I have been trying to get my daughter (7) to be more independent in her school work so that I have more time to work with her brother (5). I have made checklists and charts to no avail. They work for a time, then they lose their luster. Perhaps because they are homemade and I didn’t pretty them up? I would sometimes forget to make the next day’s list and then we would lose time in the morning as I threw a list together from my planner.
When I heard about My Student Logbook, a small family run company based in Oregon, I was a bit skeptical. I’d already tried lists, right? But I watched the video, and I was hooked. I wanted one of these logbooks for Bear! We received the Undated Golden Vines cover (per Bear’s request) and immediately put it to good use.
My Student Logbooks are 8-1/2 by 11 inch spiral bound notebooks. They are an implementation tool for the student, not a homeschool planner. Basically, it is a checklist system that allows a student to check off their work as it is completed. The list folds over to the next week so that you can reuse a list indefinitely until you decide the list needs changing (like perhaps at a new term). This system is easy to set up and almost maintenance free, which is exactly what we needed. I chose undated since we school year round, but you can order:
Predated August 1 – July 31, 7 days a week labeled Monday – Sunday.
Predated January 1 – December 31, 7 days a week labeled Monday – Sunday
Undated, 7 column pages with blank heading space to customize as you wish.
There are 6 checklists included for cutting out, taping, and folding over, but you are permitted to photocopy the checklist for your personal use, so just make sure you keep one blank!
There are 9 different covers available. The physical book is $15.00, but My Student Logbook is also available as a PDF download for $10-$20, depending on your selection. These logbooks are great for second grade and up, though I think they could be used by a younger child and I am considering buying one for J-jo, who is 5, so he can have accountability for his schoolwork. Since he reads well, I think it would work for him. He sees my list for him in my planner, but it isn’t the same personal accountability, since that is “Mama’s book.”
There is an easy to follow How to Set it Up video for you to watch to really get a clear idea of how it works (or watch the first video I linked to.)
How We Used It:
As soon as it arrived, I set up Bear’s checklist. It took 5 minutes.
Then I flipped through the book and realized so much more is included than just the checklists. At the back is
an All About Me page,
a Prayers and Goals page
a Bible Verses Memorized page
3 pages for Books Read (they don’t know my daughter – there should be more of these pages as she would fill all three in a week!)
3 pages to record Events, Projects, Field Trips, Presentations, and Activities (I need to look back on my calendar and fill in this sheet)
and 4 pages for Test Records, which we won’t need this year.
The inclusion of these pages makes My Student Logbook one fairly complete Homeschool Record, and being only about 1/2 inch thick, it will be easier to store longterm than my big planner.
The next morning, I handed Bear her list and she went to work. I put in times next to each subject, like 15 minutes, 20 minutes, and so one, so she would have an idea of how long I meant for her to work on a single item. When she sees Cursive or Latin listed for a certain amount of time, she knows that even if she is not finished the cursive page or the Latin lesson, she still moves on. While my list for her looks really long, if she sticks to the time limits, there is only 3 or 4 hours of work listed. In our state, we need to do 4.5 hours each day. Also note that I number the items she is to do, so while there are nearly 20 items listed, I only assign about 12. My expectations are that school is not done until the 12 items are complete and this was working very well until we came back from vacation. The past two weeks have been full of various appointments for me, so it has thrown off her ability to complete the list.
What I LOVE:
I loved filling in Bear’s assignment list only once. I haven’t had to change it yet and we’ve been using it for over a month now. Bear loves checking off her work and is eager to start her list, and to see her list diminishing as she completes work. My expectations for her are right there and school has felt much more peaceful since starting to use My Student Logbook. The list gives her a clear ending to her school day. And while I used lists with her in the past, the fact that My Student Logbook is a professional looking book with a plastic cover pleases her and she likes to close her book to admire the cover. Now, when I announce it is time to start school, she automatically reaches for her logbook.
We haven’t added chores to the list yet, but there is plenty of room for it.
Would I recommend this product?
Yes! It has changed Bear’s attitude toward her work. School is less of a struggle, even Math, which has always been our nemesis. The best thing about it is that we are no longer forgetting her piano practice. It is first on the list and she checks it off each day. It’s such a relief not to get to bedtime and suddenly remember that piano didn’t get practiced yet again. I am sure our piano teacher also appreciates this!
Even with multiple students, this would be a simple product to keep up with for both you and your students.
This is one product I will no longer homeschool without.
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