Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Using Spiral Notebooks for our Home Learning

As I was planning for this year's lessons I read about the success of using Spiral Notebooks to write out the day's lessons for each child.
Sarah writes about it in depth on her blog and I was really interested to read her points of view.

One of the points that struck me was this quote  a question with an answer that I thought of myself :)
 “Why should I write it out when I could just print out a checklist?”

Because something about the act of writing it out by hand triggers the brain to engage. When I’m writing my 13-year-old’s assignments out, I can tell that I’m giving her too much work when it’s taking me a while to write or the paper is filling up. It’s so easy to just pop in one more assignment on a spreadsheet on your computer. It’s harder to make the space when you’re writing it out by hand.

Also, writing it out means I’m constantly in touch with where each child is in each of his or her subjects. Instead of just giving an assignment that says “do the next math assignment,” it says “do lesson 14.”

The question was something I wondered  about and the answer does seem to make sense.

So for the start of the year instead of printing out that great tick of sheet I had finally worked out perfectly I bought each of the children a spiral notebook and started writing out each day's work, either the night before- my preference or as we started our morning routine.

So how is this going for us? What are the pros and cons?

And to answer both those-
It is going, not great but...... alright. 
I like the idea in theory.
I like the fact that I can tailor it to each day's needs like adding in the feast days activities or the impromptu outing we are having.
Or even to add or usually subtract what I want to achieve as against what we can achieve (after a late sleep in or sick children, or even a broken arm - more on that adventure soon)
I like being able to use it as a check off list as well, the tick off is evidence of what has been achieved.

The disadvantage is if life goes awry on me-
Like having to go away to take older children to college or said broken arm etc.
If I have not written it out then it is not there for the children to use if I am not available for some reason as stated.
There have been times I have had a problem and not been able to fill the books out and so we get behind . So the positives of using it as a record then means I need to fill in old pages in arrears- this is of course my own choice and not how Sarah uses her own copies.

For now I will continue to use as I think the advantages out way the disadvantages. However like anything in our own home learning this could change if I feel it is not working well for us.

For each home is unique and what works for one family will not work for another or we take bits and pieces and adapt them to our own unique needs.

I highly recommend you read the blog post and at least see if it works for you.

Blessings to you and your homes,
Linked to Wise Woman Link Up
Linked to The Art of Home Making Mondays


Erin said...

Oh so intrigued, had considered myself but your points are so valid. Know they will be the same issues as ours, planning on staying with our tick sheets but... instead have been trying to focus on having more regular 'meetings' with our teens. Have been striving for weekly but think daily meetings would be best, where I need to put my energy to keep the finger on the pulse.

Joyful Mama said...

Thanks for this honest post. I think I may have way to many schoolers to do this...and a baby as well...oh plus the older kids out on their own needing me as well. I will stick with what I do. It did interest me when I first came across it but I never started due to already knowing my limits...or thought I knew them anyways. I am glad to read this.


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