I recently had the unfortunate experience of running into someone who functions in the world in an “Oh by the way” manner. You know the kind I’m talking about. Oh, I just need one more thing from you. And, oh by the way I just noticed you need this. And this.
The good news is our interaction taught me about the best tool for scheduling no one talks about: the humble checklist.
However, if we are not careful, these same tools we use to customize education for our children can hurt. I don’t like being told (in what I see an arbitrary manner) what to do in an endless stream. And neither do children.
So even if you have a vision, it is important to convey it to your children via a checklist.
It’s been more than a few months now since I’ve read it, but perhaps the best book on how important it is to use a checklist has been written by Atul Gawande.
While it tends to focus on life-saving situations like those of airline pilots, nurses and surgeons, the checklist can nevertheless make your homeschool a better place as well.
Why? Here are a few reasons:
- With a checklist, your children are never in doubt whether they’re done or not with their work. They don’t need to check in with you constantly. It gives them autonomy over their work.
- It helps you organize your homeschooling
- It creates mental space. Once you’ve put something down on paper, you can “forget” about it.
- It smooths whatever friction you might be facing with your child. When expectations are written and set out in the outset, you remove the tension out of the situation.
Preferably, put the checklist in a public place where the children as well as you can see it. For my personal use, I like the ColorNote App, but that remains on my phone, so in this case, it is useless.
For more ideas on time management and scheduling, go here.