Sunday, December 6, 2009

Weekly Workboxes

I thought I'd do something different this week with my workbox post. By now, if you've been following the workbox posts, or if you look over them in the archives, you've probably seen most of the things that we often put in our boxes. I mean, we only have so many supplies that I rotate through. So, instead of just featuring what was in our boxes this week, I thought I'd do a little homeschool walk-through of our workboxes.

A typical school day (lately anyway) begins in the afternoon. The kids usually eat lunch at about 11:30 or so, and then they spend an hour in their rooms for "quiet time." Usually Little Bean will play, and Miss O either plays or falls asleep for a while. After quiet time, they know that school time usually begins. So when I get them out of their rooms, I let them know that we will be starting school, and part way through we will have afternoon snacks. We head to the school room, and Miss O begins working alone while I work with Little Bean on reading and math.

On this day, Miss O started off with lacing. She isn't great at lacing, but has shown some interest in it lately, so I thought I'd start her off with it this time. Unfortunately, she wasn't into it this day, and did a lot of complaining and whining when the strings weren't cooperating. Since many of her activities are open ended and don't have definite end times, my rule is that neither of them moves along to the next box until the other child is ready to move on from their box. In other words, she is expected to play with the lacing cards until I am finished with Little Bean's reading lesson. Sometimes this means that she is laying on the floor with nothing to do for a few minutes, or sometimes she will take out books or playdough while she waits.
When Bean and I finished his reading lesson, we pulled out the math box. Miss O played dress up with this Woodkin's doll while we did math. On this day, she was more interested in what we were doing, and asked to sit and listen. As long as she isn't being disruptive, I don't mind her sitting in. Sometimes she'll ask to work with Bean's abacus during math time. Usually I don't have a problem with that either. After the second box, we usually break for afternoon snack. If for some reason we are doing school in the am, we still break after 2 boxes for morning snack.
After I finished working on math and reading with Bean and we've finished a quick snack, he is ready for some alone time, so I usually give him two work alone boxes in a row. This gives me enough time to work with Miss O on her "reading" lesson (alphabet sounds) and on handwriting, as well as any other box that she may need some guidance with. On this day, she had a number worksheet in one of her boxes. She was supposed to trace the numeral and count the number of hearts. I worked on this with her. That way I could see how many of the numbers she recognized and how accurate her counting was.
While Bean continued his alone work, Miss O and I got busy with her Explode the Code primer. This day we were working on the letter "y" in her primer. I usually read her an Itsy Bitsy Letter book and then we open her primer and work on the corresponding letter activities. Usually we do 3 pages, but if she isn't into it, sometimes we only do 2. It normally takes us about 4 school days to finish all the pages on a particular letter. Next we pull out her handwriting book, and we generally do only one page from that book per day.
The way I do her "lessons" is as follows: I simply follow the pages, dictating sounds to her, naming pictures, and letting her tell me the sounds that they make. I explain the instructions and guide her as she works through the activities. Sometimes I pull out letter cards and she will match them with the correct pictures (initial sounds). I don't do anything really elaborate, and I don't usually have to plan anything in advance, so it's pretty straight forward.
Once we finish her "work with mom" boxes, it's back to work alone boxes for the remainder of the school day. Usually I have a few more boxes to do with Little Bean (Science, Grammar, Spelling, etc), but sometimes in there I have a break where neither of them is scheduled to "work with mom". During those times, I like to work with Miss O a bit more if she has a box that I think she would benefit from having a bit more guidance in.
Here she had a Magic Pics coloring page (kind of like Color Wonder):
And then here she was separating fruits and veggies with our felt food. This was way too easy for her!
This last box is an example of one that she would likely need more guidance with. These preschool worksheets fell during a time when I had nothing to do and was not needed, so I spent a bit of time going over it with her.
Once Miss O finishes her work (which usually is before Little Bean even though I do try to make the load even time-wise), she is free to go play or do as she pleases. Usually she goes into our school storage closet and chooses an activity to keep herself busy--playdough, coloring, stringing, a game, or some other material. When Bean finishes up, they run off to play together.

So that's a typical school day for Miss O! How does the workbox system play out in your home? If you've written a post this week about your workboxes, link up below! Please be sure to link to your exact post about workboxes, and it would be awesome if you could link back to this post so that others reading your post will be directed here and can start linking up or enjoying other bloggers who have left their link as well.


1 comment:

Whoz Your Doula said...

I like the idea of separating fruits and veges. We have a whole new set of felt food that I have made for Christmas.

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