There is a word in the Canadian vernacular that I glommed onto about 10 seconds after hearing it for the first time. The word is keeners. Man, I love that word. It’s not only cute to say (go on… say it outloud… you know you want to) it’s the perfect word to describe me when it comes to Pageflakes. I’m a full on, sold out, t-shirt wearin’ Pageflakes keener.
Remember several months ago I blogged, on more than one occasion, about the best new personalized homepage ever? Well, because of that first blog post I was contacted personally via e-mail by one of the co-founders of the company, Ole Brandenburg, with a thanks for my blog post. (the only reason I didn’t zap his e-mail as spam was that I thought maybe he was my long lost neighbor since the Brandenburgs lived next door to us, growing up, but that is neither here nor there…) I was amongst a group of beta testers who got to play with the new version of Pageflakes, called Blizzard, before it went public. I had way too much fun with it. I made several public Pagecasts. And then they gave me my official Keener badge, a Pageflakes T-shirt. (Guys… I think I need another one. I don’t know why… I just really like free stuff.)
I have one Pagecast (public page) about photography on which I have all sorts of stuff in mind that I need to add but haven’t yet, one about home brewing (I did that for my hubby), one about parenting, one about Reformed Theology, one devoted to chick bloggers (it’s not an exhaustive list by any means… still needs lots of updating!) and one about recipe/food. Many of mine are blogcentric but you can make your pages all about news, all about to-do lists and calendars, all about sports or movies or music… the possibilities are endless. I just love organizing my obsessions and internet haunts in one convenient, personalized place.
The most recent use I’ve gotten out of Pageflakes is something for which I’ve been wearing like a keener T-shirt with all of my homeschooling connections. I use Pageflakes pages as my kids’ daily lesson planners. (You can check out a sample page I made HERE.) This is the most practical purpose for which I’ve used Pageflakes to date. Each week I prepare lesson plans and schedules with the To-Do list flakes; one flake per subject. Each flake can also have several tabbed pages of its own. For instance on my son’s Reading flake, I have three tabs; one devoted to the books he has read on his own, one to books I have read aloud to all of the boys and a check list for 30 minutes of free reading per day (though in reality he tends to read much longer than that. That is his minimum requirement.)
In addition to all of the To-Do list flakes, each child’s page has a calendar on it, so that we can see the week at a glance and know that if we have a sporting event or something like that on a certain day, we may have to lighten the academic load for that day and make up for it on another.
We use the Sticky Note Flakes for lists of things that we need to make sure we address throughout the school year as well as lists of things to be memorized. For instance my oldest is working on memorizing all of the countries in North America. You can also use the Anything Flake for this purpose, which is handy if you want to have each country link to a page on the internet where he can learn more about that country.
The possibilities are endless with Pageflakes. I’ve been a Pageflakes crusader since the day I discovered it. It is just so incredibly intuitive, so customizable, so doggone brilliant. And nope, I’m not being paid a penny to say all of this. This is just free of charge wonderfulness. The children enjoy making their page their own as well. They pick out the backgrounds (or help me create them) and they can add one or two “just for fun” flakes as well. My older boy has a sting ray that swims around in his flake and tracks with the mouse. My 6 year old has a spider that crawls around and follows the mouse. I personally like the fishies. They can also pick out a clock flake. There are probably a few hundred clock styles to choose from. My favorite is the Felix the Cat clock… you know, the one whose eyes move back and forth in time with the second hand.
Well, now Pageflakes has gone to the next level in my estimation because they have gone and created a special teacher’s edition of Pageflakes just for the education community. While some of the popular education themed flakes are clearly more useful for classroom situations, I find that the teacher’s edition makes customizing your homeschooling Pageflakes page, all the easier.
I will likely never go back to pen and paper. This is not only much more practical and easy to alter when changes need to be made, it is also greener. However, if you need written records of your weekly work, you can always print your pages out using either screen shots or by clicking “file” in your menu bar and selecting print.