Trello has been a life-saver to our homeschool plans and schedules for the last several years. If your scheduling needs a pick-me-up, then consider using Trello to simplify, cut the paper clutter, and keep everyone on track this year. Here’s a sneak peek into our online system.
Why Trello Keeps Us On Track
Trello is a free list-management and team-management system. Since your homeschool is basically a team that relies on lists of what to accomplish each week, this is the perfect solution for your homeschool scheduling and accountability!
Trello works well with communicating to my kids without nagging. It keeps us all accountable with getting school work done each week. And the best part of using Trello for homeschool schedules is that you can set it up once at the beginning of the year and then spend less than a minute or two resetting the lists for the coming week.
Here are some of Trello’s benefits:
- It’s free
- It can be accessed on any device
- You can print out lists from the app
- Saves you time (don’t reinvent the wheel each week!)
- Keeps your kids accountable (because they have to check off each assignment)
- Can be as detailed or as simplified as you like
- Can be used as a project-management app by your teens
- Allows for flexibility and schedule change within the week
Inside Look into Our Trello System
I use Trello to keep my three high schoolers, one middle schooler, and occasionally my first grader organized. To be honest, workboxes work better for my youngest, but she didn’t want to be left out when her brothers all started using Trello!
I spend less than an hour each spring or summer setting up our Trello system for the coming school year. Once I’ve planned out each child’s subjects on paper, then I transfer the daily assignment list to Trello. All you really have to do is create a Master Board for each student. The magic of Trello is that you simply make a copy of the Master Board each week and you’re good to go!
Routines Rather Than Schedules
When families first start to homeschool, they sometimes think they need a rigid schedule to keep everyone on track. If this works for your family, then keep it up! In my experience and in talking to hundreds of homeschool families over the years, most find that a more flexible routine works best. You really can still be productive without a strict schedule.
So what is a routine? It’s really just answering the question: “What do I do next?”
You probably have routines for getting ready in the morning. First you get up, then you might make your coffee. While that’s percolating, you get your shower. Then get dressed. Most likely you don’t deviate much from your morning routine. It helps your day feel “right” if you do things in your prescribed order, you’re less likely to forget a key element, and you’re also not requiring too much brain power because it becomes habit!
Homeschool routines can help bring calm, structure, and order to our day without being like a straight jacket. They can still be flexible, while giving our kids a security in the familiar rhythms of life.
Do your kids know what their morning routine is? Once they get up, do they have a nice flow to their day before starting their homeschool work?
Maybe it looks like this:
- wake up
- eat breakfast
- get dressed
- brush your teeth
- do your chores
- check Trello & start school work
Trello is an excellent tool for helping those routines run smoothly! Because Trello answers the question: “What do I do next?”
Tips for Homeschool Schedules
Trello also helps you keep multiple ages on track, because each child has a daily list of subjects and tasks to complete. They can be flexible with the order of these tasks, check them off as they go, and stay accountable because mom can check in at any time. You can also color code subjects to differentiate between independent tasks and work that must be done with mom. Check out this video for some of the “extras” that Trello can help you with!
If you’d like to learn more about setting up Trello boards and seeing it in action, then check out www.4onemore.com/trello or these posts:
- How to Plan Your Homeschool Year on Trello (in less than 1 hour!)
- How to Organize Your Homeschool Schedule on Trello (even if you’re not techie)
- Easy Homeschool Scheduling with Trello
- 7 Reasons to Use Trello for High School Homeschool Schedules (FREE Cheatsheet)
- Trello for High School Project Management
Abby is a former public school teacher, now homeschooling her five children. She’s in the trenches just like you and knows it can be challenging to be home with your kids all day while you struggle to keep up with the housework and educate your kids (and maybe even work on the side!). She blogs over at www.4onemore.com and hosts the Homeschool with Moxie podcast.
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