Saturday, May 2, 2009

Workbox System Update

It's been awhile since I first posted about the Workbox system. We have finally implemented it in our homeschool and I'm loving it! We aren't quite doing it all according to the book due to technical problems with the schedule strips (don't laminate w/ a Xyron 900 if you want the Velcro to stick!), but it is still working out alright. Here's how we're doing it:

This is the toddler's system. I have it right outside the school room. She knows that all the stuff in these boxes are hers, and you better not touch them--lol! The photo at the beginning of this entry shows the older kids' boxes (minus a pink set because they are on the other side of the room. I would have had to climb on a chair to try to get a decent photo and that just wasn't going to happen)

1. We do certain group activities together and I don't put those in the workboxes (history read-alouds, science read-alouds, etc.)

2. Most of the things I place in their workboxes are things I want them to do independently (except for the toddler and the 1st grader--they have some boxes where they work with me). I have 4 kids using this system, and I did opt to get a rack for each of them. Right now the toddler only has 6 boxes and the older kids have 8.

3. Once they are done with a box, they stack it on their shelf and place their finished work in a paper tray. So at the end of the day there is one tall stack of boxes on their shelves and I can easily see who is done and who is not.

Some things we have in our boxes are:
--Bible stuff
--phonics/spelling pages
--jump roping
--any independent science reading/lapbooking assignments
--some sort of flashcard game; either for math or music
--crafts (last week they created a horn book to go along with early American History)
--learning games
--practice the piano card
--other notebooking/lapbooking activities

I've been finding some great things at The Dollar Store. Here are a couple games that I picked up recently. They also had some educational posters that I bought and plan to make a couple of poster activities for the kids to use. The Dollar Store is also a great place to pick up items for toddler activities. Carisa at Tot School has a ton of ideas listed for toddlers.

Oh, and I've finished creating my first toddler/preschool activity for Homeschool Share's Blast contest. I can't tell you how hard it is to not post it---lol! But just know that they are planning on having a workbox section where you can download activities for various age-levels.

Why I Like This System:

I have an infant and a toddler so nothing goes as scheduled! LOL! I was finding that I would get distracted with one of the kids and the rest of the kids would lose focus and not get anything done, even if I wrote out what they were suppose to accomplish for the day. Not only that, I would lose focus and not remember who was doing what. This is a visual and tactile school schedule. Yes, it takes some preparation, but for a school day to run smoothly that is necessary. This system kind of keeps me accountable! :) The kids actually look forward to seeing what is in their boxes. Since I'm deliberately planning out their work, we are actually accomplishing more in the school day now---and usually in less time.

If you need more info. check out these links:

Sue Patrick's Workbox System
Ginger Snap Shots --workbox system
Ginger Snaps -- upclose look
Walking by the Way --- list of activities to include in the boxes



Blogger Deb said...

I am cleaning out my daughter's closet right now and am very envious of you organization! Birk has definitely not inherited the organizational gene, but then, who was she going to get that from? Not me :)

I've tagged you for a fun meme at my blog. Play along if you'd like.

May 2, 2009 at 1:14 PM  
Blogger Jen@born2impress said...

I wish i could organize that good!
Following from the 100's club.
Come visit when you have a chance:)

May 2, 2009 at 2:54 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Looks great, and I really like the flexibility of this system. I am going to think about how to incorporate something similar into our summer routine around here.

May 2, 2009 at 10:42 PM  
Blogger ~ Angi :) said...

I so plan on doing this ~ I've a couple other projects to accomplish first. Your set up looks so well done! I think I'll follow your lead with the individual racks. It just seems to make sense in keeping it silbling argument-free. :)

May 3, 2009 at 12:28 AM  
Blogger Christy said...

I love the idea of workboxes. It looks like they are really working for you.

May 3, 2009 at 1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful! I love your blog. Thanks for sharing! Christine

July 9, 2009 at 11:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I was wondering what size bins you use for your workbox system? Currently I have 12qt ones and they are too big or my shoe rack is just way too small.


July 17, 2009 at 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Kelly said...

Yes I like this BUT I am having a hard time trying to figure out how its all going to work for us. I really like your card I went to the digital scrapbook site but do u have to have photoshop in order to do these? I was a bit confused..

August 11, 2009 at 9:00 AM  

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