Showing posts with label workbox Ideas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label workbox Ideas. Show all posts

Friday, April 25, 2014

The evolution of our workboxes from the first use to now

I have been a bit of a Pinterest addict lately, and one of the key focuses has been the workbox. Yes, even though we have been on the workbox bandwagon for years now, I still love to check out other folks' boxes and how they implement it in their schooling.

So I got to thinking.  Perhaps a post highlighting our changing boxes throughout the years may be helpful to the new-to-workbox peeps; and to those who love to see how a family will tweak their boxes as they go along. When we started I had an 8 yr old elementary student and a high school student.  So I had to create two types to meet my family's needs.  

Version 1: Elementary
This is how we started our elementary student. Since I did a review of Sue Patrick's book, I wanted to implement the workboxes as close to her suggested way as possible. Some things worked, others did not. My son does not need many of the repetitive steps and I did not want finished boxes on the floor, so I eliminated those ideas pretty much right from the start. Hey, I do my own thing. I also know that at times we'll need to tweak the process when different issues and needs pop up-and am totally fine with changes. I just stay true to us and what works for us.

The shoe rack and clear shoe boxes set-up.  Highly recommend using this as your first style (unless you are in a tiny space) because it is one of the least expensive ways to go.  

This is an example of how I had the area set up for my son to put finished materials and work. It changed a lot because I tend to move things around a ton.

Version 1:  High School 

My high schooler needed some organization but I did not want to spend much money because she only had 3 years of school left.  So we didn't get all giggity with her workboxes.  This is what I came up with for her at first, then when I decided to go to the Trofast system, she had 6 boxes and my son had 6.  

I bought this clear, acrylic file holder at Staples.  It worked great for all her lighter weight assignments.  I also bought color top loading files.

 Her station for putting her completed work and activities.

She usually had a 'Holding Station' 
card for her heavy textbook work.  

IKEA Trofast storage drawer units
These move easily, and are in two separate units. They can fit many 
different arrangements that our room seems to 
experience throughout the year.
[Wonder how that happens?  LOL]
The return boxes usually were on the floor nearby 
or they left the stuff in the drawers.
I now have a large red box in the bottom of the right unit
 for him to use as the return box.

And there you have a quick look at how we tweaked the units to work for us.  I didn't need to worry too much about space (for once) so I was able to get larger workbox systems. Those who have smaller school areas/homes would need to use less space absorbing ones like file totes, wall hanging holders, binders and so forth.  Pintrest is full of many, many ideas, so be sure to check out that valuable resource.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Finally did some nature study-what is in the box you ask?

When we went to have my dd's wisdom teeth evaluated, we found oodles of these pods laying about under a tree that I didn't recognize.  So to keep the boy busy I had him gather some up (that translates to him not picking up the ones already on the ground-like every good boy he jumped and jumped and tried to gather from the largest tree all those pods that were way up there. Well at least he got rid of some of his ya-yas before we went into the appt.).  Later in the week, I put them in a shoebox workbox with the tree identifying book, some paper, a pencil, tweezers, a magnifier and a container.  The goal?  To open those babies up and examine the seeds, count them, average them and to just kinda explore these crazy pods.

We figure it is a Honeylocust (thornless version) since it fit the description to a T, was used as landscaping for that building and such.  He enjoyed the task.  Well, say for the beetle that popped out of a pod.  He jumped a bit since he wasn't expecting it and that little beetle took a swim into the depths of the sewer line (aka: it was flushed).  Oh and the biggest pod held 26 seeds!  We have them saved and will disperse them about hoping the birds/animals eat and distribute them later via the natural way (since they do germinate better when they go thru a critters system).  I didn't have him record or draw them this time-since we were running behind on other activities but I truly don't feel we need to journal/data entry/draw every. single. thing. we do in nature study. But I am a rebel like that.

Hopefully, we'll have a few of the Honeylocust trees in our neighborhood (in a few years) and maybe next time I will be a better NS instructor and request a notation in his nature study book-or maybe not.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Some more advice on workboxes and other homeschool topics

So my friend Heidi and her gang of professionals have started a new website loaded with articles pertaining to all things homeschooling.  One section is all about workboxing, so I thought I would share that link so you can glean even more ideas and helps to make your workboxing experience go as smoothly as possible.

You'll find you will want to spend some time there looking over and reading all these nuggets of reserve some time!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Random workbox ideas from this week

Just a few pictures of what the boy has had so far this week.  We've started back up with science so he has been learning about fish all week....

He worked on water coloring a Renoir picture while I read him his Bible lessons.

These are just some examples of what I tossed in his boxes this week.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Workbox basics in a nutshell Part I

Well no one had any questions so I will just do an "in a nutshell" post on workboxes, just in case you are new to them, and haven't a clue as to what it is or what its purpose it or how one implements it.  If you think of something I didn't mention here-by all means ask.  If you are workboxing (especially if in another country as I would LOVE to know what type of "boxes" you use and how it is working for you) I am thinking of doing a link up so others can find you and your ideas too.  Look for that sometime soon here.

