In your planner, when we discussed the Planning step of the S.P.O.T. Method (remember, the “I” in A.C.H.I.E.V.E. stands for “Implementing S.P.O.T.”), we mainly focused on creating lesson plans. For homeschooling, that’s the most crucial part of planning.
But, there’s another aspect of planning that we need to consider as well: making checklists.
Because all Well Planned Day homeschool planners are designed to help you manage both school and life, there are going to be tasks and to-dos that extend beyond lesson plans. These are things that you need to make sure to remember each day. One of the easiest ways to keep up with these tasks is by making a checklist.
If you bring up the subject of checklists in a group conversation, you’ll probably get one of two responses. People either absolutely love them or absolutely hate them! Checklists provide a sense of accomplishment for some and a sense of restriction for others.
Both groups, though, often miss that checklists are not intended to provide a sense of accomplishment or satisfaction, nor are they intended to feel like a noose around the neck of spontaneity and flexibility. Those are just byproducts. The real purpose of a checklist is to serve as a guide. A helper. As such, they are important to everyone, no matter what your planner personality may be!
Reasons to Create a Checklist
Here are three reasons why all personalities can benefit from checklists.
Download Your Brain
We carry a lot in our brains. We keep up with our homes, our family life, our kids’ activities, homeschool, and more. And sometimes our biggest struggle is trying to balance it all in our heads.
No matter how great your memory may be, something will fall through the cracks if you don’t write it down. A simple checklist can free up your mind by allowing you to download your brain onto a piece of paper or into a planner. Then you can be free to focus on all of the fun stuff that really can’t be put on paper!
When you write something down that is relevant to a later time, you free your mind to focus on right now. In the middle of homeschooling, you might remember a phone call you need to make or an appointment that needs to be scheduled. That can cause significant distraction, hindering you from focusing well on teaching that math concept or finishing up a read-aloud. Take ten seconds to write the thought down, then come back and focus fully on what’s right in front of you.
In a way, this is an extension of the brain download. But, there are also implications that reach beyond the idea of you keeping track of things. When you write something down, you acknowledge a desire to remember. This not only keeps it in front of you, but it also lets other members of your family know you are making an intentional effort to remember. Even if there is no other benefit, this one action can go a long way toward keeping relationships strong by letting your family know that are making it a point to remember something important to them.
Keep It Simple
Everyone’s checklists will look different based on personality or preference. But the biggest piece of advice I can give you is this: keep it simple. Don’t force it or try to make it complicated. Just have a place where you can keep tabs of a checklist each and every day or week.
This may be in one of the spaces in your weekly spread. It could be that you use a note page for your checklist. You might use sticky notes or a steno pad that slides into your portfolio pocket.
Whatever the case may be, create a simple system, then use it. You won’t regret it!
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