Monday, October 26, 2009

Day #34/175 Days

I have been talking about workboxes here for a bit. Today I'll share how it's working in more detail. I just reviewed Sue Patrick's book (Workbox System: A User's Guide) over on my family blog (The Berry Patch).

I am not using 12 bins per child as described in Ms. Patrick's system. I tweaked it and I am using one bin per child with 12 Ziplock bags inside. It's is actually working very well. It keeps all their items separated and visible so they can see their progress. Here is what Lego-Man's bin looked like at the end of the day on Friday....

Anything that needs to be corrected is to be placed on the table. Everything else is placed back in their bin. While they do school, they do make a pile out of the bin but place it all back inside when they are done. This keeps it all close.

Here is what Lego-Man's bin looked like last night after I finished getting it ready for today...

The small plastic box in the front holds pencils, glue stick, scissors, markers, and colored pencils. I put these together last year to save time with gathering supplies we needed during the school day. They work great as long as the boys remember to put everything back in the boxes after they are done using them!

I also write out what I have in each bag on a 5x7 index card. I have a spot for each child plus Miss H & what I want to do together in the morning. That is what I use to type up these posts.

Today our school consisted of this:
"Together Time"
  • Read two chapters from our newest Little House on the Prairie book - On the Banks of Plum Creek
  • Bible Drill (sword drills - I call out Bible verses and they race to find them. Lego-Man is pretty fast at it)
  • Outside for PE - 20 minutes of play (while I spent time searching for the above mentioned index card. I had accidentally thrown it away.)
  • Science - today's lesson was on light & shadow. We went outside and tracked our shadows. The book called for using chalk on the driveway - doesn't work that great with a gravel drive. However, red spray paint on grass works great! Each child (even Miss H) picked a marker to use (a branch, a brick, a small rock, and a large rock) & stood there. I spray painted a mark where the head of their shadow was. We did this at 10am, 1:30pm, and 3:30pm. I meant to do it again before the sun set but I missed. Tomorrow they will draw a picture showing what happened.
  • Grapevine studies which was a bit frustrating today. While the boys were outside I pulled up Sumo Paint where I drew all the things we'd need for today's lesson. It worked fine. Then I went to pull them back up to teach the lesson and it kept locking up my computer and crashing Google Chrome. It was extremely frustrating. I'll be using regular Paint from here on out.
While I did the read aloud this morning, Miss H did this:

colored - her favorite thing to do

and Conductor did this....

While the big boys did the rest of their school together, Miss H got to play with all of this:

  • A bin of sorting things...she's holding a glucose tab bottle with milk caps inside. She's reaching for an old Tums container with pom-poms inside. There is a Pringle can laying there and all the straws go in that. There is a hole cut in the lid. And the small container on the floor is an old spice jar that has toothpicks that get stuck through the lid. After she made this mess, she picked it all up and stacked it neatly in the bin.
  • Then I gave her a small notebook, some Pooh stickers and a bin of crayons. She didn't do much coloring in this but she did put all the stickers inside it. She loves stickers second to coloring I think.
A short break to show you the view I had today while the big boys were doing school. I think it's pretty nice....


  • And this is Miss H's newest game. I call it "Where's me?" Well, actually I call it "Where's Miss H" but she calls it "Where's me?" Love it.

There she is!!!

  • The puzzles finally caught her attention. I had put them out earlier but she didn't want them then. I had all the pieces mixed up & just dumped them on the floor. She put them all back together in the right puzzles and pronounced herself "all done!"
  • I then let her pick out some toys to play with. She chose these binoculars. She actually had them facing the correct way but moved them like this before I could snap a photo.

Shortly after lunch Lego-Man took his workbox out to the shop area to work. I didn't expect him to get all 12 done today and we did skip a few. Here is what he did accomplish (I hope!):
  1. Handwriting
  2. AWANA verses
  3. Math-U-See
  4. Private Devotions
  5. Writing Journal
  6. Work on his blog
  7. Nature journal (sketch a fall scene)
  8. Go outside & take photos for 15 minutes
  9. Assigned reading (The Hobbit)
We had some difficulties today as I mentioned on my other blog. We're definitely still learning how this will work for our family.

Conductor chose to wait for Mr. H to wake up from his nap (he slept in the living room today) so he had a very late start to his workboxes. As a result he did not get many done:
  1. Handwriting
  2. AWANA verses
  3. Math-U-See
  4. Private Devotions
  5. Writing Journal
I did not do any formal learning with Happy today. The upside to this - his workbox is all set for tomorrow.

4 comments:

Alexandra said...

Oh, I like that idea for the containers!

Mrs. H looks so much like my daughter. They could be twins...so of course, I think she is adorable. :) My daughter has discovered the computer and Reader Rabbit, so I am without a computer during the day now!

Cynthia said...

Love the ziplocks! Great idea. We used one of those tall rubbermaid drawer thingies.

Christy said...

I enjoyed reading your review on workboxes, and seeing how you adapted it to your needs!

Jodi said...

It's interesting to see how you did this system. I like the idea of large baggies.