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Workboxes – Large Family Style

Workboxes

I have not done a workbox post for a very long time. Too long. We are easing in to a new way of doing workboxes and I have not figured it all out yet. What I can tell you is that the kids have crates now. The bottom shelf is missing from the picture above (it contains my mama crate and Zion’s crate).

Right now the crates are acting as a storage bin for each child’s work, but I want them to be so much more. I am scouring through the Workbox Blogroll to see the ways other mamas are modifying their systems to work for them, hoping for something to truly inspire me.

Workbox Blogroll

Here are some mamas who used crates for the workboxes system at least at some point (and some may still be using them):

I am not married to the crates, but I have them and I would like to give them a good try because they fit our space (aka lack of space) nicely. Now that we have taken a little break from the Workbox System and rearranged our main working room a million times, I am ready to revisit workboxes with our family.

And…

I am really excited.

What are you using for your workboxes?
What are you putting in your workboxes?
How are you using workboxes with your special needs children?

Working Our Workboxes

This year we are using our workboxes for our various subjects and it is working well. We are using Bob Jones for most of our subjects and we are loving it. It is way more work than we are used to, but the layout is good and it is nice to have a stopping and starting point each day. I like having a teacher’s manual with more information (than I could ever need) and all the answers for those days when my brain is feeling old and tired.

Most of the workboxes have:

  • at least one student workbook
  • a teacher’s manual
  • answer keys (for mama)
  • and any other pieces needed

The children grab the workboxes off the shelf and bring them to me. We work on our subject and then they replace the box on the shelf. We moved the workboxes up to a bookshelf in my bedroom and we do school sitting on my bed (one child at a time). It is nice one on one time. We were doing our work in the living room, but that meant keeping everyone else out of our main living space while we were doing school, which just wasn’t practical.

I am trying to help the kids to work more independently, but they all have their issues:

  • Elisha has ADHD and autism and needs help with staying focused and also with scribing (due to muscle fatigue during printing).
  • We suspect that Moses has dysgraphia, but we know for sure that he has trouble following directions (he reads them, but can’t remember them to execute them).
  • Malachi is not reading fluently yet so all of his instructions need to be read to him.

I have been thinking about including more fun back into our homeschool day. Does anyone have any great links or ideas?

How are you organizing your workboxes these days?


workbox weekly

Workbox Weekly

This is what we have been up to this week…

We spent most of the week outside in the yard because the weather has been so nice. The kids really enjoyed digging in the dirt.

Hosanna discovered worms. She would walk around holding them and trying to kiss them.

I didn’t get around to setting up the boxes, so that post will have to wait until another week. The kids were just having too much fun outside. The boys found a caterpillar and made a bug jar. They have been having fun watching it and Jonah took these awesome pictures.

What I thought I would share this week is a list of fun spring things to put on cards and throw in your workboxes. I am sure you will find something in this list for your family. I would love to hear what you would add to the list. Leave me a note in the comments.

  1. Compare seeds and make a graph.
  2. Dig in the dirt and look for worms.
  3. Plant some seeds in the garden.
  4. Look for insects and make a bug jar.
  5. Make a terrarium.
  6. Spend some time weeding the garden.
  7. Identify leaves or plants in your garden.
  8. Create a nature bucket for play outside.
  9. Have some fun with a water sensory bucket.
  10. Read a book about spring, plants, insects, etc.

What spring things are in your workboxes this week?

I am linking this post up with What’s In The Box Wednesday.

Workbox Weekly

Welcome! I am so glad to have you visiting here today. Have you visited the Workbox Blogroll yet? Are you listed over there? The Workbox Blogroll is a list of homeschool mamas who have incorporated the Workbox System (by Sue Patrick) into their homeschooling. Leave me a note in the comments if you are not listed on the Workbox Blogroll.

I purchased Sue Patrick’s Workbox system last fall and for me, I am glad that I bought it. It was a very quick and easy read, but it gave information about the reasons behind her method. I don’t agree with everything that she has to say, but I can relate to a lot of what she wrote in there (as a mom of a special needs child) and she has some very good ideas.

We started workboxes last summer and had a blast (they really “worked for us”), but we have taken a break from workboxes because we rearranged the way we were doing school (and we love the new system) and then we rearranged the school room (which is also the living room, dining room, and family room). We moved all of the cabinets from one side of the room to the other (well, my husband moved them – yeah for him, he is awesome!). So, the cabinets have been moved and everything is in roughly the same spot inside of them. I just need to re-evaluate how we need the workbox system to work for our family. Their is no point using the system if it does not work for our family (or yours).

In the interest of working the workboxes back into our school (and making them “work for us again”), I am revisiting the things that inspired me in the first place. One of my first views of workboxes was these beautiful fabric covered cereal boxes over on A Mother’s Journal.  I absolutely loved them. I continued on to read the blogs mentioned in her post (you should too!) and do my own extensive research, which resulted in the Workbox Blogroll. I also went on to write several posts about the Workbox System and I wish that I could share them with you, but they were lost in the major server crash of 2009.

There are so many different ways that people have set up their workboxes, here are just a few examples:

We have used magazine holders as our workboxes and they were kept behind closed cabinet doors because we have almost 2 year old twins. The twins will be sharing a Tot Basket which you can read more about if you like. This picture was taken before we rearranged the school room. These are the boxes that I will be setting up again this coming week.

I would love to hear what “works for you” about your workboxes, please leave me a note in the comments.

I am linking this post up with Wednesday Workbox Day and What’s In The Box Wednesday and Works For Me Wednesday.

Little Bitty Learners – Tot Basket

I stumbled on this idea last week and wanted to save it for my post about my Little Bitty Learners. I have been trying to figure out a simple way to do more (planned) activities with the twins (almost 2). I am visual. If something is hidden away, I will forget about it. So, when I saw this idea, I thought it was amazing and just the solution that I needed. It would allow me to plan ahead, be organized, and have a visual reminder of activities that I wanted to do with the twins.

I want to introduce you to the idea of the Tot Basket. It is not my idea. It came from here – What’s In The Basket? I am thinking that the basket could be changed out weekly or daily depending on how quickly the twins caught on to the activities (or bored of them).

Yesterday, I was doing some organizing (and it sure felt good)…

I found a nice wicker basket for the homeschool catalogs (it is the season for those), magazines (Writer’s Digest and Acts and Facts, if you must know!), and books (those are a secret) that I will be writing reviews for soon. That certainly looks better than a messy pile. Trust me, it made grandma happy.

I also re-purposed another wicker basket and put it in the center of our new (to us) dining room table. I put it on a thick place mat so it does not scrap the surface of the table (just in case you were worried it would). In that basket, I put the newly created binders and all of our workbooks etc for the rest of the term. Everything fit perfectly. The basket looks great.

Okay, so all of that to tell you this… I have a cute (adorable is more like it) wicker basket with a handle that I found (another re-purpose job) and I am going to use it for the twins Tot Basket.  I am going to fill it with activities just for them. It is sitting on a shelf (in plain site) right beside our telephone (I can’t miss it). I will pull it down when I have a few minutes and we can do an activity together.

Have a look at my post that was filled with ideas of activities for toddlers.

What do you do for your younger children? How do you include them in your homeschooling?