Thursday, June 25, 2009

We have been using Sue Patrick's Workbox system format for our school day. Basically, I put one activity or assignment in a plastic shoe-box then put a number on that box. I put several of these boxes in order on a shoe rack. Then, the girls open box 1 and do the activity inside. When they are done they can move to box 2 and so on until all boxes are completed. Many people who use this system are concerned about where to store their shoe racks and boxes. Admittedly, they have half a dozen kids or so and I only have two. But I thought I'd post pictures of how we store and use our workbox system.

I didn't know if we would like this system so I put very minimal money into purchasing supplies. However, most of the stuff doesn't cost very much. A full day's work would have 12 boxes on a rack. I think I have about 15 boxes to split between the two girls so we haven't ever had a "full" day yet. I'll need to get some more shoe-boxes.

Sirena gets a shoe rack that we already had sitting in the garage storing shoes. Those shoes are now in a big pile on the floor but I like this rack for school better. At maximum capacity we would only be able to put 9 boxes on this rack but for her I think that's plenty for a few years. We store it in front of a window between two chairs so it's out of the way when not in use.

Malaya gets the official workbox shoe rack. I had to purchase this one from Target. It holds 12 boxes when at full capacity. Her's is stored in front of another window between two chairs also when not in use.
When we start our school day, I bring out the tables and chairs and shoe racks. They go right in the middle of our living room. Many people homeschool at kitchen and dining tables due to space issues. I am so thankful that we have the ability and the space to own childrens' tables. They are just the right size for little people. Both girls can put their feet on the floor and sit properly to do school work. This picture is Malaya's side with her table, chairs and shoe rack.
This is Sirena's side.
Some days the tables face each other. Some days they are arranged like a classroom with both girls facing the same direction. This last set-up actually helps with distractions. Malaya really likes to watch what Sirena does and will just zone out watching her instead of doing her work. But I don't like her to always feel excluded so we change it up every now and then.

This whole workbox system is supposed to allow us all (students and teacher) to get more things done in a shorter time frame, be more organized, and have more opportunities for fun learning. When I introduced my sister to the idea, she joined a Yahoo group and told me they had tons of good ideas of how to use the system. So, I joined because this was something I was interested in. There are SOOOOO many good ideas in this group. When I read what everyone else is doing, I get a lot of ideas but I also start to think about what we're NOT doing. I understand that it is a common habit of new homeschoolers to look around and compare themselves to others and then start to doubt their ability to teach their own children. I can see how that would happen. I don't think I'm doing that, yet. Instead, I'm starting to have ideas and wanting to do so many things. For the last couple weeks, we've had about 3 or 4 different units we've been working on. I realized quickly that this is not the best way to work. From now on, we'll only be working on 1 unit at a time. I need to learn how to reign it in and not get too carried away. We also want to have fun along the way!

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