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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Our Workbox Adventure begins...

If I had been blogging regularly, you would know that my latest pursuit in the homeschool sphere of my life is workboxes. I stumbled upon the concept while reading the many homeschool blogs that I peruse. What exactly are workboxes and why am I so excited about them?

The WorkBox System was developed by Sue Patrick and is "An effective teaching system to reduce your organizational time and increase your child's self-control, independence and learning." You can find out more on her website. There are tons of other blogs outlining how others have used workboxes... here is a great link to some of those.

It became clear to me a couple of months ago that I needed to develop a system to organize what I did each day with each child. Since September I have tried various methods, created many forms, made tons of lists and nothing seemed to work in the long run. Having 3 different age and ability levels to teach, I want to be sure each child is getting exactly what they need. I loved the concept of Tot trays which I have been using with Buttercup (and a little with LiLi) but I was having the problem of where and when to set up the trays as we have limited space. I am also trying to encourage KaiKai to be more independent. He spends a lot of time coming to ask me how to do something, or waiting for me to give him the next thing to do. He is a child who likes to have a plan and know when something is going to start, end and every step in between. When I began reading about work boxes I started using a 5 part intray to layout KaiKai's work each day. He loved that... he could go and get on with his worksheets/ activities and only come to me if there was something I had to work with him on. The limitation with the intray, is that I can only fit a sheet of paper on each tray... If I have a puzzle, game, manipulatives to go with an activity, or a textbook, they will not fit on the tray.

There are a lot of ideas in Sue Patricks book which I eventually ordered and read that are helpful and some that I will tweak as have many who have used the system. The original system uses a cart with 12 shoe boxes but people have used a number of different types of shelving and trays. So what would work for us and the limited space that we have. I couldn't possibly find room for 36 boxes and there was also the challenge of not having Target or Walmart to run to to find the sterlite or rubbermaid containers/ drawers that many were using. I spent tons of time on line and at our local hardware store looking for the perfect solution and then a friend suggested the Ikea Trofast system. It looked like it would work for us. There is a company here that places your Ikea order and then ships it on to the island (for a significant markup but oh well what can you do :) Because of the holiday season the said it would probably be in in mid January... okay I would have to wait, using my improvised system.

I was so excited yesterday when the company called to say the order was here and ready to be collected!!! Yay!

I can't wait until they are set up... since we are on Christmas break after tomorrow I won't plan on using them until January so I have a couple of weeks to get things organized the way I want it. Stay tuned for more on workboxes...

1 comment:

  1. Rusheika, I love what you're doing...your blog gives me inspiration to try new things. Thanks and keep up the good work. Your children will love you for it (if not about 15 more years). Michelle


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