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Reworking the Work Plan

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Marking items complete
I decided to introduce a work plan concept for Elora even though she is technically still in primary (more about that here).  Like any new venture, it's a process of trial and error.

Overall, I'm pleased with our new addition.  The kids love it.  It has helped me ensure we are making progress in key areas.  For some reason, having it listed on the plan is far more motivation for selecting a work than my power of suggestion.  My skills as a directress are clearly lacking, although I'm sure the mom/directress dual role adds a bit of confusion.

Six week ago my first attempt at a work plan resulted in this:

As you can see, my biggest focus was on math, reading and writing.  While I have three works listed for each area, longer works would count as 2 or 3.  This was especially true with the more involved math activities.

And just to clarify, my goal with the work plan was to encompass about 1/3 of a three hour work period.  I still intend to offer an ample chunk of free selection time.  I also still give extra presentations throughout the week according to the schedule listed here.  At least, that's the goal.

While I felt I was 80% of the way there, I realized that the plans were too focused on the three basics.  Yes, I am presenting new geography and science work each week but I also want to ensure those items we've covered in the past were being reviewed for mastery.

So the work plan now looks like this:

The abbreviations stand for geography/logic work and practical life/sensorial.
I ended up cutting the math, reading and writing back to two works per day.  Obviously, she can do more if she chooses.  I also added one science, one geography or logic, one practical life or sensorial and an "other" category in case there is anything else that is important for the day.

While I would love to complete each column every day, it isn't always going to happen.  Our work plan is a daily guide.  I never intend for it to become a measure of daily success.

Another major change is that I am no longer filling in the work plan ahead of time.  I now allow them to choose the work they would like to do from each area.  It has turned out better than I imaged.  It provides enough structure to keep the day from being overwhelming by helping to focus choice while still allowing each child to direct his or her learning experience.  To ensure I keep us on track, I still write out general ideas for work plans each week.  Then I know what to suggest and when to introduce something new.

I'm sure the next thing you would like to know is what actually goes in each box.  In the next week or two, I will share what a completed plan looks like for both Elora and William.
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