Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bitten by the Workbox Bug


I recently discovered a cool way of organizing our homeschooling activities.  I am really great at planning my week but not as great at implementing each intricate part of the lesson.  Well I found a wonderful solution.   You can buy Sue Patrick’s book here.  She details the hows and whys of the workbox system in her book.  I honestly haven’t read her book yet but created my system around her general idea. 

I think she is a much more structured homeschooler…what I would call someone who does school at home (someone who follows pretty closely what the public schools do just in a home environment).  Even though we have different styles of homeschooling, I have modified the system to fit more of our style.  So if you are a more relaxed homeschooler, you can make this system work for you too!

We still do circle time around our unit theme (currently it is hearing/ears) but I organize the additional activities (art, math, reading, etc) into these bins.  The bins also include other activities such as computer time, games with Mom, practice dance for recital, etc.   In general the kids go through each of their bins in order and then when they complete 2 of them, they can pick one of the “Need +2 bins”.  I am amazed at how much “fun” stuff we are doing now.  Things that I wanted to do before but never seemed to have the time.   I am a curriculum junky, so I have lots of books.  Now we are finding time to do activities in so many of the books that we just haven’t had the time before.  The workboxes also are great at making sure I am planning activities for each child’s interests and levels.  It also helps hold me accountable for implementing more of the activities from our lesson plans. DSC_0001

Above is Arianna’s workboxes for the day and below are Ryan’sDSC_0002

The kids were so excited to get started that they began right after they woke up.  This is Arianna’s shelf as she was working.  DSC_0003 DSC_0004

Ryan listening to a Spanish CD from the library.  DSC_0007

Arianna excited that she completed two activities so she can have 15 minutes of computer time. 


Arianna works on counting by 10sDSC_0014

Arianna is putting together a house that I had put in the closet and not found time to do before


Ryan playing a matching game with Mom.  He found a match. DSC_0020

Ryan working on hand eye coordination by hammering tees into styrofoam. 



Arianna finding pictures of different ears DSC_0005

Arianna labeling a diagram of the outer, middle and inner ear. DSC_0007 

If you are interested in this, here’s a basic how to get started…

I bought the shelf from Target for $15 (see pic below).  It is found near the laundry basket area.  The bins are also at Target for $1/bin.  I bought 12 bins for each child.  Ryan doesn’t always do 12 but Arianna has been pretty consistent with getting 12 done.  Also, I bought the little velcro circles from Target.  I needed 3 packages.  I made the labels with index squares and laminated them.  If you buy the book, she gives you access to the label templates. She also has a schedule template but we don’t use it, since I don’t like regimented schedules.  We go at our own pace.  WE LOVE WORKBOXES!



Trinity Mommy said...

Wow thanks for sharing this! I am off to check out more info about it... looks like fun!

Sheri said...

I too do not like being so regimented. For her child-it sounds like a perfect fit, but for most children, I don't think all the scheduling and formality are always necessary. I like the hammering of the tees into the styrofoam board. Reminds me of a Montessori work or 2. It is a great idea!

Jenny said...

I can't imagine my daughter wanting to be very scheduled either.

This is a neat system and I'll have to look into it more for our next school year.

Shannon said...

thanks for sharing your ideas on this :)