-term planning, I print out a lesson plan schedule for each of my children, starting about when they reach the fourth grade level. At this point, especially if you’ve been homeschooling for several years, children are capable of looking at the list, figuring out what to do next, and crossing off each item as it is completed. This is part of the progression towards independent learning. Children enjoy feeling as if they have some control over their days, and they start to figure out the process of scheduling for themselves. For us moms, it cuts down on the constant, “Mom, what do I do next?” syndrome. Of course we’re not leaving our children completely to their own devices; we’re just teaching them a little bit of independence at a time while we can still monitor their progress.
           
Another option is to purchase (or make) a planner for each child. The Well-Planned Day, Apologia, and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Store offer planners for different age groups with grade-appropriate forms in addition to regular curricula planning pages. With younger children, you may find yourself writing everything in their planners and perhaps just having them check off each subject as it is completed. Even kindergarteners and first graders get a kick out of finding the word math on Tuesday and x-ing it off.
           
As they get older, you can have children take more responsibility for planning one subject at a time—with your guidance, of course. For instance, when my children reached middle school, I started telling them that they had two weeks to finish a science module. We elect to complete most available tests for memory retention and for future training (driver’s license or SATs, anyone?), so I teach my children to work backwards from the test date. If this is Monday and the test will be next Friday; that means that next Thursday will be a study day. That leaves us with three days next week and five days this week to read the chapter, do any experiments, and answer the questions along the way. Now we count the pages in the chapter; let’s just say there are twenty-four pages. Then, we divide the twenty-four pages by the eight days in which we have to do them and come up with reading four pages a day, including corresponding questions and experiments. In the early stages of planning, I make my children write the exact page numbers on each day of their planners. Voila, they’ve planned out the next two weeks of their science curriculum (almost) on their own.
           
I get less strict about how my children plan while keeping tabs on their general progress as they become more mature. Instead of doing some each day, particularly in science, history, and other subjects that don’t need daily repetition, some students may prefer to do more of one thing on certain days. That works, too, but make sure you count the right number of days and/or weeks when you plan that way.
           
Yes, this type of planning takes time. But it’s not just about writing down the next math lesson number or the next literature chapter. It’s also about learning to manage one’s time and resources, which is a life lesson that will be used over and over again. Most jobs require some sort of planning and implementation—even homemakers are more efficient if meals are planned ahead of time.
“Where there is no guidance, a people falls; but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” Proverbs 11:14.
“Plans are established by counsel” Proverbs 20:18a.

**This article appears over at Heart of the Matter Online today. Check out the other great writers over there!

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Study Skills for Grades 7-12

For most of us, the beginning of the school year is right around the corner. Now is the perfect time to hone your middle and high schoolers’ study skills. TODAY at 12:30 p.m. EST I’ll be presenting a session especially for your tweens and teens on essential study skills. It’s not too late to pick up a ticket for the entire Heart of the Matter Homeschool Conference happening this week. Click here to visit Heart of the Matter.

AND, I’m pleased to announce that Study Skills for Grades 7-12, the e-book, is releasing today as well! Visit my business website to purchase your copy at the introductory, discounted price of just $3.95. Hurry, this special price is available just for this week!