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Instructions for the Easy DIY Post It Note Loop Schedule at the end of the post.
Many of us have started back to school and some of us started and then quit…errr… well, maybe I’m the only one that did that but I am happy to say that we are well on our way to getting back on track. The big project I have been working on is finished (YAYYYYY!!!!) and I am hoping it will be ready to post this weekend so keep an eye out for it.
In preparation of our new school year I pulled out our old Loop Schedule so I could change it out for this year. What a better time to show you how I do it?
Last year one of the sanity savers I used was this Loop Schedule. You may have heard of Loop Scheduling and I thought it was something new but actually it was something I had already been doing and you probably have too!
I always start the year out with all kinds of fun activities, games, and ideas for us to work on. Before our Loop Schedule I was always trying to make sure we got the ‘meaty’ subjects like Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science finished before we moved on to anything else. If we didn’t get those areas completed we would just not do the other areas.
(These links will update soon and take you to our first Kirby’s Kids Academic Adventure!)
I always felt like we weren’t getting everything done that I wanted to get done. Our days got so BORING! We would be doing the same things over and over and never had time for the fun activities that I had planned for us to do. There’s only so much time in the day so what is an overwhelmed Momma to do?
The biggest change I saw was when I actually made a visual Loop Schedule that we could see and keep track of. I found a lot of different resources that offered printable schedules but in the name of frugality I used some items I already had on hand.
When we started using our new Loop Schedule we found we had all the time we needed to get complete all of those awesome science experiments and other fun activities as well. Not only did we get the fun things finished we were actually a lot more productive in other areas and got way more finished than before. The way I made our Loop Schedule made it so easy to change too.
Here are a few pictures of the Loop Schedule we have been using:
Yeah, it’s a little messy and the pictures aren’t great either but I promise the Loop Schedule really has made a difference in our daily school routine.
When you look at the front you can see our Daily Routine:
We start our mornings with our Morning Circle (top left) and we rotate or ‘loop’ through the different subjects, many of these are included in our Life Skills this year.
After our Morning Circle we move to our Language Arts. Last year we did Reading, Spelling, and Computer activities EVERY day. We would then rotate or ‘loop’ through other LA activities which are listed on the back. (Top right)
Under Language Arts I have the following areas:
- Writing Activity
- Teach Your Monster To Read
- Book Activity
- Nursery Rhymes
- Sign Language DVD
We would simply rotate or ‘loop’ through those activities throughout the week. The same thing applies to other subjects like Math, Life Skills , Art, Science , PE/Health, Geography, Thinking Skills, Computer, and Special Area. Confused? I can understand if you are because my Loop Schedule doesn’t seem simple but once you get the idea it really is.
You may want to start using a Loop Schedule for just one area at a time. You may also find it easier to limit yourself to 3 or 4 loop options as you can always change your Loop Schedule and rotate activities throughout the year.
With our Life Skills Activities Loop we have a lot of programs that I wanted to use like:
So when we would get to ‘ Life Skills ‘ I would simply rotate through these three activities. Say if on Monday we started out on Skill Trek and then Tuesday we would ‘loop’ to Life Skills again we would do a lesson with Kids Cook Real Food and then the next time we would ‘loop’ to Life Skills we would have some Cooking Practice in the kitchen. Then we would start the ‘loop’ all over again with Skill Trek.
How it looks for a typical day:
Morning Circle (15-20 minutes)
- Pledge of Allegiance
- Calendar Time
- Bible Reading
- Character Training
- Loop (Rotate through these areas)
- Word Activity
- Brain Quest
- Art Study
- Then start over with Manners
We would only work for 30-45 minutes so we may or may not have gotten through all of the Loop Schedule activities each day. If we did then we would move on to the next area, if we didn’t then I would stick a colored flag on the next activity so I would know where to start on the next day. I did this for each Loop Schedule area.
