Spreading myself over four children and keeping all of them busy at the same time without having them waiting around, or getting distracted was one thing I had hoped to deal with efficiently right from the start of the school year. At the beginning of the year I had prepared for this challenge but my plan of scheduling independent work for the older two while I provide instruction for the other two did not go as planned. Sometimes they finished their work quicker than I anticipated, sometimes they took longer than I had thought and sometimes our schedule simply changed for one or more people in our home and that change would send ripples through the schedules of the other family members.
So my second attempt or perhaps backup plan was to have a list for each of my older two children that they can work independently on while I am working with the younger two. They don't necessarily do the whole list in one shot. Sometime I simply had them their clipboard when an interruption that I have to tend to comes up. they know to work on the list until we can resume where we left off.
What I love about these lists is that I make them once for the whole year and just print of more as needed! I don't need to make them daily. I also love when my toddler needs some urgent one-on-one I can hand my older kids their clipboards, step away for a few moments without offsetting the day's progress. If you like to get creative and make your own clip boards, I've included step by step instructions on how to make your own unique clipboards as I have (see steps and pictures below).
To Make Your Own:
1- Cut wooden board to desired size or buy ready-made ones that come in a variety of sizes at DeSerres.
2- Use a Beeswax polish or other safe wood polish (olive oil will work). I used a Lemon Lavendar Beeswax Polish by Three Beautiful Bees purchased online from Palumba. This step is optional but will help keep the wood from drying up, becoming cracked or warped. I also love the smell of this step!! Use an oil or suitable wax to cover the back of your board, being careful not to get any on the front where you want a strong bond when you glue on your paper.
3- Choose a fun print of paper and trace around the board onto that paper. Cut paper to size.
4- Modpodge the paper onto the board. Next apply a thin layer of modpodge ontop of the paper to give it a protective coat. Work quickly as it will begin to dry in no time. Allow it dry completely. Add one more layer of modgepode stroking in a perpendicular direction to the first layer of strokes.
5- Allow a day for the modgepodge to dry and harden before adding large clips to secure your child's list to the cutting board.