Kanban: Supporting Time Management, Intentional Living, and Reflection

The agile learning method ( of self-directed education has really resonated with our family and lifestyle because one of its core beliefs is that learning happens best through cycles of:

1. Setting intentions, 2. Having experiences, 3. Reflecting on those experiences, and 4. Sharing learning with others.

A challenge in the beginning was how to make this process more explicit for children. I wondered, how could children be empowered to set their own intentions, plan their own experiences, and what processes could support their reflection and sharing of those experiences?

When my child attended Philly ALC, I was introduced to the agile tool called Kanban, a simple time management tool that lets people visualize their daily intentions and track their progress. It also serves as a useful reflection tool because it is easy to see what the intentions were along with what was actually accomplished.


Kanban helps me visually organize everything I intend to do through the course of the day. The simplest kanban has three columns: TO DO-- DOING--and DONE, and it can be created on a small white board, a cork board, or even on a sheet of paper.