Alrighty then-the Q and A part:

What exactly is this "Workboxing" concept anyway?

Well I can tell you that is not a boxing match while at work-although some days when homeschooling your child(ren) it certainly can feel like you are in a boxing ring, with your gloves on, enduring round after round of grueling punches and hits below the belt.  But that is another post in the making. Seriously though-

Workboxing is a deliberate, organized system that provides the student with just the essential material(s) for each lesson you want them to work on that day.  It literally means their work is in a box (whether it be a drawer, a shoebox, a cardboard box, a basket, a folder and so forth).

OK, so what boxes can be used and what do you suggest?

I have used a few different systems since introducing this family to the concept.  
I used the suggested shoe rack/shoeboxes system Sue Patrick insists on in her book.  It worked just fine for my elementary-aged child and for the most part-if you have space-I do recommend it.  BUT there are some reasons for many that it will not work:

*babies and toddlers who like to dump, explore, mess up and otherwise trash shoeboxes full of such enticing goodies (oh how I love them-but sometimes they are messy little buggers aren't they?  Very curious too) .  Putting the lids on may help reduce the invasions but if they know how to pop those off-forget it.  Being strict and militant about them never touching them may work for some very obedient babies but that would probably require 24/7 observation dedication...not sure many want to live like that.  Keeping the workboxes in a room that can be locked is another idea-but not many folks have that room available.  I suggest another option if you have curious, busy babies and toddlers in your home.

*limited space.  Even tho the suggested shoe rack is about 3 ft long and about a foot and 1/2 wide-not many have that space to spare.  Especially if you have a lot of children using the system.  This can be used but you'd have to do some adjusting such as possibly having 2 kids use one shelf.  The first two shelves for one and the other two for the second child at 6 boxes each.  Or use one or two shelves [one dedicated to the younger group and the second for the upper levels] for just the combined-group activity lessons and use another individual system for the other "more specific to each child" lessons. If no space is available at all-then this obviously won't work for you.  I suggest another option then.

*hate the look of it. Yes, I have heard many claim that.  It is not exactly pretty but it is effective.  Either turn a blind eye to it or find another option that you can stand looking at.

*you live somewhere that does not have the shelving unit or shoeboxes available. Not sure where that would be since most of us can find plastic shoe boxes (although the shelf itself may be hard to come by).  I bought mine at the dollar store and when the name brand stores had sales on them.  I found the shelving unit at Target, but I know Wal-Mart and other stores will have it too. Look in the laundry and organization section of the store.  They are coated metal, have 4 shelves and are sold as "shoe racks" -but I have seen ones that are made of wood too-which is nicer looking.

IKEA Trofast shelving unit with drawers

LOVE, LOVE this one. I had to save up for them and I did not buy it until I was sure, super sure-that we would continue using this system.  I do not recommend you running out and getting this if you are new to this and have no idea if it will work for your family (unless you can use them for something else).  This is a more expensive alternative but is so much nicer-yes, much nicer!  

 the boy now uses 6 drawers of the IKEA unit
the teen uses 6 of the IKEA (and no it is not crooked-there are desks and such in the way so I had to take this on an angle  LOL)

Some reasons it may not work:

*too expensive of an option for you
*no room -again these take up precious floor space
*don't like the look
*no IKEA nearby (you can order the shelves but usually can only buy the drawers at the actual store.  That is when a special trip to a kinda local store, or having a friend get them for you is recommended. ) And yes, I understand IKEA doesn't pay taxes like our companies in the US do-but until another company makes these babies then I am supporting the purchasing of these. I will leave that conundrum up to you.
*babies or toddlers-yes, these pull out right nicely-and they do not have tops (well I didn't see that they do)
*can hold some pretty large items since the boxes are deeper.  But some large, bulky things may not fit-again the use of the holding station may cover those needs.
*if you are using the 12 box system then you would need two units per child-which can take over your house.
*may not like the color choices of the shelves or boxes
*you have to assemble these-and that is time consuming (but oh so worth it)

File folders in a binder or used with a holder

I used these with my teen when we first started out. She was too old for the shoebox/rack set up and so I bought some good quality folders that opened from the top (at Office Max I believe, but you can find them at most office supply stores) and were somewhat expandable.  I then bought a table top plastic holder for files and just put velcro on the outside for her numbers and slipped in the work for the day.  Bigger item were at the holding station or on her desk for her already.  Some use folders that are in a 3 ring binder.  The only issue with a binder is that you cannot put the bulky must haves in there-so you have to stay on top of their supplies and have them readily available.  I had some room for the smaller items in her folders because they expanded and usually didn't have too many big things to worry about. This worked fine until I was able to get the IKEA shelves.  Large books or materials would not fit in these either.  So this is definitely has its drawbacks and take into consideration the lack of holding power.  A dedicated area for the bigger goodies should be created in order for this option to work for you.
file folder idea (the pocket would hold her instructions for that lesson)
Holding Station idea

Other ideas:

*I have seen people use empty cereal boxes that are covered with contact paper and cut out on the side to gain easy access to the books/materials in them-but this takes up space, so you will need a shelving unit or book shelf that can hold the larger cereal boxes nicely.  May not hold up to constant use.

