So I had a total lightbulb moment last week and I'm so excited about it that I have to share! Honestly, it has been really frustrating for me to not be able to stay organized and on top of all the things that my four kids are doing... whether it be school, music, sports, household stuff etc! I've tried printing out excel sheets... I've tried a huge dry erase board sectioned off for each of the four kids.... I've tried putting everything in google calendar and using notifications. I tried setting reminders on Alexa. None of it worked super well or lasted long... but I think I found a solution!
For a while now, my kids have been doing this virtual school thing and they have become very familiar with google classroom. A couple of months into distance learning last spring, my oldest created her own google classroom for her siblings and cousins. Not long after that, my youngest also started his own google classroom. I really did not pay much attention to any of this but would hear about it from my sister from time to time about how my seven year old was giving tests etc. We just thought it was cute and funny. Then just last week, it dawned on me... I can create a google classroom! Those who know me know I love excel files and lists... well, this google classroom thing is a total game-changer for how I'm managing this household!
- Linking a daily devotional for them to read, reflect, and respond... the classroom allows group comments so all can share or private comments to me where I can respond back. This really has been awesome! It was too hard before to do devotions every night with each child separately but now they can read it in their time, respond to me and I can write a thoughtful response back.
- Putting in daily tasks for them to "mark done" instead of feeling like a broken record asking them over and over again and then forgetting what their answer was after I asked them... so things like putting away laundry, getting outside for exercise, twenty minutes of reading, etc.
- Attaching links to websites tailored to each kid from their different extracurricular activities (like chess.com or MIT scratch)
- Attaching a link to the Compassion children we sponsor. Now my kids can read and learn more about them as well as make google docs and submit them back to me so I can send it out. I was the one doing all the correspondence before
- Attaching links to each others school projects etc. so they can see each other's creative works. Since school turned hybrid this fall, my kids have had plenty of projects that involve using a flipgrid to tape STEM projects they've built or video editing project reports for social studies. In the past, I'd open up my laptop and play the videos for everyone while they were all eating but it would be sporadic and often interrupted... now they can watch when they have a moment and even comment something encouraging to one another