The first thing I've done differently than Sue but the same as Alison is to use plastic drawers. I like these much more for a variety of reasons. One reason is that the workbooks and papers don't get bent in the drawers. If you know me you know I'm a neat freak and hate anything getting messed up. I like things nice as long as possible. So stuffing it in a shoebox didn't appeal to me at all. I was able to find my sets of drawers on sale at Target for $4.99each. This was $2 less than the regular price. Nice! Another reason the drawers appealed to me was because of price. Buying the suggested shoe rack cost more than my complete set of drawers. And I would have still had to buy the shoeboxes! Finally, we simply don't have the room for the set-up Sue describes. The drawers take up much less space and are easily moved around if needed. Another difference are the learning centers. Again, having 5 children we do not have the space for separate learning centers. I love the idea but it is not feasible. I do, however plan to have file folder games, etc. for the kids to use. Fun & hands-on but no extra space needed. These are a few changes I have already made. There will be more differences as we continue to modify things. But I love the basic concept which is teaching the kids to be more independent & me to be more organized.
For those of you not familiar with workboxes the basic concept is for the kids to be more independent & to learn time management. At least these are the main goals for our family. The children work through their boxes one by one. They also have an accompanying schedule card. I didn't have our cards ready until this week so I don't have pics to show in this post. The children do their work independently and don't have to waste time waiting for siblings, waiting for Mommy or scouting around for supplies. Everything is in their boxes ready to go. If they do need help and Mommy or an older sibling is not available they simply put a "Please, Help" card in their box with their work and we go back to it later.
As I mentioned in the beginning I am still adjusting this to our family's needs. I will be posting more on our changes as we go along. (Sorry if I'm babbling. I've been interrupted more times than I can count while trying to write this.)
Here are Boo & Elvis' workboxes. Since this photo was taken I've added another set of drawers for each child. This gives them each 12 drawers/workboxes.
These are Bugsy's workboxes. I have now added more workboxes to his stack as well. They have also been moved to the hallway with the others.
I found it to be very helpful when others posted what they placed in their workboxes. I thought I'd do the same hoping I can help someone as well. This is Bugsy's first box. I placed our history book, colored pencils, and flag coloring sheet inside.
- Workbox #2 has a coloring sheet for Bible and crayons. The children will color while I read their Bible story.
Workbox #3 contains his math workbook & a pencil.
Box #4 contains his Get Set For the Code book, a pencil & a box of crayons.
A box of paints & blank paper are in Workbox #5.
These are only for school time so as to make them more special.
Her workbox #1 held her list of chores.
Workbox #3 has her Progeny Press book, study guide & pencil.
They held other schoolwork such as Wordly Wise & sign lang. practice.
We do history together so Bugs had the book in his box.
Her pencil, flashcards, big eraser & math book.
Last is her Gratitude Notebook & a pencil.
#1 Chore List for the day
#2 Bible Time
#4 Reading Comprehension
#5 Sign Language Practice
#6 Beyond the Code
#8 Books to read during Quiet Time
#9 His Gratitude Notebook
Coloring at Bible Time
He is starting to enjoy coloring. Last year he rarely colored at all.
Getting ready for math
Romeo tries to cuddle with Princess
Princess is all dressed up for our first day of school.
Reading her book for her Progeny Press study.
She scooted all the way from the middle of the blanket to here! And she's still going!
Come back, Princess!
Playing with his dinosaurs from Workbox #6
He is adding two sets of 3-digit numbers and doing very well!
Wordly Wise is a new addition this year. So far Boo is loving it!
Boo made a quick trip to the garden. Nice harvest!
We had a rough start getting our chores done but that is improving with our new system we started yesterday. (More on that in a later post.) The kids are slowly learning to use the workbox system. Right now they are still comign to me quite a bit asking what to do next, etc. I'm sure it will take a bit for the independence to kick in but once it does it will be amazing.
(P.S. No, I didn't leave out Sweet Pea. She was still up in MA on our first day.)