hybrid homeschool planning

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I have tried and tried to be a planner girl. I mean who doesn't love all the cute planners and journals out there, not to mention all the pens and stickers available. But I have come to realize that they really don't work for me to plan our homeschool. I have always found digital lists and calendars to be the easiest way for me to keep track of things. I have been using Evernote for years for planning and organizing my thoughts, but I recently discovered another online program that has elevated my planning and organization abilities.

I have been faithfully using Trello for the last four months, and life has become a whole lot easier. Trello is an online program and app that is made up of boards, lists and cards. It is incredibly open-ended, and visually pleasing which makes my creative self very happy. It has helped to organize our household chores and our entire homeschool year in a quick, simple and efficient way. 

I first found out about Tello while searching for an online homeschool planner and came across Mystie Winckler's Trello playlist on YouTube. I instantly signed up (for free) and started to figure out how I was going to try this out for my family. 

I started out by setting up my girls with their own Trello Boards to keep track of their Daily/Weekly Chores, as well as their Self-Care Routine. When working with Weekly Boards, set up a Master Board and then each week you simply copy it and rename it for the current week. It takes me less than a minute to do this each Sunday, and it has made such a huge difference. My girls wake up and check their Trello Boards right away. They are responsible for completing their lists through out the day, I will provide a gentle reminder and help when needed. But I have found that using this consistently has eliminated the nagging that would always follow when it came to helping around the house. 

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As soon as I saw how well this worked for my girls, I jumped right into planning out our up coming homeschool year. It took me a little while to figure out the best way to set things up. Trello is so open-ended that it can be overwhelming to set it up, but truly that is what makes it so amazing!

I wanted something as minimal and simplified as possible, and it had to have everything in one place. It also had to have a continuous flow and flexible where I can add things or take them away as needed, and plan as we go.

I started by creating a Board for our current homeschooling year and adding 7 Lists. 

  • List #1 is for planning and organizing each Unit/Term.

I listed each Unit and date range as a Card, where I can add notes and ideas for each. I also am going to use this List to keep track of current To Dos, audiobook list, nature walk plans, meet ups, field trip ideas etc. 

  • List #2 is for individual and independent learning and activities for each of my children.

I can keep track of my oldest's assigned reading easily this way, which is what I reference when filling out her planner each week. 

  • Lists #3 - 6 has been organized by our daily Time Blocks.
    • A Block - Math + Reading
    • B Block - Wildwood Loop + LA Loop
    • C Block - Main Lesson

Within each Time Block List, I have added Cards for each subject/topic we will be learning about. One of the best things is the Checklists within the Cards. I have taken the time to add lesson details, page numbers, links etc. for each topic/subject/book. This is going to help keep me on track and I just check things off as we go. I also use the Description section in each Card to write down notes, ideas, web links and other book ideas. 

You will also see I added a cards called "Loop Marker" into the two B Block Lists. Because cards are so easy to drag up and down, this easily helps me to keep track of what comes next in our loop schedules.

  • List #7 is for our Flex Fridays.

I like our Fridays to be our flexible day of the week, but the rhythm of our day is very important. I have added Cards for our Friday routine... Poetry Teatime and Weekly Review, as well as creative ideas, hand work projects and games. 

And that is it... ONE spot with EVERYTHING in it, and is so much simpler than what I did last year. 

I do have to say though, as amazing as I find Trello, it hasn't replaced my pen + notebook for my day-to-day To Dos. For that, I actually designed a custom planner of sorts. I am using it to sort out our weeks for lessons and my personal To Dos. I have had many people ask about purchases my custom planner that I have posted on Instagram. I do have plans to offer more of a complete planner next year, I would like to use this one for a full year before packaging it to sell. But I have decided to offer these pages now to those who want to try it out for FREE

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Robyn OakenfoldComment