*Some use cardboard boxes they had laying around of various sizes-again, these require shelf space that can accommodate their sizes. May not hold up to constant use.

*Totes with dividers [like the hanging folder totes that are plastic and have a lid that flips up or literally a tote that you make dividers for].  These usually have lids (great if you have those babies and toddlers we love) and they can hold a lot.  You can add in bulky stuff because the depth of it will allow for some of it but it may not be able to hold all your bigger items.  Good option because these can be stacked when not in use, but they too take up floor space.

*Wall hanging unit (I have a pic of an example on the side bar of this blog) that is suppose to be used for books (in a classroom or library). You will need to spend to get a good quality one that will withstand the use of pulling out and putting material back in over and over.  Great option for floor challenged folks who have a lot of wall space.  Limited to non-bulky items and such.  Will need another area for bulky item storage.

*I am sure I missed some other clever ideas for workboxes but this gives you an idea of options.

What goes into a box? And how many boxes per child?

That is up to you and what the lesson requires [for both questions].  The most important parts can be the components needed to do something-like a pencil and ruler for their math lesson.  Isn't it strange how a whole houseful of pencils can seemingly disappear moments before you ask them to start their lesson?  Well-now they cannot pull that "I have to look for a ...." anymore, because it is already provided for them in the box with the lesson (usually older students do not need to have this done-unless they tend to fall into the category mentioned above. For example: my teen does not have to have pencils put into her boxes unless they are some specialty pencils/pens that normally she wouldn't know where to go to find them).  

I have lots of posts that show some things we have done.  But for a quick idea:  say you are covering a science lesson where they need to read a particular book so you pop that book into the box possibly with a note stating what pages to they need to read [if they can read independently]. Let's also say they need to do an experiment so you add in the supplies needed (and perhaps some instructions).  It is that simple.  

As for how many boxes, well Sue says 12 but I have yet to truly need 12 boxes.  I usually do 6 for each child and then if we have some group things I just have that stuff ready on my desk.  Rarely did I ever go past 8 or 9.  The goal (in my humble opinion) is not to cram a child with unnecessary twaddle or with "just to keep em busy" activities. We do not do every subject every day (but math and reading) so I can alternate the boxes so we don't need so many.  This is a whole 'nother post...but you should get the idea.  

What about the big, bulky things that won't fit into a folder or regular sized shoebox?

There are some easy solutions for that.  Either buy a couple larger totes (I have a post somewhere showing this) and delete 2 shoeboxes on that shelf for the day, or use another area to hold them for your student.  I have some holding station cards you can print up to help with this.  Just pop the notice into their reg. box and then they go to the holding station to get it.  Others slip the bigger books and such underneath the shoebox so it won't bend.  That can work for skinny books but the thicker ones can make it so the box will hardly pull out from the shelf (this is using the original shoebox on a shoe holding rack set up).  

How long does it take to "load" these workboxes?

Again, that is a personal thing because it will depend on a few things:

*how many children you have using them
*the supplies and necessities needed for each lesson
*how organized you are
*if you are able to work uninterrupted for enough time to actually get them loaded (this is a challenge with babies, toddlers and little ones who "need" you [oddly LOL] as you are about to do this. I highly recommend dad or another older child entertains the troops so you can have your time to do this.
*what type of curriculum you are using
*how dedicated you are to the system
*how much caffeine you have had that day

I can usually get two kids' boxes filled within 15-20 minutes (usually less but sometimes it takes longer because I have to hunt down items to add or I get distracted).  It pays to pre-plan a bit (like over a break or on the weekend) so you know what you want to do and what you need (for us, we usually need a library book or some type of item for a science experiment or a movie to go along with the lesson, so I have to do some pre-work to be ready)...but usually as of late-I am winging it.  I have been coming down in the morning and loading them b4 the kids get up.  Sometimes we just do a few things and don't use the boxes-it all depends on what we have going on here and what we need to accomplish.

For those doing one shelf with boxes for just the family group activities then separate folders for individual work, it may take longer or you may be quite speedy and take no time at all.  I can do a more detailed post down the road about how to be and stay organized if you wish.  Those with several children will have to put in more time-but honestly, it is so worth the initial outlay of time to have your day go smoothly and with less distractions from kids "disappearing to find stuff to use with the lesson" and so forth.  It does keep you organized and in better control.  The students will know right away what they have to do that day and what is needed because it is in the box waiting for them.  It is not right for everybody, but for folks like me who like to be organized, and have stuff ready to go...especially with kids who like to know what to expect-it works.  

and that concludes this post.  

