Trying a Checklist

I’ve been trying to figure out how to fit time into my day for the few items I’d like to do with Child #3 as she wants to start her formal Kindergarten work in January. The “learn to read,” handwriting/copywork, and manipulative/play-based math don’t take very long each day, but I’d like to give her an hour three times per week for her fun “K” activities.

In that vein, on this short holiday week, I tried something with Child #1 to gain some time and teach some accountability, responsibility, and self-scheduling. I gave her a checklist of all the school-related items she would have to complete on Monday through Wednesday. Each subject has a list under it and some include ‘fun’ activities. I’ve included just a few subjects to give you an idea of the list. There are notations when she needs items checked by me before moving on and ones where she needs my assistance before she begins.

CLE 407 Lesson 6
CLE 407 Lesson 7
CLE 407 Lesson 8
Magic Squares: Fractions Worksheet

Map Skills
Map Skills D pg 39
Map Skills D pg 40
Map Skills D pg 41

Review all states & capitals learned to date with flashcards
States & Capitals Worksheet
*Play States/Capitals Game one time on the computer, any level.

Finish pages 48-49 by writing answers and practicing words out loud
Review vocabulary and prayers on page 26 & 50.
Complete pg 51-52
Take Latin Test


She was so excited to be in charge of her own schedule. Her excitement knew no bounds and she reveled in her ability to decide not only what to do next but when to take a break and for how long. She went straight for the “easy” stuff and did it first. While she got a lot done on her first day, it was the fun stuff or the subjects she prefers. All the subjects she dislikes (because they involve thinking) were left undone.

On the second day, I gently encouraged her to get working on a few items of the “tougher” subjects like Writing, Spelling, or Math. Still queen of her own schedule, she ignored my gentle advice. In fact, she goofed off most of the late morning and again in the late afternoon. I kept quiet because this was meant to be a learning experience for her.

By this morning, when her younger sister had less than an hour of work to do total until done for the entire week, my oldest was in a panic. The tears were flowing and the wailing was almost as loud as the youngest when he wants to be picked up.

She counted some 18 items left and most of them were time-suckers (in her mind, at least).  She knew the rest of us were going to watch a movie this afternoon. She attempted to get a pass on all the rest of her work by whining a question about whether she needed to finish EVERYTHING before she got to watch the movie. This didn’t work, so she tried a temper-tantrum (at the age of 9 – truly humorous!) where she screamed that no one else should get to watch a movie if she didn’t. When this also did not work, she complained loudly and sobbed some more that I had given her too much work.

When at last she decided to get down to work, she was able to complete everything to my satisfaction while only missing the toddler-picked video (a Thomas the Tank Engine flick).

Perhaps in another month, we’ll try again.


About doucementgently

I'm a thirty-something female with loads of kids, a great husband, and lots of things on my mind. I plan on blogging about homeschooling, personal finance, the economy in the U.S., politics, family life, and the things my children do.
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