Monday, May 17, 2010

THE WORKBOX SYSTEM

I have recently discovered something that has revolutionized our homeschooling day - Workboxes!!  This simple little organization system has made our days run so smoothly that I can't believe I hadn't thought of it before!  The trick is in these Sterilite Drawers from Wal-Mart.  (you can use just about any kind of boxes or drawers for this idea - Ikea has a million ideas!)  This is the solution to the never ending question of "What next mom?" or "What am I supposed to do now?".  Perfect for the 4th grader who can see what she has done and what needs to be accomplished, and to have a better rhythm to her day.  And also perfect for the 4-year-old who just can't absorb information fast enough and is always asking "What next?" and wants to be a little more independent.  I simply fill these drawers the evening before our school day.  They work through the drawers from top to bottom.  I even plan on adding a little velcro sticky to the front of each drawer with numbers for them to add onto a completion chart of some sort for next fall, but for now - simply moving through the drawers works for us.
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Boo has writing activities, puzzles, mazes, letter sorting - all kinds of fun things in her boxes!
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Here is a glimpse of Banana's workboxes.  She simply moves through the boxes - a bonus to this is I can add in a little card that says "work with mom" for those subjects where I am needed.  I am better able to stagger this and see where I am needed throughout our day.  They are also much more eager to go through
their work as they are looking forward to what is next  - I like to add in interesting learning items here and there, plus actually putting a snack in one of the drawers in a real motivator!!
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A few of the things that Boo may find in her box - she is working on Horizons Kindergarten for math and Explode the Code for phonics.
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Can you tell I have been thinking about curriculum ALOT lately??  It's that time of year when we start planning for next fall.  After attending the homeschool convention a few weeks ago - it seems like all I have done is research, research, research!!  Last year we used Sonlight - which was wonderful and I would highly recommend it to anyone - especially to new homeschoolers since it's pretty much a "curriculum in a box" approach.  I feel a little more confident this year in selecting each subject to best suit each child, and piecing all of it together.  So, it's been a lot of work and very overwhelming - but also very exciting and fun!
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This has become a favorite lately - the Draw Write Now series.   Boo absolutely loves to
follow the directions for drawing these animals and is SOOO proud of herself when she is done.
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The book gives step by step directions for drawing, and then some sentences to copy that go along with the picture.  Boo is so proud of her book she has been working on.
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Today in Boo's box was this favorite color sorting activity that we hadn't pulled out since last fall.  I was amazed at how much more adept she was at it this spring compared to last fall - she would get so frustrated with the tweezers.  Her fine motor skills have come a long way in a few months!
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Another Usborne favorite book - they are the best!
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This is one of Banana's favorite ways to do spelling lately.  Now that we have a new larger school room, we had room for a real white board instead of just our small easel.
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(I got a little carried away today taking pictures in our school room) - this DVD is a favorite lately too.   Highly recommended!!
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And nothing completes our school room as well as two sleepy dogs. (Please keep my little Brody in your prayers - he had a terrible seizure in the middle of the night last night and will need to begin medication.  He has had a few mild seizures in the past few months, but it seems like they are intensifying.)
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Happy curriculum hunting all you fellow homeschoolers!!!

6 comments:

MegganB said...

You're inspiring!!

Wendy said...

Can you come organize my basement? It doesn't have homeschool materials, but lots of preschool things instead that need to be better organized! WOW! LOVE the white board idea--may adapt that for Noah to practice his spelling words at home. And, Boo is quite the little artist--loved her sheep and chicken! Great job Ms. Heather!!

Karen said...

Lookin' good! When I am looking through Veritas Press and CBD for books and summer stuff for the kids, the things that catch my eye are alot of what you use! I hope that Brody is gonna be OK - poor guy.

WARRIOR CHIC said...

Lovin the snacky idea. Gabe would need one in EVERY box! Keep up the diligent work girlfriend! You rock!

Nana said...

You are so good at organizing things. Brody will do fine with the meds. Daisey has been on phenobarb for years for seizures. It really does help, but has to be consistant. If she misses one she will have a seizure. Sometimes she still does the the pheonobarb really helps her.

HotPopRock said...

oh, there's just so much to consider ... i never realised... but thank god for the homeschool preschool kids flash cards from uberkids -- at least i've got something good to start their education with! :)

love the photos!