Decisions, Decisions

Seventh Grade

“T’s” list for the year.

While the kids are taking a few days of much-needed R&R, mommy thought she would get a head start on final prep for this coming school year. I probably ought to use some of the time so that I too can relax, but I don’t mind mixing in a little prep here and there.

Last night a brilliant idea came to mind. (Okay, I give God the credit for filling my brain.) I have decided to alter the way my children approach their “required reading” for the year. Instead of me handing out their assignments for the following week, every Friday; they will now have a master list to refer to all year-long!

Making a master list of requirements for the year, takes quite a bit of pressure off all of us! I no longer have to make sure they are aware of next week’s read and they have a lot more freedom.

With this list, the children will now be able to check off items in any order they like. They are welcome to start at the bottom of the list, the middle of the list, or bounce around in any which way they choose.

This should also provide them the opportunity to learn responsibility. They will need to take the initiative to see what read comes next, find the item for themselves at our local library, and be faithful to complete the task. Once the read has been finished, mommy needs to initial the item to show the goal has been accomplished. Third Grade

As before, our lists come from The Well-Trained Mind and they are based on a methodical reading pattern. Two of my kiddos are back reading the ancients, one in renaissance, and the other in modern.

I think this will be a happy compromise for all of us! Mommy is still able to keep track of reading, but the kids have the ability to make some decisions for themselves. Hopefully this will prevent burnout on their behalf and relieve some of the responsibility from my shoulders.

Now, which book will they start with? Decisions, decisions….

Does your homeschool routine include required reading?



18 thoughts on “Decisions, Decisions

  1. I love this idea. I found this past year my son did so well with a list each day of what all needs to be completed. It really helped eliminate any whining about how much longer etc. I may have to try this for the year!


  2. We normally use Sonlight (which I adore)….but we’re still waiting on the Lord for final direction on curricula. So yes, we do a LOT of reading…and LOVE it! I’m not quite sure what reading we’ll be doing but I sure like your ideas for helping the kiddos implement it. Yay!


  3. We have recently shifted from Sonlight to a Charlotte Mason styled curriculum. We began using a 12 week term schedule, with a five day weekly checklist that matches the 12 week term. I got it from Charlotte Mason Help, and it works for us. My daughter can check her reading assignments, and check them off, there is no doubt what she’s gotten done, and what she hasn’t!


  4. Yes, we do have required reading, more or less. My lists are loosely WTM-based, but I also like to throw in some contemporary literature – Judy Blume, E.L. Konigsberg, etc. – to keep things balanced.


  5. Great idea (Jesus)! 😉 Last year was my first homeschooling and I had required reading time but no list of required reads. I’m inspired to research a list of material that suit my boys and give them the autonomy and responsibility of how they attack it.


  6. Ooh, I like this idea. We also are going to use The Well Trained Mind as our outline for school and use their reading list. My son loves to make as many decisions as possible so, doing a master list like this would be a great way to give him more freedom as he meets the requirements.


    • I generally assign one read per week, depending on the age of the child and the size of the book. My younger kiddo (first grade), will probably only read one book every two weeks. My girls will read one book per week (along with a corresponding biography), if the book is less than one hundred pages; two weeks if it is more than one hundred; three weeks if it is more than three hundred (which very rarely happens).

      Please note… the biographies are generally coming from the children’s section due to the lack of censorship in adult non-fiction. This keep them rather thin, helping to prevent discouragement which can often occur in children when tackling biographies.

      Also, their study of an author (as opposed to simply the reading of a particular book) might be done over the course of several weeks. For example, Cyril is on the list for my seventh grader this year. That does not mean she will exhaustively cover his works in one week. Goodness no; that would burden anyone! She will instead pick one of his works to study for the week and the following week pick another (so on and so forth), until Cyril has been thoroughly examined and she has a greater knowledge of who he was as a person and can talk about some of his works.

      We might finish off this list by the end of the year, we might not; who knows and, frankly, who cares! (laughing) This is meant to be a starting point and an expansion of their horizons. For all I know they might breeze through them, hopefully due to interest and excitement, in the first four months and then who knows where we’ll go. On the other hand, we might spend all year and only get half done. If that is the case, in a few years this list will be handed to them again (we are on a four year rotation) and they can pick up where they left off. Ah; the joys of homeschooling!

      Hope some of this helps? 🙂


      • It does! Thanks so much! It really does take some time to break out of the thinking that “x” amount must be accomplished in “x” amount of time to equal success. The perils of the analytical mind (lol)!


  7. I love this post. I also like the balance it gives between structure and choice. I also recognized many of the books from my own homeschool days. Thanks for the like on my blog too.


  8. Since reading this post, I have been meaning to bring you a link to a fantastic website for home schooling moms. They present ideas from different homeschool moms everywhere!! The email subscription comes with simple inspiring mom emtries with links back to their blogs! Its absolutely perfect added support for Mom, and resources for teaching etc! A must check out


  9. Pingback: Tell Me About It | A Homeschool Mom

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.