Laying Out the Day

29 Oct

In recent days I’ve been trying something new with my daily plans.  Yes I still plan everything out for the coming week on the weekends but this is what I’ve been doing at the start of each day.  I pull out everything we’ll need for the day and line it up in no specific order along the bench.  This way I can “see” much more clearly what needs to be accomplished, better than having it simply listed in my planner (which of course I’ll still do!).

IMG_3478 (Small)

With everything in front of me I can more easily create a fluid plan as the day progresses.  Let me explain.  I don’t follow a strict timetable or subject schedule.  We complete our work in a way that seems logical for each moment.  Confused?  Let me give you example.  Today was dreary outdoors and so we sat a little longer at the breakfast table waiting for our engines to kick over.  As I glanced at our work on the bench, all ready to go, I decided that we could use our desire to sit for a while longer to orally work through our grammar task.  It was originally planned as a worksheet but it doesn’t matter to me if we write it or discuss and work through it orally.  So that’s what we did.

Later, we had another opportunity to change our planned course of action.  While I’d been reading aloud to the boys, they had been creating paddle wheelers out of recyclable stuff (and making a grand mess as well!).  I’d finished half of our daily reading (a good hour or so) but they weren’t finished creating.  I had the option of insisting they set it aside for later and do Math right this instance, or go with the flow and tweak our plan.  So I headed outside to hang the washing and rest my voice and then returned and picked up our second pile of reading books and kept reading while they finished their masterpieces.   How did laying it all out in front of me help here?  Well I could see the piles left for the day and knew confidently that there was plenty of time to be flexible and still achieve what I’d set out.

After reading I looked at the remaining piles and could see that both boys were going to need me to work with them in Language and Math.  Since I can’t be split in two (a shame really), I readjusted the piles so Ethan’s Math went with Brayden’s Language tasks.  If Language and Math had just been words in a list on my planner I might not have noticed until we’d started that we were going to have issues if we didn’t readjust.  Not really end of the world stuff, but the less stress and bother in a day, the better.   Wouldn’t you agree?

Plus, laying out everything in advance saves on time between tasks as everything is already there on the bench ready to grab and go.  This really helps for things like Science experiments as collecting the supplies can be the straw that broke the camel’s back for me.  Silly but true.

It’s also a great visual for the boys to see how they are progressing through their day.  A little like the workboxes approach but a lot less work and much more flexible.

So that’s the crazy notion I’ve been dabbling with recently.  Perhaps it’s completely useless to others.  But perhaps it’s just the thing that someone else might find helpful.  And if not, you can just shake your head at that mad zany woman living with her little men in a library (while her big man is out at work enabling such craziness).


P.S.  Yes, I’m also one of those bizarre people who lays out the clothes for her family the night before.  I also pack lunches and bags for the coming day if we are going out the next day.    But those things are just to ensure I don’t have to get up early and can sleep as long as possible and still stumble into clothes and grab our bags without thinking.  Not as crazy as you initially thought right!  Hehehe.










Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Homeschooling Days, Homeschooling Thoughts


6 responses to “Laying Out the Day

  1. Jen in NSW

    October 30, 2012 at 9:22 am

    That is quite a good idea. Wish I had the space. But I do make myself a day box with the boys’ work in it and just work my way through it, piling the done stuff in the middle of the table. Very satisifying to see that pile growing.

    Best wishes
    Jen in NSW

  2. Elsa

    October 31, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Agree. I like this idea a lot!

  3. JoAnn

    November 1, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Sounds like you definitely know what works for your family, which is great. 🙂

  4. Heidi Wilson

    November 1, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    These sorts of posts are EXTREMELY helpful to me as I start thinking and planning for how I want next year to work – as I know it will need to be more organized and planned out since I’ll have a toddler for much of next year instead of a newborn/infant!! 🙂 I spotted the Word Spy book on the table… tell me what that is and how you use it… I’ve seen them in the library and I’ve been intrigued!!

  5. Tracey

    November 1, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Word Spy is great. It’s a book about different types of words/langauge – like spoonerisms, pig latin, palindromes, acronyms etc…it’s very clever and my boys really enjoyed it. (Lots of riddles and codes to solve too). There’s no activities in it, so it’s not a grammar curriculum or anything. It’s very much a grammar living book.

    We’ll be starting the second Word Spy book next year and it looks like it’s all about parts of speech.

  6. Mandy

    November 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Not crazy at all 🙂 I prepare the night before, if we are going out…I love my sleep!


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