I’ve written before about planning your homeschool – taking time to think of why you homeschool and what your ideal day would be, if you could possibly have one.
I also wrote about scheduling your homeschool. I laid out three different ways someone might choose to homeschool: the clock schedule, the time block schedule, and the to do list schedule. I mentioned that our family current prefers the to do list schedule. It works well for high schoolers, especially.
I use Trello, a free program and app, to organize our homeschool. Trello is somewhat like a bulletin board. Each board can be opened to reveal a list of cards. Today, I’ll show you how I organize our family’s homeschooling boards, using our high school freshman as an example.
SCHEDULE YOUR HOMESCHOOL with trello: how to create a team
To begin, you’ll go to Trello and create an account. It’s free. There is a paid version, but it’s not needed for individuals – it’s created for companies and brands.
You can just create boards right off the bat, into the personal account area. I like to use Trello for different areas of my life, and don’t want all of my boards to be mixed together. To organize my Trello, I created a few “teams.”
Here is a screenshot of my Trello teams and boards: (click the screenshots to see them as full size)
To create a “Team” (the two teams you see in the screenshot above are “Belle: School” and “Freely Educate” (this site),” click the + sign in the top right corner of Trello, near your profile image.
1. Choose Create Team
2. Name the Team
3. Add a Member (optional). If you want to share your team with another person (I share with our high schooler, Belle), click on Members near the team title (see my screenshot above – members is near the purple upgrade button).
SCHEDULE YOUR HOMESCHOOL: how to create a Trello board
To create a board within a team, work through these steps:
- Click on Create new board in that team (see my screenshot below).
- Name the board (my board names are in the screenshot below).
- Choose a photo or board color. If you dislike clutter or bright colors behind your cards, as much as I do, here’s a tip: click on the … (see the three dots in the screenshot above) to view more photo and color options. In the search bar, I typed “white.” This gave me a selection of photos with white backgrounds, all white (you’ll see them below).
- Click Create Board or Start with a Template. You can use a template to create the board: here is a free template a college teacher made.
Once you’ve created several boards, your Trello “Team” will look similar to this:
how to add lists to your homeschool board in trello
Now that your Trello Team (eg. Belle: School) has been created, and filled with boards (or at least one board), you’re ready to add lists to each board.
To create a list in Trello, it’s as simple as:
- Click on +Add another list.
- Name the list.
Here are the lists within the Writing board I created for our daughter:
how to add cards to your homeschool trello boards
As you saw in the screenshots above, our daughter’s homeschooling boards are named by subject, and the lists are named by topic. Now it’s time to add cards (eg. Joan of Arc) to the lists (eg. Middle Ages) within the Trello board. (eg. History).
The cards can be named anything that’s helpful to you. Create them fearlessly – they’re easy to archive, move, or copy by hovering over the top right corner of each card.
In this board, History, I made lists for different ‘ages’ I wanted to cover with our daughter in her four years of high school. Under each list, I created cards of events I wanted to cover with her for each ‘age.’
To create a card:
- Click on Add a card
- Enter a title for the card
- Click on the card you just created
- Within the card, you can add a description, label, checklist, due date, and more.
Below is a card I created for Punctuation, with a description (I added a clickable link I’ll need), a checklist of reading assignments, and a checklist of punctuation practice.
how to create a weekly to-do list for your homeschool
In the article I wrote on Scheduling Your Homeschool, I mentioned that our family prefers using a “To Do List” for homeschooling. Trello helps us out with that. Below is a screenshot of how I set up our daughter’s This Week board. Since she’s a member of the team for this board, she can view and check off items, too.
To repeat a lesson, hover over the top right corner of the card and click copy or move to send that card to another list or board.
I hope this was helpful to someone! You can use Trello for other areas of your life you want to organize. As you can see above, I also use it to organize this website, and I use it to hold lists of projects, places I want to go on field trips, time management, and more.
chris engelsma says
The problem is that it won’t allow you to create recurring tasks. So you have to recreate a new task every day. Doesn’t that get really tedious? I use Bitrix to do the same thing but I can create recurring tasks.
Lori Seaborg says
I only Trello for checklists and to-dos, and not for daily recurring tasks. It isn’t very hard to copy or move cards, but you’re right, it would get tedious to do daily. We have been using Habitica for our daily recurring tasks – I hadn’t heard of Bitrix, so thanks for letting us know about it!
chris engelsma says
I’ve never heard of Habitica so…..thanks. 🙂
You can make repeating tasks, by using a power up (Card repeater).
You can also make use of Template Cards and/or the Butler (a board rule).
I’ve been using Trello for around five years, and have only just worked this out in the last couple of months:-) (Well, to be fair, Butler at least, is comparatively new.)
I’m still exploring the Butler approach, but Card Repeater is easy (it’s just not quite as flexible, I think). I think the Butler way will be far sleeker, but I’m still learning the subtleties of it.
I am currently using Trello Gold (free for now, because several friends joined Trello on my recommendation—but I intend to continue paying for it when it expires), which gives me three power ups per board, and full use of Butler. (Free access only allows you one Card Button and one Board Button from Butler.)