After our time was up, this was when a timer came in so handy, we would move to the next area:
Language Arts (30-45 minutes)
When we would start a new Loop Schedule Area we would set the timer and stop working when our time was up. If the older girls still had something left to work on then they would do it later in the day. Then we might have had a little break and snack before we moved on to the next area:
Math (30-45 minutes)
Geography (30-45 minutes)
- Country Study
- Hands On Activity
- Map Activity
- Games (then back to the country study)
Again we worked on this for the designated time and then moved on to the next Loop Schedule area which just happened to be PE/Health:
PE/Health (30-45 minutes)
- PE activity
- Health Lesson
- PE activity
- Easy Peasy Lesson (Start over with a PE activity)
Looking at my chart it appears that by this time we were ready for some lunch and probably called it a day so I left my colored flag on the next area which was Life Skills . Wait! What? We didn’t do any Science or Art? I know, it’s OK, I promise. That’s the beauty of this Loop Schedule.
So the next day we would start off with our Daily Routines of Morning Circle, Language Arts, and Math. Again we will pick up where we had left off on those loops and worked until our time was up. So my colored flag was on Life Skills and that’s where I would have picked up.
On my Loop Schedule you can see my Life Skills Loop has a flag on Skill Trek so that is where we would start on our Life Skills Loop. Again we would work 20-30 minutes and move on to the next Loop Schedule area which happened to be PE/Health.
Life Skills (20-30 minutes)
After Life Skills we would move on to our Science Loop which included:
Science (30-45 minutes)
Can you tell that my kids love Mystery Science? We also had quite a few Kiwi Crates that I wanted to use up so we used them for the ‘Hands On Activities‘. After our Science Loop we would move on to the Arts Loop:
Arts (20-30 minutes)
Before using this Loop Schedule my kiddos were craft deprived. Now they are very happy, crafty kiddos. If the little ones were finished for the day I might let them do an extra craft or activity while the older ones finish their work. After the Arts Loop we move on to Life Skills:
Again we worked on this for the designated time and then moved on to the next which just happened to be Thinking Skills where we did different puzzles and games.
Thinking Skills (20-30 minutes)
- Game (Free Choice)
- ABC Mouse
- Emotional ABCs
- Word Search (start over with Game)
Computer (15-20 minutes)
- ABC Mouse
After this we would head back to the PE/Health Loop and then to Life Skills again. It was usually close to the end of the week by this time and everyone was ready for the Special Area Loop.
Special Area (no time limit)
- Special Treat
- Game Night
- Parent’s Choice
After we finished with this we would be ready to start back over on the Loop Schedule with our Geography Loop. Hopefully this makes more sense and you can find a way to use it in your home to help have a more productive day and lower your stress level!
Easy DIY Post It Note Loop Schedule
- Self Stick Note Pads Post Notes and Flags
- Astrobrights Cardstock
- Reusable Dry Erase Pockets, Optional
- Pen or Pencil
- Decide what subject areas you want to loop and how long you want to work on them. ex: Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies or Kitchen, Bathroom, Bedroom(These were my original rough drafts from January.)
- Decide what activities you want to loop in each area. ex: For Language Arts: Reading, Spelling, Writing, etc or For Kitchen: Wash Dishes, Clean out Fridge, Mop Floors, etc.
3. Use a Self Stick Note Pads for each area and list your Subject Loop at the top with the activities below. Repeat for each area. One subject area loop per note pad. (I tried to color code mine as well.)
4. I liked to draw pictures for the note pads that I used on my Daily Routine, these were especially helpful for our non-readers and my special needs child. (If you aren’t artistic you could print out some pictures and glue them on the note pads or cut out pictures from a magazine that might work for the areas.)
5. Attach the Self Stick Note Pads to the card stock in an order that makes sense to you. (You can draw some arrows to give it a little directional flow, if you like.)
6. Then place the schedule in a Reusable Dry Erase Pockets where you can easily remove it to make changes. The colored flags will also stick well to this and can be moved around very easily.
7. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure of what to put. You can easily adjust the schedule with a new note pad.
8. This can also be used for other areas like your cleaning routine, meal planning, or household maintenance.
We will be going back in time to a little cabin in Wisconsin as we walk hand in hand with a young Laura Ingalls and discover her world, one page at a time. We will be making many new and exciting discoveries as we learn about the land, the animals, and the people of the Pioneer Days.