Monday, November 24, 2014

Weekly Planners

I've tried 3 different ways to plan our weeks.  I'm still not sure which to stick with. Perhaps we'll just switch it up every now and then for variety, because each has its pros and cons. At first, Monkey didn't like option 3, because he wanted to know EXACTLY what he needed to do for the day, but option 3 is the one we've been using the past 2 weeks, and he found that he wanted to try to 'get more done' so he can have the rest of the week free. Ideally, I'd like for him to be able to budget and plan his own time, so I think personally, I like option 3.We'll just have to see if he really can stick to his own planning, or if it will have to switch back to daily schedules so that we don't get too far behind.

1. Daily Grid with Subject

This is what is pictured above. Days of the week across the top, subjects along the left side. We did this for most of the year. 

Pros: Can see exactly what subjects are covered each day. Sometimes we skip one or two subjects a day, so at a glance it's easy to see empty boxes. No arguments about what is supposed to be accomplished in a day.

Cons: If we don't get to something on one day, it annoys my 'control-freak' side to have an unchecked item. Monkey also tends to only look down the list for that particular day, and doesn't look back to previous days to see what he's missed, so he forgets to do leftover work from previous days. Monkey also doesn't really think to work ahead, and get the next day's work done in order to finish up early for the week. Also, it LOOKS like a lot of work each day, seeing the whole list taking up the whole page, so that sometimes feels overwhelming to Monkey.

2. Daily Lists

This is a list by day, listing the agenda for each day.

For example,

  • Math - Singapore p. 6
  • Language Arts - Lesson 1
  • Science - Read pp. 55-59
  • Chinese - iPad app game
  • Math - Life of Fred, Chapter 3
  • Language Arts - Lesson 2
  • History - Read "Pilgrim Stories"
  • Chinese - watch video
Pros: Short concise daily list. Looks more manageable when you only see a short list.

Cons: Hard to see a quick glance whether there's a gap in work for a particular subject. Also the same issue as the daily grid in terms of missed work or working ahead.

3. Subject Lists
This is a list of assignments by subjects, enough work for a week (or more). No dates are mentioned, so each day is flexible as to what work needs to be done. 

For example,

  • Singapore -  p. 6
  • Life of Fred - Chapter 3
  • Singapore - p. 7
  • Life of Fred - Chapter 4
Language Arts
  • Lesson 1
  • Lesson 2
  • Write Draft of Report
  • Read pp. 55-59
  • Milk Experiment 
Pros: Flexibility in scheduling what to do each day. If one item doesn't get done one day, it can be planned for the next day. Can easily do extra work and be finished early, and have free time at the end of the week. 

Cons: Have to decide what to do each day, which is an extra step. If not everything is done by the end of the week (or whatever time period), there's a mad rush to finish up. If Monkey is not good a budgeting his time, there's a lot of stress toward the end of the week.