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Another Neil Armstrong workbox sample

These lapbook components match the chapter we're on.  I added the Klutz book for practice with tying knots (this book is a good one.  I had originally bought it for my oldest son when he was in Boy Scouts and am glad I kept it for my youngest), the map flip book was for him to write out a wee map using directions-so I grabbed the little compass and the compass rose component from the Geography Center [in right-hand corner].

About 3x per week we're doing the Neil Armstrong study.  I am following the Beyond FIAR guide and added in the Homeschool Share lapbook to round out this study. I keep the chapter book and TG on my desk-no sense in putting them in his box, since I read the book to him and obviously, the guide is for my benefit.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What's in the Box today?

Neil Armstrong: Young Flyer (Childhood of Famous Americans)
image from

Well for the boy-we are reading thru Five InA Row's Neil Armstrong [book 3] and chapter two talks about the Wright brothers-which my son asked to study a mere month or so ago-so I never did have to come up with much myself...yah...I simply am following the FIAR guide, and added a few books and a DVD on them (which is great by the way) plus a few experiments to help him see the concept of flight better.  I put all the materials he needed (except the blow dryer) to do the lift experiment in Wright Brothers for Kids book.
Ladies-save those little boxes and packing things when you can-never know when you'll need them for an experiment! Since we didn't have floral foam or a potato (yes, I need to buy some) this Scentsy box came in right handy :).

I also added three more mini-booklets for the Neil Armstrong lapbook that I am using, which is available for free via Homeschool Share. This unit was put together by one of my friends (with another gal) Leslie-who always has great FIAR activities posted on her blog!

We are not doing all the stuff in there, but again-that is the beauty of being in control-you decide.  I did have to make my own copywork pages because we do not teach D'Nealian/cursive with loops for  handwriting [we use Italic] and that is what it is in.  I simply used MS Word to type out the quote in a readable print, and then added lines for the boy to write on.  Easy peasy.  I will try to download that for you all to use if you want.  I am thinking of using something other than Scribd b/cuz usually when I upload it-it gets the lines and parameters all messed I will let you know when I have that figured out.

Oh, if you did not see this on my Scrap and Lapbook Blog-these little storage gems are perfect for lapbook components.  These ones are from Creative Memories, and I am not sure if they are available any longer-but there has to be something out there that is similar (these have a flap that comes down to keep the material in place and 3 holes for a binder) -I simply pre-print/cut and place the soon to be needed items in one, pull out what we'll need for the day and when he has completed them-they go into another one to await being placed into a lapbook.  All safe and clean and protected.  Look at garage sales, at art/craft stores, scrapbooking stores, etc. for something like this-it is a wonderful "must have" for any serious lapbooking family.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Hide and Go Seek Workbox Adventure

So, if you caught that post about hiding various workboxes around the homestead, you probably recall that I said I would post how it went.  Well-just as that great idea popped into my noggin-my son came down with a terrible case of the flu.  So I had to delay it by over a week.  Thankfully, he recovered just fine, and we were able to give it a test run.  His face just lit up when I explained what he was to do.  Here are a couple shots of the event.  Funny-one I didn't put in the box, just tucked it under a pillow/stuffed animal that was on the couch, and don't cha know-that was the one we spent a lot of time hunting for cuz I simply couldn't remember where I had put it (note to self: take one's own advice and mark out where you hide these things)..we got a good laugh about that.

This was a no brainer-had it right out on the dining room table.  Figured I would start him out easy like...
I had this way back by the door to the garage. I literally hid the boxes all over the house, the poor dear had to run up and down 2 flights of stairs and search everyone's rooms.

Number 4 was stuffed betwixt the wall and the back of the couch.  The boy had some space (well enough at least) to work on this.  I think this was my favorite spot to hide the boxes.

Uh, yes, Santa tablecloth.  Well, my teen is a painter and this was on my craft table.  This was the one in the basement.  At that point it was nice to head down there cuz it was getting kinda hot in the rest of the house (was fighting turning on the air so soon in the season-so we cowboy'd up and endured the unpleasantness).

And so it went.  I ended the 8th box on his bed (top bunk) so it took him some time to spot it, as it was hard to see from his eye-level.  That was a couple tapes (one was Hank the Cowdog, the other some American songs-ie:  Working on the Railroad, etc.) and his tape player/headset. Yes, tapes are outdated, but alas-Papa gave him a portable tape player and I have tons of those things from my previous years of schooling, and so why not?  LOL.  Besides our CD portable player bit the dust.  So I was able to relax and work on my business, and he was able to chill and hang out after a hard day of hunting.

