Digital Planning + Reporting
Do any of you use Evernote? I have had it for a few years but just started using it for homeschooling a year ago. I initially used it last year for our end of year meeting with our facilitator. I made a slideshow for each subject, I used images of my kids doing various activities and all the books we read. It worked so well and because I love documenting our homeschool days it was easy to put together.
Last three weeks I decided to try out Evernote for in more depth for planning, as well as recording all the learning we are actually doing, and it was so wonderful. While I absolutely adore physical planners, they are visually beautiful, but I am very Type A when it comes to planning, spread sheets and tables are my jam. It also saves me a lot time, as I am a much faster typer than I am a hand writer.
I started out by copy and pasting my current Spring term Panning sheet, as well as all the future term documents over from Word. I was able to add links for activities, short videos and ideas for chalk drawings that add pixie dust in to our lessons. Everything is in one place and I can access it on each of our computers and my iPhone if needed.
I type out our "ideal" week based on our typical loop schedule rotation, plus activities and field trips. I have always done this as it helps to make sure I am prepared for activities and crafts plus have all my books ready. I adjust each night and print a hard copy for the next day. My oldest loves lists and checking things off lists, so I print one for her too.
For daily recording, I found Sue Elvis's method to be the one I prefer. I don't want to go into the exact details to set this up, just go watch her videos if you are interested. The only major difference is that instead of doing a note on each different learning outcome, I created one note for each subject, and list the outcomes all together. It is a really easy and visual way to record, and it takes just a bit of time to set up the first week, then each week after you can simply copy any past notes into a new notebook and edit the details.
One of the best parts is tags. I tag each note with the subject, topic, key words, month, term, and specific children if needed. I will be using tags when putting together our year end slideshow.