Thursday, September 18, 2014

Improving Our Homeschool Organization with My Student Logbook {A TOS Review}

My Student Logbook Review
I have mentioned before that my word for this year is "Organization." Unfortunately, though I have improved a bit, I am no where near as close to organized as I would like to be. Thanks to the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I believe I have found a product to help me toward my goal. I have been using a homeschool lesson planner for myself this year, and been surprisingly faithful. However, because of My Student Logbook, I have been able to enlist my daughter in taking a part in this endeavor. She was able to choose from several different eye-catching student daily planners

My Student Logbook was created by an overwhelmed homeschooling mom searching for a way to keep herself and her homeschool organized. With the help of her husband's computer knowledge this homeschool planner was created, first for her own personal use, then for some friends and finally out to the big world of homeschoolers . It really is an ingenious system, easily prepared by mom and implemented by the child. 

You can choose to purchase a physical planner or a PDF version. The physical planners come in both dated and undated versions, though the PDF version only comes dated. Personally, I loved the idea of the flexibility of having an undated planner along with not having to print it out, so I chose this physical planner, with Tabitha choosing her favorite cover design. 

After we were selected for this review, we patiently waited to receive our planner. I was so excited when we received our package, and was pleased to see how nicely it was wrapped. To me, this shows personal care for the product and the purchaser.

So, you may be wondering what makes this planner so special. That is what I am here to share with you. 

My Student Logbook is spiral bound and durably made with clear plastic to protect the cover. It is simple for both the parent to put together and the child to use. Easy-to-follow instructions are given in the front of the logbook and can also be found on their website. You will find both a video and step-by-step pictures on how to set it up. Additionally, the instructions are printed on the checklist pages themselves. The only supplies you need to assemble your page are scissors and tape. There are several checklist pages included in the logbook, and permission is granted to make copies if so needed, depending upon how often you change assignments. 

Here let me give you a little "tour" of this wonderful product.

Here are the Checklist pages I have been telling you about:

And this is one of the calendar pages:

The Checklist Page gets torn out of the logbook, cut off at the labeled line, folded, and attached to the back of a calendar page with tape. 

 This page is now ready for use.

There are a full year's worth of weekly calendar pages, great for year-round homeschooling or to have extra pages in case of mistakes. 

Now, let's continue our tour. This logbook contains quite a bit more than these checklist/calendar pages. 

For those families with older children, you may be interested in the information about creating high school transcripts using the logbook.

There is an All About Me page.

The student will also find space to record their prayer and goals,

bible verses memorized,

books read,

events, projects, field trips, presentations and activities,

and test records for those who choose/need to test.

There is also a place to record highlights from the year.

So, how have we been using My Student Logbook?

When we started our school year, I set up the logbook for Tabitha to use. I start out by dating the calendar page, skipping Sunday and writing in Monday through Saturday (just in case we have to get caught up). I have included both school work and chores in her daily checklist. 

We store her logbook beside her books and workboxes on our school shelf. As she completes a task she is to check it off. If she doesn't get to finish a task she had been leaving it blank, but I started having her put an "X" in the space instead. If there is a reason an assignment doesn't get completed, I will write it in. 

Usually the assignments are clear cut and easy to understand, however, there have been a few that I wanted to clarify. If you remember, this checklist is taped on and folded over the page. This leaves a spot underneath the checklist. In these spaces the parent can write notes about the assignment.

I love that Tabitha is becoming more accountable for her own work, which goes very well with our latest character trait of Diligence.  Using the workboxes had already begun that process, but with My Student Logbook I am able to include other assignments and chores. In fact, just this week we did our first change of assignment checklist pages. I realized some motivation was needed for getting ready in the morning, so I added getting dressed and making her bed to her list. I also realized that a few of the assignments would work better in a different order, so we worked a revised plan out together. I love that the new list can get added on the new week's page while leaving the old checklist in place so you can have a record of what was worked on earlier in the year.
If you are anything like me, I would recommend writing out your child's assignment list on a separate piece of paper before writing it in the logbook. In this way, you won't end up with cross out marks or tossed checklists. Yes, there are extras, but I don't believe in waste. 
I am extremely impressed with our new organizational tool. Yes, it is taking a little bit of work on both of our parts to be faithful in filling it out, but it is not time consuming or a burden. It is just a matter of getting used to it. With My Student Logbook I can remain organized and my daughter is learning accountability. I can very much see getting a logbook for each of the older girls next year. I may even get one for Amelia this year. Yes, I like it that much! Though the recommended grade range is 2nd grade and up, I am thinking Amelia would be able to use this just as well as Tabitha and she is only in 1st grade.
You can purchase My Student Logbook for $15.00 for the physical planners and $10.00-$20.00 for the PDF version. The physical planners offer 3 options: dated school year, dated calendar year and undated. The $10.00 PDF version will give you license for a single child to use it, while the $20.00 PDF version will give you a family license. 
You can find My Student Workbook on Facebook and YouTube.
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