I am going to do this here and there to break up the monotony for sure. I am planning on having a snack box too.  So do consider this fun alternative.  Just remember to remember where ya put them!

Monday, May 10, 2010

My how time flies-well the workboxing has taken a strange holiday

a holiday of mainly non-use...not because I don't like them anymore, but because our days have been filled with drives back and forth to another town for driver's ed, a traveling sick/food poisoned husband, and various other types of distractions that have rendered them almost extinct for a bit.  But workbox buddies-do not despair because I will be back into our groove soon (only 2 more driver's ed classes and altho we have 3 drive times left-it isn't creating a huge gap of time loss in our days) to once again workbox away!

I am starting tomorrow off with a secret workbox activity for my boy.  [Tues. and Thurs.] we have been doing school.  So here it is and gosh, have no idea why it didn't pop in my head sooner.  If you are Sue Patrick, you may want to look away...this totally goes against your recommendations...


Yep, you read that right-I am going to randomly hide about 6 or so boxes tonight, all over, in odd places like my closet, under a table, in a cabinet, down in the basement-etc.  He will then have to hunt all over the house to locate them.  Now, he can scout ahead, and find all em if he wants, but he must do them in order (so if he finds #4 and hasn't done #2 or 3 yet, then he cannot do it). Talk about a neat way to "shake it up a bit" heh?  I will have to map it out as I do it so I can be ready if he needs assistance.  That should get him revved up and get some schooling done too.  :0)

HTH inspire ya!  I will let you know how it goes ~

Friday, April 16, 2010

Some ideas for the workboxes

I found this gem at the local Dollar Tree. Seems they are starting to stock more teacher material, which is a blessing. There were others to choose from-I think there was a geography one and or a lang. arts one? Cannot check your local stores. I actually put small letters to each matching set (cuz honestly, I don't always have time to check the work-they can do a self-check after they do it).  Then I laminated it for a longer life.  :0)

So this is just another idea of what you can stuff the boxes with. One could even put this with the math lesson of the day (so when we do measurements-I can add this entire kit or just pull the ones that match the areas we are covering).  Keeping your eye open for such little goodies can help build your "goodies kit".  I look at the dollar sections at Target, Michaels, JoAnns, and of course dollar stores.  With garage sale season coming up-you should be able to find some great little doo-dads too, and for cheap too.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

First set of workbox stuff for 2010

Well, I missed ya all.  I am back with some stuff we have going here for our workboxes...

My teen has this to work on (which she found yesterday in her WKBXes).  It is a math notebook, where she will keep all her math definitions, any helpful diagrams, equations, etc. This material is coming from the Ray's Elementary Algebra we are reviewing for TOS, which we'll be using as a part of her Algebra lessons. In the book she is adding the definitions of terms used in Algebra, so we made some flap foldables to put in the pages.  We titled the term, then underneath teen Sissy will list their definitions.  We will keep this up until the book is filled.  I am allowing her access to this during lessons, and on tests if necessary.  By using this approach-I hope the material cements into her head.  Math has been a struggle for this student and hopefully, by going back to the very basics (using a text from 1864 ?) and Dinah's Zike's notebook ideas...we'll succeed in her retaining and understanding this stuff.  I watched a sample lecture covering this technique, and knew immediately that it was what I was praying for.  My goal is to get Dinah's foldables book for the higher grades and the notebook book too.  I will do a separate post (hopefully soon) on how to get this notebook going.

Definitions section

 8 tabbed square fold
(just slice the 1/4 triangle sections in half to get 8)

This is just one of the new changes for her this term.  I will be posting new teen ideas as I am able.

For the Boy:

 Here is the Big Schedule Book in action.  I have pre-done the days with the various cards, then when it comes time to stuff the boxes, I take a look-see to get my box count and any other misc. activities.  Obviously, it doesn't tell me exactly what to put in-but it is a great visual so I can set my schedule set once (only) per week.

One of his new Christmas gifts, inserted into WKBXes for a "fun activity" between the 3 Rs.
I found this at JoAnns and used my 40% discount coupon to get a great price.  Below is the Science Center (the card is betwixt WKBX 6 and 7) loaded with a new puzzle, the planets to stick in order along the bottom of the board, and the activity section is packed with the pencil and sheet he will need to do the experiment from the Apologia Astronomy book-under Mercury.  The materials for the experiment is in the black container/small container too.  All ready for him to explore. 

 The experiment is designed to show the student what kind of impact asteroids cause on a planet's surface. This out to be interesting-gonna have the mini-vac ready too!  I can see it now-flour flying all over-ah what a HSing momma will do to further their child's education!

