January 22, 2012

'Homeschooling' - making it easier with kanban

Sometimes Scrum and your task board can be the easiest way to handle your daily homeschool activities.
Take, for instance, one of the families I worked with developed a home schooling curriculum in using Agile and Scrum.
How did they accomplish that?

Well, it went like this:
First, they put up a task board in the learning area, a flet covered board - the notes had scotch on the back.
The task board held the entire home schooling tasks for the next week. For example, addition and subtraction for Ben, and learning Gensis for Liz.
Each child wrote their name on the back of the relevant tasks for that week.
Each child knew what his tasks where, and both knew, after the tasks were divided into smaller tasks, how to take the task himself, and move it around on the board, according to its status, of course.

For example, they had a task to learn about the creation of the world, which was divided into each Day of Creation (in the Biblical sense). Each Day they learned about, they took the relevant note and moved it across the board. They even added an extra column for a drawing :), which was the definition for ‘Done’. Once the child drew in the Day of Creation they studied that day, the task was considered to be complete.
Each morning, the family had a daily meeting, which made sure everyone was up to scratch about the material they were learning. Yes, including the parents, but the meeting was mainly about the children. The meeting created the daily agenda, with goals and tasks that the children needed to complete by the end of that day.
 During the day, the children would move their tasks across the board according to their lessons, and the daily chores when they started or completed them.
This way, the children can see for themselves how their studies are progressing, and they even take part in planning how, and how fast, their studies will advance.
The daily planning sessions enabled the family to plan their home-school schedule ahead one or two weeks, and of course the retrospective session that they had weekly helped the family continually improve.

This is EXACTLY how Scrum works. Scrum/Kanban is a powerful tool, that develops empowerment and goal achievement, with a healthy dialog on the way.

So start using Agile to manage your homeschooling today - Get the Agile Kids book!
By the way, if you want to learn more about homeschooling, heres an excellent resource.

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