Being aware of your surroundings is a priceless character trait to have and something you can help your Little’s do with this simple daily log.
Here I’ll share a FREE Printable I’ve made as well as 5 Tips I’ve learned along the way when trying to engage a daily dialogue with my child.
For my family and I we decided to homeschool for kindergarten because it worked for our military lifestyle at the moment. One big thing I noticed when we began that journey was that my son wasn’t really aware anymore of what day of the week it was or time of the day. He used to be able to judge the ‘end’ of the day by pickup at school but now he was asking me maybe 5/8 times a day if it was almost “the end of the day”.
When I designed this daily log it was simply because I couldn’t find anything I liked online. Everything seemed a bit outdated and used some fonts that are on my pet-peeve list, like comic-sans. With that being said, I browsed Pinterest and took ideas I liked to create what I have here. I wanted something I could use on a daily basis to help him learn what day of the week it was, work on numbers in a true-life form, learn how to tell time, express his emotions and give me a daily form I could document his progress on for homeschool. Check, check…and check.
Now, I’m not a teacher- at all. My area of expertise is in design and media but I do research a lot, read a lot, ask questions, seek answers and on this topic here is what I discovered and why we decided to add a Daily Log to our routine…
Keep in mind that I’m giving you my opinion on what I’m currently dealing with in my life. I blog for the documentation purpose it serves but enjoy the possible reachability of a post. Please don’t bash my parenting styles, advice or basically anything…I’m only sharing for those who care to read. If that’s not you, save the energy for those who need the advice, please.
I found during the first week of doing this daily log activity that there’s a formula to it for my son. There’s a perfect time of the day, special part of the routine, a little bit of fairy dust and some good old-fashioned logic behind getting him to cooperate when it comes to homework or any type of activity that wasn’t his choice. So here I’ve thrown together a list of key tips I didn’t want to forget…
Setting your kids up for success with a daily observation activity.
1) Let your child get first pick.
Almost every single blog I’ve read says “begin with the hardest part first” and I have to tell you guys- that doesn’t work for us!
We start off with the ‘easy/fun’ stuff and here’s why: My son gets discouraged really easily and as his teacher and mom, I get discouraged seeing him discouraged!
Since we are just starting off, I’ve opted for letting him fill out the parts of the log he likes first and then we backtrack together and finish off the parts he’s not really a fan of. This doesn’t apply to every assignment, this is just something I do to get his brain going in a positive path.
My strategy behind that is based on the fact that he won’t argue with me, as much. I provide him the freedom to explore his options and once he’s finished what he “can”, we give it a second go together, as a team.
I believe his confidence stems from the courage he builds doing it alone, only to be reassured when we complete it together and he know’s he has my full support and attention.
I’m sure some critics (haters) will say that I’m not preparing him for school by letting him hop around but I’m going to stand by what works for us because he’s 1) He’s in kindergarten. And 2)…He’s in kindergarten!
Right now our biggest challenges are the alphabet, sight words, not farting in public and remembering to put socks on before his shoes. I’ll worry about the order of his worksheet next year when he can read 30% of what’s on it. Right now I need to focus on small victories.
Willpower is a force to be reckoned with when you have a youngin’ that’s finding their voice so being fair, yet firm, go hand-in-hand. If he really wants something he will work extra hard at it and it’s my job to put the right options in front of him at the right moment so he can continue to grow.
2) Kids need routine.
Whether you educate at home or barely get through breakfast before rushing out to the car with the kids, it’s always good to establish a routine with them. It not only helps you keep your sanity but it has some really beneficial long term effects you can’t pass up.
I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum when it comes to being organized vs. leaving the laundry for another day so I know what type of effort it takes to really stick to a routine. But I do believe that it’s worth the extra work to get into a routine because it not only prepares them for later in life but it also helps them asses the day and make their own judgement on what to expect next. (This could be a big help to you!)
Think along the lines of breakfast, lunch, dinner. They come in that order on a daily basis, yet you have the option to have breakfast for dinner if you really wanted to, right? The choice is there but we tend to go with the flow most of the time.
Although routine is the ultimate goal for every parent, know that it’s okay to stray away. It’s just equally important to have some balance and give them a good start to their day and the option to make it a good one.
We barely got into the routine of having him brush his teeth alone, get out of the bath alone, get dressed, etc and it is a huge help in the grand scheme of motherhood, not sure why I waited so long!
3) Get out and get fresh air.
I know- how hard it can be on this one, but do it! There is something about fresh air on your skin, the sun, wind, everything, that makes the stars align and the to-do list gets done….kinda. You know what I mean though?
Sometimes the ONLY fresh air I get is during the time we spend on the little “Weather” box but any excuse is a great excuse. I’d encourage you to take it an extra step and integrate it into your routine, weather permitting of course.
Basically, get out and let nature put you in a good mood so you can kick the day’s ass.
4) Character development is more important than academic development.
This one is big for me guys! I don’t care how smart your child is, if they are rude, perverted, or have a shitty attitude then I’m sorry….despite all the books you guys read together and countless hours of repetition, you fell a little short in a really important character development area that has nothing to do with books, academics or reading.
One of the reasons I added the “today I feel…” section is because it’s an important voice to help your child find. I didn’t start addressing how I felt until I was an adult because I wasn’t raised to talk about it openly.
I choose to use behavior issues as an opportunity to grow rather than treat it as a distraction or interruption and it works for us, most of the time. By asking my son how he’s feeling and asking him to document it I’m giving him an opportunity every day to tap into his own character.
Recently he’s been shifting between happy, sad and bored. All 3 I can thoroughly explain for him because it’s in line with what’s going on in our life and a perfect example.
- I just gave birth to his baby sister / HAPPY
- Our dog passed away recently / SAD
- We just moved to a new neighborhood and has “no friends” / BORED
By doing his daily logs with him I’ve been able to help him work through these emotions and open up an opportunity for dialog in situations where he’s expressing emotions that should be discussed. It’s been really helpful!
5) It’s okay to skip…
Sometimes the day shifts and we can get caught up- trying to catch up. It’s important to remind yourself that tomorrow is a new day and a fresh opportunity to ‘get it right’- so don’t beat yourself up!
One thing I’ve learned homeschooling my son is to pace myself. If you need to skip a section or just aren’t feeling it that day, don’t stress it.
If something isn’t working for us or one of us is having a bad day, we can make adjustments accordingly so it doesn’t turn into an awful day.
Basically…do what works for you!
Thank you for reading!…don’t forget to download below…
Have some advice you think could help me out? Drop a line in the comments for me…I appreciate it!