Monday, July 20, 2009

New for Fall: Workboxes

I love being organized and having a place for everything and everything in it's place. We have always used a written checklist and book baskets to keep our materials organized. It worked ok.

Then I heard about the Workbox idea to organize our homeschool day. This took me right back to my days as a Montessori teacher, with activities stored neatly and individually on trays. When a child chose an activity, they pulled the tray off the shelf, completed the activity, put the materials back on the tray, and returned it to it's shelf to rest neatly. This is the picture that jumped into my mind the minute I heard about Workboxes, and I knew that a modified version would work for me.

When my dd was younger, I pulled out individual daily work and put it in subject folders. As she got older, I pulled out work for the week and stapled it in packets, placing it in folders. For the past couple of years, she can manage work for six to twelve weeks at a time, so I plan and organize in larger increments. For 7th grade, my Workboxes will be filled with all materials, directions/contract, and books for a 12-week term. The Workboxes themselves will serve as her checklist this year! Work through all the boxes, and she is done for the day. Although most boxes will be filled for several weeks, I will have a couple of workboxes that will have different things rotated into them every day: Practical Life, Crafts, games, even computer time.

I keep changing my mind about the order of the boxes. Just last night I looked at some of Charlotte Mason's old PNEU schedules, and made some changes to the box order. Right now here is what I have:

  • Box #1 - Usborne Encyclopedia of the Ancient World alternated with Prentice Hall Chemical Interactions
  • Box #2 - Math
  • Box #3 - Literature
  • Box #4 - Composer Study alternated with Phy-Ed, 10 Free Time Minutes
  • Box #5 - Memory Work
  • Box #6 - Diana Waring's Ancient Civilizations and the Bible (cd's and student manual)
  • Box #7 - Lunch, Chores List, 30 Free Time Minutes
  • Box #8 - Rotating Studies (one chosen each day) - Nature Study, Logic, Science Biography, or Art Appreciation
  • Box #9 - Grammar and Spelling
  • Box #10 - Devotional Reading (CLE Calls to Courage alternated with Adam and His Kin)
  • Box #11 - SURPRISE ME - something fun and different each day
  • Box # 12 - Practical Life - a Home-Ec or Health-related task or activity