Learning

4 lists to liven up your home ed days (And keep you on track for a life you love) 😊

Sharing 4 home education lists we’re loving right now.

These lists are sure to liven up your home ed days.

But more than that, they offer the chance to step back from the busyness of life and consider how we want to spend our days.

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.

Annie Dillard. The Writing Life.

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What day do you start your week?

A question from my 9 year old daughter while we were reviewing our weekly checklists. More on those in a bit.

You see we’ve been talking a lot around here about getting things done. And not just in the David Allen sense, although my son did get this book for Christmas 🙂

Over the years we’ve pushed the boundaries of this whole starting the week vibe from your average Sun or Mon. At the moment I’m opting for Wednesday. For one of my daughters, Tuesday works best. One of the many beauties of home ed – flexibility. Don’t you love it?  

And we’ve got A LOT to fit in our weeks. SO MANY plans. We’re dreaming big.

But we’re not always sure what to do next because there’s so much we want to get done.

Easily distracted by the sparkly sensations of new horizons.

Yet equally capable of diving deep and immersing ourselves in beloved projects for hours at a time. 

And while I love that about us, it can be a little frustrating at times.

Planning and starting are our superpowers. Yet keeping track of all we’ve got going on, and getting to done, not so much 😟

We need a little help. And that’s just what these lists offer. 

But who is this we? I’m sure I heard you ask… 

We’re a home educating family of 6, at this gig for more than a decade, all about the learning, the love and the little things that make life better, for us all. We’re not the same, of course. Uniquely individual, each of us challenged by getting things done in different ways. 

And we’ve all found in our own sweet way, lists help. 

Lists help…

– keep us on track

– remind us of the big picture 

– bring us back to the here and now

– and help us focus on what we want in our lives today and for the future.

Lists give us a framework for our days, while also supporting us to live our lives the way we want.   

So let’s get to it…

4 lists to liven up your home ed days

Joy Lists

We stumbled across the idea of joy lists right at the beginning of our home ed journey and they’ve served us well. Creating and reviewing joy lists with our children offers so many benefits for home education. Check out this post to find out more and follow my step by step process to design your own joy list.

Joy lists : A Home Education Essential (what they are, why you should have one and how to get started).

In a nutshell : Joy lists are a place to record everything that brings you joy. Keeping track of all you love to do, so you can do more of it 😍

Project Lists

Just as the name suggests, this is a list of all the projects we have on the go. Along with any we’d like to start.

In the GTD system a project is defined as any outcome that requires more than one action step to complete. Our definition of project is equally broad and includes anything my children want to spend their time on. Some of the projects my children listed recently –

Learning Mandarin, First Aid and Sign Language

Collecting and practising recipes to cook independently

Organising and decorating bedrooms, and other rooms in the house

Building up exercise habits and improving different sports skills

Various self-care projects – including meditation and yoga habits

Transitioning from a vegetarian to vegan diet

Visiting local landmarks

Adventure Lists

We love alliteration in this house, at times using it as the backbone of our planning. In the early days of home ed we organised our days with table time, priority project time, magical maths, science surprises and weird wanderings. But as our children and our family have grown, so our planning has evolved.

Find out more about all things home ed planning, including a bumper list of all the wonderful resources that have inspired us over the years, coming soon.

Subscribe to our newsletter here so we can stay in touch and keep you updated with what’s new on the blog.

But back to adventure lists. Just like the experience lists in this video, our adventure lists have grown from a simple note of places to visit (our weird wanderings) into so much more.

From the simple and close to home – dark walks, picnics at dawn, cooked breakfast at dinnertime,

to activities we’d like to try – scuba-diving, sky-diving and hockey

to people we’d love to catch up with and more.

Adventures can be big or small, near or far, fleeting or long-lasting. You get to decide.

Joy lists, project lists and adventure lists are fun to make. They open our minds to the possibilities and encourage us to dream big.

But it’s all too easy to forget these lists.

Displayed on the wall they become part of the furniture. Or buried in our phones or notebooks, we quickly lose sight of them.

Weekly checklists.

Enter weekly checklists.

A simple strategy to keep these lists front of mind.

We love these checklists from Kelly at Fearless Homeschool.

Writing a weekly checklist

1. Check the calendar to get an idea of how busy the week looks. I like to add a quick note to the top of our checklists with each day of the week and any outings or events already planned for that day.

2. A quick chat about last weeks list – what went well, what we’d like to do more of, carry over, get rid of… you get the idea.

3. A quick read through our project, adventure and joy lists.

4. Start writing those weekly checklists – adding activities, adventures, habits, tasks, whatever we’d like to get done this week.

5. Decide how many times in the week we want to revisit each item and draw small boxes to tick or check off each time. If we want to do something every day, it gets 7 boxes, twice this week, it gets 2.

Things to consider/remember –

  • We use one A4 sized sheet or a small whiteboard.
  • We don’t include items already part of our daily routine – we read aloud every day so we don’t tend to add that.
  • It’s just one week, no need to go crazy here.
  • Next week will come round before you know it.
  • Small actions add up.
  • Everyone gets their own lists and decides how to use them.
  • Pictures work great for those not ready or willing to write their lists.
  • We consider our weekly checklists as ‘want to’ lists, not ‘have to’ lists.

Find out more about our approach to home ed –

What kind of homeschoolers are we?

9 Home education routines that brighten up our days

What is unschooling? A framework of ideas – Part 1 of a 3 part series

But what about the difficult days?

We’ve got you covered, don’t you fret my lovely 🤗

Keep reading for not one, but two more bonus lists to liven up your home ed days.

These lists are just the ticket for dealing with the slumps and the wobbles, the low days and slow days. And help bring us closer to our families when that dreaded sense of disconnection creeps in.

Self-soothing checklists

A list of soothing activities to cycle through in times of stress to shift our moods, encourage the natural flow of emotions and raise energy levels.

Self-soothing checklists : the secret to raising our mood and energy levels fast

You might also like…

How to Stop a Bad Mood From Ruining Your Day — 10 Simple Ways to Instantly Feel Better

22 super simple ways to help our children feel loved

22 ways we can show our love and help our children feel it, deeply and without doubt.

22 super simple ways to help our children feel loved

I’d love to know what lists you’re loving right now, home ed or otherwise. Share them in the comments below x

And if you love lists as much as me, you’ll be pleased to know more lists are on the way.

And don’t forget, you can sign up for our newsletter and receive regular round-ups of recent content, plus lots of other juicy joy and kindness connected goodies. We’d love to stay in touch. Sign up here x

2 Comments

  1. Sophie says:

    “Decide how many times in the week we want to revisit each item and draw small boxes to tick or check off each time. If we want to do something every day, it gets 7 boxes, twice this week, it gets 2.”

    This is basically a habit tracker which I’ve done before. But I like that you don’t have to do everything daily or be shamed (which was the design of what I used previously) haha. Going to try it! Thanks 🙂

    1. Yes, habit trackers are great. But I totally agree, this offers so much more flexibility than the once a day calendar style. You can even do all your week’s repetitions on the same day if you like. And definitely no shame, so important. Thanks for taking the time to comment 😍

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