So that is just some of what I am trying to get into the WKBXes 'round here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Simple Workbox activity that saves me work and time

So I found these blend cards at Target, and decided to laminate them (since I figure I will be hsing forever: the kids say I am going to HS their future kiddos-not so sure, but I can pass them along) and decided the boy could cut them out.   He is still in the throws of learning to read, so these will give him some nice, colorful flashcards to practice blending better, and this little project is a great break from the 3 Rs that go into his workboxes!  My wrists have been stressed (causing carpal tunnel) and he likes to cut up stuff-so this is a win-win situation for sure.

Monday, October 26, 2009

This is an awesome way to layout your whole week's worth of boxes

Love it!

Head over to Ginger Snap Shots to read about how she "tweaked" the typical schedule strip to set it up for the entire week. Now that is awesome. One would need a couple extra cards (for repeat activities) but that is no big deal-esp. if you enjoy laminating like I do. Yes-I am a laminatiholic, and proud of it.

Anyhoo-enjoy her great post and perhaps it may just be the answer to help downsize some of your work for the week!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What is in the Teen's boxes? Good question!

So I have a lot of folks wondering what to put in the older kids' workboxes. This is a difficult problem because they most likely do not want to do "baby stuff" and yet, perhaps enjoy a few good activities that are not so academic like.

In general, my daughter (15) has set things she needs to accomplish and then we add when we can. She takes classes with our local HS group, so those assignments take top priority. Then I add in the things I want accomplished this semester and do my best to add the goodies.

Usual WKBX layout (Bible is the only one that consistently stays in the number one spot)

1. Bible (following Hewitt's Bible Syllabus and switch out couple times per week with Grapevine Studies on Bible Feasts and Holidays)

2. All American History Vol. 2-so we have a break down of a certain amount of reading and activity (sheets) and then add in a Civil War video (usually have her watch about 15-20 min worth each time to stay around the time frame of the reading information). Also add in President cards (found for a buck at Target this summer-I did laminate the flash cards to get more years out of em-but what I have her do is study the presidents up to where she is in the text...which right now is to Abe. Then she studies their years and order. I occasionally test her in the order and then have her tell me the years when she can recall them. I also have 2 books I add in at times-one really nice coffee table book on the Presidents-so she can gain even more insight about their life and times, and one on the ladies of the White House. I have her chose a gal that peeks her interest and read up on her. I am not looking to have her memorize it all-just be familiar with it. I will be adding in the timeline work soon-just haven't had the time to gather all the necessary items I want her to put on it (clip art, etc.)

3. Learning Lang. Arts thru Literature. Gold-Am. Lit. I add this in about 2x per week right now. We are just working thru each lesson (I add/delete the things we need/don't necessarily need to cover-), plus-Winston Grammar (refreshing her brain cells on grammar) and EDUDPS Write with the Best II for extra writing skills practice. 2-3x per week.

4. Extras: we are still working thru the Nutrition 101 course I received to review, so I will add that in 2x per week. I have her read the sections, do some suggested activities and make a couple dishes (when possible).
***German (right now using German in 10 min. a day) 3x per week

***also: 1 to 2x per week, I will add in her ACT Discover assignments (this is a cyber like career guidance program, so being that she is in 10th grade-this is a great mini-unit for her.

***then I add in the various fun stuff (will list later)

On top of that-she has a huge load to accomplish for her HS Group classes-so on Mon and Tues. (the days she goes) she will come home and start working on those items. The classes are Biology (using Apologia), Finance 101 (using several sources, including Rich Dad, Poor Dad), Film discussion, Painting with Acrylics and Quilting 101. So, using the teacher's syllabus' we work thru the assignments. The science takes a lot of time-so we have to slam down the majority of it early in the week. This means that usually until mid-Wed. her assignments from above (outside of Bible) are limited.Thurs. and Friday are usually almost all the ones above-then she wraps up any HS group classes.

I am finding right now-she is getting anywhere between 1-8 boxes.  The assignments take more time, so I haven't wanted to overload her.  Now, next semester-we will not be taking as many classes, so that we can get back into her subjects that we have had to way lay for a time-like One Year Adventure novel,  she will have a math class (not doing anything now due to her taking the Finance one), and I want to do a geography study with her.  Bible, History, Science and Lang. Arts will continue next semester too.

I have had a bit of time getting a handle on her boxes, since we just started using them, for her,  this fall.  Working around the workload of her classes, adding in the reg. ones we want to cover, and all the items we are trying to review for TOS, has not been easy-it is a juggling act for sure.  So it has not been as ideal as I would like.  I want to have neat and interesting things for her to do besides her reg. work-but time has been flying by and I have been dealing with a lingering lung/cough health situation that has been beating me up pretty good.  I am praying Nov. will be more productive.

