Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My Student Logbook - A TOS Homeschool Crew Review

In late July I learned that My Student Logbook was letting the Schoolhouse Review Crew review My Student Logbook and that I would be receiving a copy!
I was really interested in getting this Student Logbook, because my son is getting to a place where he can be a little more independent, but he needed a little structure. I've been trying to work with a daily lesson planner, but I hadn't gotten all the assignments filled in. There were assignments that were not getting done without my laying each assignment out as the previous subject was completed. And we wanted my son to be doing certain chores, but it was difficult for him to remember to do them. There were meetings to go to, and they would sneak up on him suddenly...
My Student Logbook looked like it was just what we needed in our home to help him become a little more self-sufficient and responsible.

We received My Student Logbook in mid-August, and I immediately began working my way through the book to familiarize myself with it and to figure out what would be the best way for us to use it. The beginning pages of the book thank the reader for their purchase and then explain how the logbook works and gives links to web pages to go to for more information.

The logbook next gives instructions for setting up your logbook. Being a visual person, I found it easier when  I learned that there is a great tutorial on how to set up the logbook on YouTube:

I followed the instructions, tearing out my first checklist, trimming it, taping it into the logbook, and figuring out what to write on each line. My initial checklist included our school subjects: Bible, Algebra, Biology, Literature (actually listed by the book titles), History, Grammar, Writing, and Latin. I also added chores, and I added weekly meetings, crossing out the days the activity would not occur or the days the chores did not occur (such as bringing in the recycling and trash cans).

The next page at the beginning of My Student Logbook talks about how to use the logbook for a student in high school. So I looked to see if the makers had made YouTube videos, and sure enough they had. There is a 3-part series on using the logbook for high school; here is the first video:

So I had my logbook filled out, and it was time to start using it. Day 1, I opened my logbook up and slapped it down on the table... only to see a blank page! 
Yeah, I was a little dense. When you get the Logbook set up... The spiral, for the rest of the year, goes on the left whenever you are using the weekly pages. I'm so silly! So I began our week one -- I wrote subjects down and we worked our way through the week.
When week 1 was finished, we  reached week 2 and my son asked me what to do with the Logbook. I told him to flip the page and start the new week on the next page. So he flipped the page, and then...

he was concerned because he didn't want to write everything in! Well, I showed him how to flip the checklist over the new week and you are ready to go. I do still need to write in the dates for the next week.
The logbooks actually come with these columns where the dates are blank or a version where the dates are filled in. The logbooks also come in a selection of covers. I chose the cover that has a mapmaker-theme. There are also other themes -- cartoon ponies, stars and planets, fish and underwater scene, jungle scene, jets, dinosaurs, butterflies, swirls, and patriotic (flag and eagle). You can see we are pretty hard on our logbook!

So we really did find My Student Logbook helpful. I am still trying to determine the best way for us to use it. It has been working fairly well having Miner look at the Logbook to see what he should get done during the day, and then go to the Lesson Planner to get the specific assignment. In some subjects it is easy enough to just do the next assignment each day, like Algebra lessons. However in Biology, one day's assignment might be to read pages 36-40, and the next day be to define the chapter's vocabulary words, and there is no easy way for him to know the exact assignment without still using the lesson planner.

Even if we always use the logbook combined with the lesson planner, it is an improvement over not having the logbook.
1) My son finds the logbook easy to use;
2) My son sees that he needs to do a reading in the literature book and is beginning to understand to go to the lesson planner (or me) to find out what chapter to read that day.
3) My son has evening meetings, and using My Student Logbook he is able to be aware all day that he has a meeting that night. Previously once a week meetings would catch him by surprise and he wouldn't want to go (to something he should really go to) because he felt like he hadn't known he had a meeting, and that would be enough reason for him to want to not go!
4) When I put chores on his Logbook Checklist, that he looks at throughout each day, the chores are more likely to get done. (Another way of saying this: Because of the checklist his chores are getting done more regularly.)

 But wait! There's more!

At the back of the book, after enough pages to get you through your school year (40 weeks worth?), there are additional helpful pages: after a colored divider page there are the following additional pages:
  • All About Me page;
  • Prayers and Goals page;
  • Bible Verses Memorized page;
  • Books Read page (3);
  • Events, Projects, Field Trips, Presentations, Activities pages (3); 
  • Test Records pages (3);
  • and lastly, Year Highlights - My Favorite Memories from This Year page.
So in our family, this product is a winner. When our review period is over, we will continue using this product. I love products like that!

My Student Logbook is a spiral-bound 8-1/2" X 11" softbound cover with a clear plastic front cover and a sturdy black vinyl back cover. It has about 80 pages. This is ideal for 2nd grade and up. The price is $15.00. The creators have posted many YouTube videos to teach you how to set up the logbook, how to use the logbook, how to use the logbook to help you keep track for a high school student, and how to use the logbook to create a high school transcript. So, in addition to the low price, you get lots of free helpful stuff.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MyStudentLogbook

You Tube -- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMxzpy91vov8a8nDpyp2ihQ

So if you have a student in your family that is having difficulty keeping things straight to be self-sufficient, I can highly recommend  My Student Logbook to you! Give it a try.

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