The Importance of Monday Meetings
Monday meetings have been a staple in our homeschool routine for a couple years now. We started when my oldest began seventh grade. At that point, I wanted him to have more independence in his work – not in choosing what, but in choosing when.
Sometimes Monday meetings has been when I’ve gone over all the previous week’s work (except for math, which is corrected daily) before assigning the next week.
Sometimes Monday meetings will be a calendar-review time, because my kids like to know what’s coming and put it on their own lists.
Sometimes Monday meetings is when one-on-one handwriting or spelling or Latin help happens – because it is a spot carved into our week that will happen, and other times just might slip through the cracks.
It’s helpful to have a morning reserved for those sorts of administrative or tutoring times that are so helpful, but so easy to procrastinate or miss in the bustle of a homeschool day with many students.
What happens during a Monday meeting – which is often only 10-15 minutes per child – has changed and does flux and flex depending on our current needs.
For awhile, the check-the-work and make-the-checklist routine was working quite well. Then some students found out that doing two week’s worth of work in one week was no fun and some parents found out more frequent checking was called for.
For awhile, the calendar-review time happened individually during Monday meetings, and that was a nice bonding time (because I’m weird and bond over planning). Then people were crowding around to eavesdrop on the calendar updates and still demanding to be told it all over again when it was their turn and the repetition part of it started driving me nuts. So now we do that part of Monday Meeting all together as the first item of Monday Morning Time – everyone brings their clipboards, I hand out checklists, and we all talk and collaborate together on the week’s agenda. That’s working now.
Currently, I have one student who needs more one-on-one attention for some subjects, and so the Monday meeting – already a block in the routine – can expand to accommodate that.
Even though different things have happened over the years during our Monday meeting slots, it has been so helpful to have the slots there. I can connect with each student, touch base, troubleshoot and brainstorm with them if they think their work is too much or if they have nothing to read. That’s when they will make requests about library books or getting something with their spending money off Amazon. It’s where I’ll ask birthday menu questions if a birthday is upcoming or when we’ll find a present for a friend’s upcoming birthday.
Having a slot where we can take care of business together – whatever the business happens to be – has been a blessing in our homeschool.
I have only one recommendation.
Yes, what you do will change, even mid-year.
Yes, sometimes additional action and agenda items pop up.
Still, have a procedure list for the meetings.
Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don’t, and when I don’t, our meetings are much more haphazard and much less helpful. When I can just glance at my list and say, “Ok, here’s what’s happening during this child’s meeting,” I can keep their attention better, they feel more a part of their school checklist, and we can do more in less time.
Sure, make it in pencil. Better yet, make it digital. But open it up and follow through when you sit down with each student.
I’ll be following my own advice come Monday – promise.
I’d like to hear how classical/CM moms work on with “growing in independence” in a preteen with ADHD… I’d buy that book!
I don’t have a routine for “checking in” with each of my students (3 this year) and I’ve been mulling over this all day…must start tomorrow, as it is a brand new week! Would you be willing to share what your procedure list looks like?
What does a procedure for your meetings look like?