I want my children to learn how to manage their time, their responsibilities, their projects, their study and their social life.

 
So far they are familiar with a routine. A routine establishes habit. Habit helps you do tough things when you don’t want to!
 
They are familiar with to-do lists.
  • chore rosters
  • study assignments and reading lists
  • project lists
 
They are familiar with accountability. Every day I (am supposed to) expect them to place their diary and any finished work on my desk. This is something that needs tightening up in our household. We tend to do this on the run a little which isn’t really good. For me to maximise learning and discipleship opportunities I need to be in touch with what they are working on.  They have used check lists for many years – this is a form of accountability.
 
In 2009 I created a Control Journal* for myself – I call it my “Whole Life Diary”. The thing I like about my diary is that it helps me manage all areas of my life: my general to-do lists, my office work, my projects, keeping the house clean and food on the table, homeschooling, discipling my children, celebrating birthdays, and this year I’m going to add a section for my creativity and reading/learning. (A friend adds finances but I have a computerised system for that so that would be doubling up for me).  This is the beauty of a system that you put together for yourself; you can include the things in your Control Journal / diary that are important for you, in order for you to be orderly.
 
*The idea of a “control journal” comes from Flylady.net
 
Anyway, I am creating a Control Journal for each of my children. This is a work in progress but so far I am thinking:
 
  • Calendar. It is important that the kids can quickly reference to a calendar so I’ve used free online calendars to print off a monthly calendar for the kids Binders.
  • Daily to-do list. This is individualised for each child listing the things that they do in their morning and evening routines. I have also included a weekly routine chart so they can see what is to be the ‘norm’.
  • Study.  This will be predominately an assignment sheet and a reading list. This would be the place for them to file any plans for study.
  • Responsibilities.  Though we hand the roster sheet in the kitchen, I will include a copy in their binder so they have a personal record and reminder.
  • Personal Development. This is a place to record Bible memory verses or character prompts that I create for each child as a reminder to help them through an issue. Though they could keep their notes from Devotional time here, they have all decided to keep that private in their bedroom with their Bible.
  • Talents. Each child’s folder will be unique, especially in this area. They may file important information relevant to a subject they are pursuing or it may simply be a list of creative projects they have in mind.
  • Correspondence. A place to file letters received, holding them till they’ve been replied to. Once replied to any letters they wish to keep will be filed in another filing system.
  • Phone Numbers and important information
  • Birthdays and gift-giving plans and ideas
 
These sections will be arranged as each child sees fit. I think it is important to have the most used sections as the front but I want the kids to set up their Control Journal in a way that makes sense to them. I will give them the same boundaries I put on myself:
 
  1. It is to store information that you find helpful to keep yourself organised and ontop of things – personalise the contents and organisation
  2. It is not a filing system – don’t let it get too heavy
  3. If it doesn’t work for you – tweak it
  4. It has to be used daily
 
Having a Binder is only useful if it is used. Once we set up all this information for the kids, we had to learn to refer to it throughout the day.
 

Update:

As technology has advanced different kids used different solutions in order to stay organised and responsible for different areas of their life. Once they had a laptop they used Google Calendar and Microsoft Office to make their own lists and forms to stay in touch. Once they had a phone they used apps to both store and remind them of various things. The important thing isn’t so much setting up a binder – the important thing is that our children become responsible for their life – for their relationships, for growing as a person, for their responsibilities and service to others.

 

Further Reading

Are you Aiming for your Children to be Independent Students? Children become independent students by building on their natural curiosity and developing skills – one layer at a time. Don’t rush it.
Create a Unique Education for each Child When we look at the whole child we can create a unique education plan for each of our children.
How I use Google Calendar for my Homemaker’s Binder I have discovered Google Calendar as a way to make a digital homemaker's binder – no more heavy binder to carry, and no more pieces of paper to print off!
Developing Habits Habits shape our character – learn how to develop habits in your life.

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