OK, now the fun stuff I have done so far.  I have the Klutz fashion book where she designs clothes using their papers and accessories-so then I ask her to design an outfit or 2 and put it into her fashion folder (I have a pic of it in a previous post).  I also have her do math puzzles and games (I have this hard one from the dollar store that is a wood puzzle that has to be put back in order to make it-not easy to do), math programs via the 'puter, puzzles (like a big world and continent puzzle), word searches, German worksheets that reinforce what she is learning in German, baking goodies, Spears Art Studio activities (see my blog on lapbooking, I just posted a pic of her Pointilla activity), she works on her drawing via her puter, Music CDs (she has a timer card for about 15 min.  and a CD/player in her box), extra books I want her to read, her sewing assignment (I made a wee card that says for her to sew for 30 min.) and more.  My brain is toast right now...

I am not afraid to add in younger things either-they are fun!  Like the Rush Hour, seasonal crafts, jewlery making, clay crafting and she has been seen playing with Play Do still (uh, I am so guitly of this too, I simply love the smell-takes me back in time-and it is fun for a wee bit to create fun things using it :0) so why not?)

Well that is a bit of info on the teen's boxes.  Like I said-once I get more organized and can focus more-I will have a better listing and set up going for her.  Actually, I want to do a post about how to run the high school years more like how they do it in college.  I am seeing more and more, that this is really a great way to approach it.  But alas-that will wait until another time.


My Pal Honey at Sunflower Schoolhouse has a huge WKBX blog list and more

Sunflower Schoolhouse

Head here: WKBX Blog Roll to find even more fellow workboxing 
families and links to other resources for it.

Thanks for doing this awesome post Honey-saves me loads of time! :0)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

What is in the Box anyhoo? This week?

Well, we are currently doing this with the boy (2nd grade) (Not necessarily in this order, except for Bible, as we always start with that)...

1. Bible story and coloring sheet that matches the main story-every day

2. Math -Abeka 2nd grade (I will tear out the work page, add any necessary tag-a-longs such as a ruler or fraction puzzles, etc.) -4-5x per week

3. Beautiful Feet Early Am. History-Columbus (currently, just wrapped up Leif Erikson and Vikings)
So in the bigger bin goes:  D'Aulaire book on Columbus, Meet Christopher Columbus, and other noted books, plus various notebook pieces, such as pics to color, maps to work on, etc. We are keeping a History Notebook that these will all go into.  I do this about 3x per week. I am adding in videos from the library on Columbus and soon will have the Drive Thru History DVD to add in (one covering Columbus). 

4.  Apologia's Elementary Exploring Creation Through Astronomy.  I am using that as the base text, then adding in Lapinder (lapbook/notebook crossbreed of the two) components.  I found some thru the internet on the Notebooking to Learn (?) site, and the others using the Astronomy lapbook components I bought (will have to get the name of the company for ya-) .  I have those preprinted, cut and ready to go-so I just toss in the ones that match the sections we're discussing and when he is done, it goes into a big Ziplock to wait until that unit is over-then we paste it into the Lapinder.  2-3x per week

5.  All About Spelling, Level 2.  I try to do this 3-4x a week.  I have to put this in one of the first 4 boxes, otherwise he gets tired and his dyslexic brain does worse with reading/spelling. 

6.  HOP reading-Orange book and readers.  I again, have to have this near the top.  I do not make him read a lot (usually no more than 10 min.) because I have found he starts to really switch up and mix up words after about 10-15 mins.  So I am working on adding longer periods as he develops.  I will also have to add additional reading material by early spring.  Right now between the HOP and AAS, he is doing pretty good.
4-5x per week

7.  HW, Copywork -3-4 x per week.  I use the Italic HW program Getty/Dubay but am trying to work in Barchowski's HW program.  I need to print off more sheets-so right now I have him doing the ones that contain images with lines to help control and fine tune the HW skills.  For the Copywork it is the Memorial Press series.  I love this.  He writes the material (which is on the lines above the ones he is to write on) and then draws a pic to match.  I have him just about thru the first bk.  It has big lines, so I am anxious to get him into book 2, with smaller lines to control the billboard sized lettering I see now and again.

8.  Reading with me.  Right now it is Ginger Pye. Usuallly 3x per week.  We just pick a fun read that catches our fancy to add into our schedule.

9.  Lapbooks. I try to find one that is similar to our current studies.  But also add ones (like the Hot Dog one we just completed) that are not related-to help add variety.  I try to do one per 4-6 weeks. Haven't selected one yet, but am thinking one on fall activities would be appropriate.  Not sure yet.  When we are doing it-I try to do it 3x per week.

Those are what show up in the boxes on a very regular basis-but I also add in ones that are a mix of things-like: (these go in where there is a gap, so not sure how often per week-varies)

Spears Art Studio projects, SpellQuizzer, 1/4 Mile Math, Jumpstart CDs, Center time (right now it is the Astronomy one), physical activities, crafts, doing the Pirate DVD (moves his body), Nature walks/studies, playdough time (very good for him), baking, DVDs that tie into our studies, extra reading books, music CDs, experiments (like just last week I put his little trebuchet in the wkbox with varying items like erasers, balls, a big plastic frog and turtle and had him fling them via the treb.  He then took his tape measure and recorded their length of flight.  I then had him graph those results the next day), various math, geography, and puzzle activities, games, painting, file folder games, and so on. 

