Thursday, September 18, 2014

Review: My Student Logbook

If you regularly read my blog posts, you know that we have really been focusing on organization in our home and home school.  While trying out various planners for myself, I also have tried out different methods of record keeping and accountability for the kids with their schoolwork and daily tasks. While each child is different, I have noticed that all have picked up my penchant for list making.  Melissa, who is in 8th grade, has really picked up the pace with her studies this year, and I was hoping to find a planner/tracker that would help her keep track of everything. Just as we were getting ready to start school, we had the opportunity to review a dated My Student Logbook from My Student Logbook. 

A little history: This is a company and a product that was created by home schoolers for home schoolers! The logbook came about from a need to keep multiple students in a large family accountable for their daily lessons and assignments. Being designed by a practical, in-the-trenches home school mom means that the logbooks are very adaptable to each unique student's situation.

What is My Student Logbook?  It is an 8 1/2" x 11" spiral bound book with a customizable cover and protective plastic covering. Each page covers an entire week of tasks, with boxes ready to be marked off when tasks are completed. There are so many different options to make the logbook suit your own personal needs.

How many different options are available?
"Freedom" Cover

  • There are currently nine different cover selections with many choices of kids' favorites. (We chose the "Freedom" cover shown)
  • Inside, logbooks can be purchased in dated or undated options.
  • Currently, dated options come in a 2014-2015 academic year, or 2015 calendar year. 
  • Undated options have only blank squares to fill in for dates, so that the logbook can be started at any time of the year.
  • There is also an instant pdf download, where pages can be printed off at home and set up as you wish.
What makes this logbook unique and different from all the other student calendars out there? This logbook is just plain simple to use. There is nothing complicated at all. There is even an easy setup guide video available to show you how to do it! The main difference that separates this logbook from any other student planner that I have seen or used, is that this one has a folded flap that can be reused repeatedly for many weeks at a time. In other words, Melissa and I can write her list of tasks that need to be completed daily or weekly on the list on that flap, and then use it until it is either worn out or no longer applicable, simply be folding it over the new week's calendar. Each week gets a fresh start, but eliminates the need to waste time copying over the same list of tasks from the prior week. Let me just tell you that Melissa loves this feature! 

Is it hard to set up? Not at all! It took us about five minutes! And here are some pictures to show you exactly what we did:

First we cut out the page that is used as a "flap"...

Then we folded it in half on the line.

We taped one side of this flap to the back of the first page of the logbook's calendar section.

We made sure the lines were "all lined up" so there would be no confusion.

You can see that under the flap there is an area to write notes about that particular week.

 This is the same list of tasks that Melissa started off with during our first week of school. She has not had to rewrite the list, but has only had to tuck each new week's page under the flap, and continue on in the same habit as the previous week.

What if I need to change the list of weekly tasks? There are several extra fold pages included that can be set up and used whenever the list changes or the stack of calendar pages gets too thick to fit under the folded list easily. 

Is there anything else included? The logbook encourages student growth and participation by including several other pages for the student to fill out, and make a record of the school year, such as:
  •      An "All About Me" page
  •      A prayer list
  •      A goals page
  •      A page to record Bible verses memorized 
  •      A book reading list (which comes in very handy for high schoolers!)
  •      Pages to write scheduled events, projects, field trips, presentations, and also record favorite        memories and highlights of the school year.
  •      Test records pages
What age can use this? I think this would be useful for any student who can read and learn to start working independently and being accountable and responsible for their assignments. While it is suggested for 2nd grade and above, I think middle school through high school will find this most helpful. 

Logbook vs. planner: An important fact to remember is that this is a logbook, not a planner. There is only one line to write a task. If your student needs lots of room to write out assignments, they will need something different for that, such as a small assignment pad or notebook. This is only a way to track if the assigned tasks have been completed. 

How did "My Student Logbook" work out for us? It is actually working quite well! Both Mom and Melissa are pleased with the logbook. I wrote some of tasks on her list, and she wrote the rest. She has been faithfully checking off her boxes everyday as she completes things off her list. She has been able to see areas that need improvement as well. As a teacher, I am able to quickly look over her logbook page and see how much further she has to go in her work before she is finished. It has helped us track her music practice and chores as well, since I added much more to her daily list then just schoolwork! 

Positive thoughts: One compliment I would like to give this logbook is that it is very sturdy. When something is intended to be used on a daily basis for an entire school year, it needs to be built to last, and this logbook so far has seemed like it can handle almost anything! 

Final thoughts: I think this logbook is a wonderful way to help teach your child accountability. With their parent's help, they are taking the responsibility of completing their daily tasks into their own hands and learning to manage their time and responsibilities well. This logbook has helped us have a really positive start to our home school year, and I am glad for the privilege to review it. At first I was apprehensive because I wanted everything in one place, and using the logbook as a tracker forced us to have two different 'books' for Melissa - one for writing out longer assignments, and the logbook for marking off when they were completed. Melissa has adapted well to this system though, and it seems to work for her. She enjoys having them separate, not having her assignments 'lost' in the long list of daily tasks. She gets satisfaction over seeing her list 'checked off' at the end of her day. I am grateful for the help this logbook has been to her. 

How much does it cost? My Student Logbooks can be purchased for $15 each. PDF downloads cost $10 for a single use license or $20 for a family use license, which gives you the option to print out pages for more than one student. 

Connections:  You can connect with My Student Logbook on Facebook or watch their videos on YouTube. 

See what the rest of The Crew thought after trying out the logbooks....

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