Creating school and chore checklists was probably the BEST thing I ever did in our homeschool! Seriously. Having checklists takes the stress off of YOU and puts it on the kids. They know what is required, and you can easily check their progress.
This is the final post in our series: Planning A Successful School Year in 5 Easy Steps.
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Why are school and chore charts or checklists so important?
1. They help your kids helps become independent learners, while also helping them to develop character qualities such as perseverance, responsibility, diligence, and initiative.
2. The kids can look at their school chart and see what work needs to be accomplished for each subject, what chores they have for the day, and then start right in on things.
If Mom isn’t around for some reason, they are still able to begin with any work they can do on their own.
3. Kids do much better when they start each day knowing what is expected.
They can see what has to be done and know there is an end in sight.
Being able to mark things off as they get them done is motivating to them. (Don’t you love crossing things off your to-do list? I know I do!)
4. At any time during the day, you can look at their chart to monitor how they are doing.
5. You can file the charts in a binder each week, and you will have a complete record of what the child did during that school year.
All their work will be documented on the charts, so you won’t have to be searching for papers or trying to remember who did what.
You don’t need a big fancy planner for this. These charts are super simple to make and use.
Here are some simple ideas for creating school and chore checklists for your kids:
1. The chart that I used and loved was one I designed in Microsoft Word.
I put the days of the week across the top, and the subjects or activities they needed to do down the side. At the bottom I included a row for their daily jobs. I included all the extra things like practicing math facts or piano, silent reading, etc. (any extras that I wanted to be sure they did each day)
Each of the kids had a clip board for their charts, because I found that if the charts were loose, they tended to get lost. Each day they put their clip board with the marked chart on my desk.
2. I also added a column beside the days of the week for grades.
At the end of each week I would average the score of their graded work for each subject, and put that score (or grade) in the column. EASY PEASY way to keep track of their grades, especially when they get into the upper grades and you need them for a transcript.
3. Details on the chart should tell the kids what page(s) to read in each subject, page numbers for worksheets they are to do, or a required amount of reading, etc.
As they complete the work, they simply put a check mark beside it. They can see what is done, and what is left.
This keeps them kids accountable, and they won’t be able to use “I didn’t know I was supposed to do it” or “I forgot”as an excuse for skipping some of their work.
4. Have the older kids fill out their own charts.
They can look at their books or requirements for the semester, then figure out how much they need to do each week to get it done on time.
Letting them plan their own work teaches them time management, and teaches them how to prioritize. At the same time, they will feel like they are in control of their education and will be more likely to work harder to stay on the schedule that they set up for themselves.
5. Set aside about an hour on the weekend to set up the charts for the kids.
This will vary based on how many you are teaching at the same time. As my kids all started getting older and more independent in their work, my work load was lightened.
As you can probably tell, I LOVED using a school and chore chart for the kids. They work!
(The charts we used for 31 years of homeschooling are in the set below, along with a few other charts, and lots of good tips as well!)