Found this at the Dollar Tree in that bin that is a mess of DVDs.  It has the kids moving to follow the arrows-excellent cross brain exercises for dyslexics.

Plus, he attends a Fun with Physics class (this semester) thru our local HS group. 

That is a minuete of what goes in our boy's boxes. 

I will post the teens soon.  My hands are tired and it is time to watch the DVDs I got thru the library on the Nat'l Parks. 

Til next time-

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The ABC Teach goodies I put together

I am currently reviewing the ABC Teach online site for TOS.  I thought I would share here, a few goodies I have put together so far.

First up for your viewing pleasure is the German reinforcement charts I found.  They are actually worksheets, but being the workbox lady that I am, I found that by backing the two pages (one with the German names/blank spot for English names on it for the pictures; and one with both sections blank to fill it) that I could create a packet of laminated charts my daughter can use and reuse to practice those words.  She asked for extra goodies to test her, and to help her remember the words-that are not a part of  the program we use.  Thankfully, ABC Teach has a whole section of great supplements for foriegn languages.  I still have to print the flashcards, and more sheets like this-but it is a start.  And I have a jump ring to add more as we go.  It will add a little pizzaz in her workboxes.

Behind curtain number 2, we have this fine little package. Using the section on Mini Offices, I was able to download and print those things my son is or has worked on in math. Some of it is a bit advanced, but we will be getting there soon, so I put them in. There are lots to select from. I used your typical file folders, laid a sheet of trimmed color paper down first (because, if you read my Lapbook blog-this is something I do; as I feel it helps the material you put there POP out and become more noticeable. But if I had all colored file folders, I wouldn't necessarily have to do that.) Then I applied the charts and graphs that pertain to his needs. I used the spray can of glue and I am telling you-it is the only way to go with projects like this. I then did the middle section, then I spray glued the back side of that file folder, and stuck it to a new one. I can add many more as we go using this process. The Mini-Office idea is not new to the education world, but it was newish to me. I heard my fellow TOS mates discussing it before I had a chance to read thru Sue Patrick's WKBX book, and sure enough-thought it was a pretty good idea. I could have used one of these puppies whilst I was in school-including college! I will be making a language one as we go. Right now, it isn't necessary because he simply isn't at that point of a lot of grammar and the like.  [*I let the boy sticker it up to make it "his"-and to fill in some open spaces.]

Now this set is for the boy.  I found he was struggling to understand what a dozen, 1/2 dozen were.  So I found these cool construction dudes/dudettes in the clip art section, along with the awesome signs.  He loves this sort of thing-so I am running with it.  I then took a few items out of the package of construction cut-outs from the Room Decor packet for teachers, that  I bought at the Dollar Tree this summer.  It had big orange cones that I really wanted to use, but there is only 5-so I am saving those for another game. I grabbed the 4 work zone cards, and one of the barriers to laminate and use.  I almost bought the little cones that came in a packet of 25 and now regret not doing so.  I will keep a look out, b/cuz I am thinking I could make a game board using them and with the signs and such-have a cute activity for him.  I also used my MS Word clip art to find the clipboards.  I printed all of that, plus typed up some cards for it.  After he gets the dozen thing, I can just make new cards to address any issues that come along (I am already thinking of making multiplication ones and so on).  The idea behind this game is that he takes his clipboard and chooses a card with work orders.  It tells him how many signs need to go on 2 of the work zones. He then choses one card at a time from the sign collection pile. He reads what it says and if he gets to collect signs, he does. Other times he may lose signs that fell off the truck.  After he gets enough signs to fill the order-he puts those signs on the appropriate work zone sign.  When he completes his orders. He starts over again.  It is that simple (and because the cards are broken down into numbers that all go into 12,  and it says things like "pick a dozen signs" he is learning thru fun-what a dozen means).  I can also have him do some other projects and activities that teach it as well-but this one is so personal and enticing to my ever loving construction boy.

There you have it-by using the components I found on that site, and with a few things I had laying around-I now have some more fun activities for our workboxes!  Cool.  One of the things I want to be careful of in regard to the workboxes/kids, is to not worksheet  them to death. This site is very worksheetish by nature-but by thinking outside the worksheet zone-I came up with a few games and ideas that are less "just fill in the papers" or "keep em busy" type of work. I  managed to create a few items which reinforce what we are learning, and still keep it from being boring.  I am seeing a lot more I can do with their stuff.  I hope to have at least a couple more posts before the subscrip runs out.  So until next time.....

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