We are constantly doing a schedule dance around here. We need organization and novelty in order to function well. As a result, we vary how our days are organized. We’ve used just about every type of schedule out there and loop schedules are ones that always seem to do well. But even loop schedules can get dull if we don’t change things up a bit every now and then.
Right now we are doing a loop schedule in a jar. Basically I took a list of all of my children’s subjects/activities for about 10 full days of school and printed them off. This means that if they were doing math for all 10 days then I would have math on the list 10 times. I then cut all of the different activities or subjects into strips and folded them up and put them in some glass containers. When they work on their loops my children go to their jars and pick an item to do.
Now it doesn’t always work out that my child can do the picked subject at the time it is picked. Sometimes they need to wait for the computer or wait for me. In that case, they set aside their strip and pick another one to do first. My kids are enjoying this method. My 7 year old liked it so much that she didn’t want stop picking new things for the day. Some days they may double up on a subject and some days they may skip it. It works out in the end.
Here is a list of some of the subjects before I cut them out. I printed on colored paper so it was easier to distinguish who owned the strips when they weren’t in their jars. For some items I put a certain amount of time to spend. For other items (not pictured) I indicated how much work should be completed.
I found some inexpensive glass jars at the dollar store. My kids then decorated their jars. The one on the left is for my 7 year old and it is filled with pet stickers as well as some homemade Pokemon stickers. My 8th grader just put his name on his jar (middle one in the picture). My 11 year old decided to make lots of homemade Dr. Who stickers for his jar.
We’ll probably stick with this method for a couple months before we switch things up again to keep things fresh. Once the jars run out I will reprint or reuse the slips. If a subject seems to not be getting enough attention I will add a few more of them to the jar.
Have you tried something similar? How did it work for you?