School's been out for 2 weeks and we are all ready to jump back in tomorrow! We have had a great Christmas break with family and friends... plenty of food, laughs, new toys and lots of fun!
here's a picture of our gang on Christmas morning:
I have spent this past week gearing up for using our new workbox system. I have created, printed, cut, laminated, velcro'd... whew! I LOVE our new Ikea shelving (did I mention that before:) I have to thank my friend Michelle for suggesting it. Kai Kai helped me with some of the preparation and is looking forward to actually using it. It will be interesting to see how LiLi adapts to it... I am guessing there will be lots of prompting and assistance from me for a while. Buttercup also has "workboxes" which I will fill with toys and activities for her to keep busy during school. I will also prepare her tot trays for Tot School at least 3 times a week... she likes to be involved with whatever LiLi is doing anyway so she is getting plenty of intellectual stimulation!
Here is a look at our workbox system... I was inspired by many fellow bloggers, I took ideas from here and there throughout the internet but I was particularly inspired by Jolanthe of Homeschool creations and Carisa at 1+1+1=1 and Maureen at Spell Out Loud. They had great information on their blogs about workboxes and links to many other blogs that I also loved to read through.
Here is the set up. Each child has a column.. (Buttercup quickly tells anyone who will listen that her boxes are pink :)
LiLi and Kai Kai have schedule strips that are hanging on the side of the shelving. When they come into the school room in the morning they will take their strips and look to see what the first tag tells them to do.
If it is a card with a number they will go and find the corresponding workbox and begin working on whatever is in that box. If it is something I need to work with them on, the box will also have a work with mom tag. Each tag is velcro'd on so I can change the strips daily. As they complete something they remove the tag so that they can see what is completed and how much more they have to do for the day.
There are a variety of activities in each box, from books, to spelling tests, to worksheets, to craft activities. Here is a look at one box for each child for tomorrow...
LiLi's read aloud books that I will read to him and then he will draw a picture to describe his favorite part... we are working on letter P this week.
Then there are subjects that we all do together like Bible, science, music etc. which won't be in a box, but they will have a tag on their strip to tell them it is on the schedule. They will also have tags for music practice, breaks, lunch, rest time etc.
I am sure this will be a work in progress... I will be tweaking and making the system really work for us but this is how we will begin! I'll keep you posted on our progress!!
During the break I also started reading "The Well Trained Mind". My friend Marielle lent it to me sometime ago when I first decided to homeschool.. I picked it up read the introduction and decided it wasn't the book for me... and at that time it truly wasn't.. it would have overwhelmed me. Now with a better understanding of homeschooling and what it means to me and our family I was ready to pick it up again... I started reading it one evening and couldn't put it down until I reached the end of the section geared towards my kids' level. I have started making decisions about our curricula for next year and this book is going to be a great guide. Of course I probably won't follow it to a "T"... I am sure there are very few people that do, but it is a great guide to providing your child a rich, exciting and challenging educational experience.
Stay tuned to our continuing homeschooling adventures in 2010!