Friday Five: summer term dwindles to a close

posted in: actual | 3

Faithful Follow-through

I started the week with a cold which turned into a sinus infection, plus our last two-week session of swimming lessons began. When I fell into bed Tuesday night, I realized I should just admit reality rather than fight it: Break week started Wednesday, not next Monday. We have a birthday this weekend adding more activity and work to the week, so it was just better to call that shorter, warm-up term a wrap and get in some last bits of summer, housecleaning, and rest before we dive into the full school schedule.

After all, is any real progress made when mom feels crummy and the kids are tired? No. Better to rest up. Make hay while the sun shines and batten down the hatches when it’s stormy.

Favorite Instagram of the week:

Showcasing vacuum-pot coffee

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Feasible Fix

We adjusted the Trello board protocol this week. When I created them, I thought using the labels – a color band across the top – would be the best way to indicate if a task was “to do” “need help” or “done.”

After 4 weeks, I changed my mind. I don’t get notifications for label changes, and it turns out that the notifications are really handy. I do get notifications on my laptop and on my phone if they leave a comment in one of the tasks, so if they need my help with something, they are now supposed to leave a comment to that end.

Also, instead of changing label colors when they’re done, which is a multi-click process and a tad tedious, I made sure each task card had a checklist. Some only have a checklist of one item, but they now all have checklists. When a checklist is entirely complete, it shows up as green on the card, so we have that clear visual indicator and a click that clearly means “yes, I did exactly this.”

Watch my Trello for Homeschooling video:

Fab Freebie

Christia Colquitt from Faith-Filled Parenting has an outstanding free email/video course on tackling toddler tantrums. If you have a child 5-or-under in your house, you don't need to plan any elaborate activities or buy any special curriculum. You need to read to them, give them a regular chore within their capability, and teach them to control their responses. Teach them to respond cheerfully, politely, and obediently right when they first start being able to respond to you with anger and tantrums. Otherwise you'll be dealing with disrespect when you also want to be teaching them - and people don't learn from those they disrespect. Christia's free mini course is a good Parenting Basics resource to help you get your relationship with your kids set within healthy boundaries. Kids who learn self-control at 2 and 3 are a joy - and it is possible.

Fast FAQ

Speaking of those younger kids, I received an email asking about homeschooling when the oldest child is 5, and so I did a 'scope on it this week:

Free-Reading Fans

The kids were caught reading this week:
#readsilentlyrevival #audiobooksarenotcheating
and I also had a fascinating finish:
This week I finished A Call to Spiritual Reformation by D.A. Carson. It is about prayer, using the prayers of Paul as a model to discuss not only what to pray about, but also how to pray. Carson used the prayers in the epistles as a springboard to talk about many aspects related to prayer, including attitudes and habits and so much more. It was good. If you're looking for a book on prayer that keeps the focus biblical and isn't afraid to pack a direct punch, this is a good choice. I think I purchased this book as clearance from WTS Books because I have the old edition. The new edition is called Praying with Paul: A Call to Spiritual Reformation - a more apt title.

3 Responses

  1. Christy
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    I just had to tell you that I love using Trello for my oldest. I’m so glad you blogged about it. I started off using it like you described about with the checklists, and it’s working so well. Thanks!

  2. Rebekah
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    My second born is five and wanting to “do school” like his brother, so I plan to have materials available for him, but I won’t require him to complete lessons. I didn’t do a ton of academics when my oldest was five, but I probably should have done even less than I did with him.

  3. Marci
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    We too are using trello with checklists not labels. I like it because I can put the “procedure” for each subject as the checklist, which eliminates the “I didn’t know I was supposed to…” component when I say “did you do math?” Now he knows exactly what “do math” means. You can also link to external websites right from the card. For my kid this makes it so much easier to open the math card and link right to the website for facts practice, or quizlet for vocab words. We love this feature!
    Another helpful thing I do is I make the top card in the list have our daily overview. I write it in the title of the card. So Monday might say “Home this morning, library after lunch, 2pm tennis”. Most of these things become routine, but it’s a good reminder (all in one place) for my kiddo to see the calendar part of the schedule.
    I’m interested to hear if after using these checklists you will still copy the board week to week. I’ve been planning to just copy the checklist itself over once it’s complete, keeping it on the same card. I don’t have to provide these types of records for documentation, so it’s just for me. I haven’t fully fleshed out this thought, have you?
    Also, I’m wondering if these checklists might work well for looping. If I make the card “Writing Extras” and then made checklists for cursive, typing, common place, typing game, copywork, it could just be a do the “next thing next” instead of having a Monday card say “typing”. Have you used it like this yet?
    We also had fun adding photos to our cards. The front of our cards have little pictures of each book, or a photo of our piano or backyard. For things like Audio books (variable sources) vs, paper book it’s a visual reminder on where to find it.
    Thanks for introducing us to trello!