Sunday, August 22, 2010

What's in our Workboxes for Monday?

I just finished my lesson plans for this week for our 2nd week at Sacred Heart Academy Homeschool.  On my recent "Organization System Saturday- Workbaskets + Workboxes=Works for 4 (children)"  post I blogged about how my children's subjects and workboxes were organized to help make our school days as stress-free, tear-free, and productive as possible.

So this post will focus on more details about how I have organized the 10 drawer rolling cart that I am using for my workboxes. I am showing you what is in tomorrow's workboxes as an example, but our workbox activities will rotate daily. (except for the "Busy Box" sheets)

Before I explain with photos the system that I use, I will tell you that each of my children have one workbox designated for their "Busy Box" sheet (see explanation below), one workbox where they are assigned an activity with my youngest child, and then one workbox is an activity/worksheet that my child does alone or with a sibling if they need help.  
My oldest child's boxes are #1, #2, #3
My son's boxes are #4, #5, #6
My third child's boxes are #7, #8, #9
My youngest daughter's box is #10

So here are our Workboxes for Monday, 8/23/10:

Workbox #1 for oldest child:  When my daughter sees in her workbasket her brown board that has a "1" on it, she opens her drawer #1 which is a "Busy Box" sheet for August.  Each child is assigned one of these laminated sheets in one of their workboxes.  Since these "Busy Boxes" will stay in their drawers everyday, this is one less drawer I have to fill :)  I got the "Busy Box" idea from a teacher resource book.   It is 9 squares divided up with one activity listed in each square.  She is to do one activity per day and then put a star on the activity with a Vis-a Vis pen when the activity is completed.  The middle square always says "FREE Choice" where she can decide what quiet activity she wants to do until her next subject begins. Some other things I have listed are "do a puzzle", "do a math sheet", "read a chapter from a book", "Trace and color a picture from a Catholic art book ( I have Seton's Art 2 for Young Catholics that I use)", etc.   So I plan on making a new Busy Box sheet for each month to keep things interesting.

Workbox #2 for oldest child:  My daughter knows that her #2 box will always have something that she can do with our youngest child to keep her sibling entertained while I work with my other children on one on one instruction.  Tomorrow my daughter will be reading these picture books to her little sister.

Workbox #3 for oldest child:  Box #3 will always have an activity/worksheet that my daughter can do independently.  Tomorrow I have assigned her a page in the "Building Thinking Skills" workbook.

Workbox #4 for my son:  Box #4 will always have an activity that my son can do with my youngest child.  So tomorrow he will be playing with magnets to help entertain his sibling while I work with my other children.

Workbox #5 for my son:  Box #5 is where he will find his "Busy Box" sheet for the current month that we are in.  He will choose one activity and after he completes it he will put a star on it with a Vis-a Vis pen.

Workbox #6 for my son:  Box #6 will always have an activity my son can do independently.  Tomorrow he will be doing a ziplock bag activity where he matches up insect cards to their names.  There is also a puzzle that I made and laminated about where different products come from.

Workbox # 7 for my third child:  Box #7 will always have an activity my daughter can do with my youngest child.  Tomorrow she can do different puzzles with her. 

Workbox #8 for my third child:  Box #8 will always have my daughter's "Busy Box" sheet for the current month.

Workbox #9 for my third child:  Box #9 will always have an activity my daughter can do on her own or ask for help from one of her siblings.  Tomorrow she will do a page in her Draw Write Now book, which she loves.  She copies the sentences in her Draw Write Now Workbook, then she tries to draw the steps to make the picture for her handwriting entry in her workbook.  We have enjoyed using these books for our homeschool activities.

Workbox #10 for my youngest child:  I have this box designated for our 2 year old to make her feel included.  Tomorrow she can use Melissa & Doug stamps and an ink pad to make a picture.

So I have all these drawers filled each day with different activities, but the problem I am having is that most of these activities don't last as long as the lessons that I am teaching with another child.  My 2 year old's attention span is very short and she begins to disrupt things (or my other children start quarreling over something)  and then chaos usually breaks out.  So I'm still trying to figure out what works best during our school days.  This is at least a start as my homeschool journey continues....


Unknown said...

This looks great! I know what you mean about kids working through activities very quickly and then immediately bothering someone else. I also have my kids rotate through and work with each other, but it still seems no one can stay put as long as I would like them too! Hopefully each year that will get a bit better, but it does make for some crazy days :)

I love how you are so organized. I am a new follower from the Blog Hop.

Hope you can stop by my blog, I have a lot of great giveaways going on right now.

Have a great day!

I love your system. I am still trying to organize mine. We can't do boxes as there is just no room. I like your Busy box idea will have to note that down. Thanks for following me:) and I voted for you on Picket Fences:)

Hi Jen! I'm glad I'm not the only mom pulling out my hair sometimes trying to keep everyone on task at the same time! I think this is the most difficult part of homeschooling for me...those toddler years. Teaching older kids and keeping a little one entertained at the same time! Sometimes I feel like a juggler as I juggle and multi-task many different things at one time :) But, like you said I'm hoping each day/year gets better than the next with my homeschool journey :)
Thanks for your comment and visit!
Have a good week!

Hi Kari at "Shining2Save"!
Thanks for your follow, visit and comment :)
I'm following you back and left a comment on your VA beach post :) I also voted for you on the Picket Fence and Top Mommy blogs!
Your giveaways look great! I'm amazed how all of you awesome mommies can keep up with all these great giveaways for your readers!
Have a good week!

Hi Anna-Marie!
Thanks for your visit, comment and vote! I just hopped on your blog and left a comment under your BEAUTIFUL mural post! Your children are so talented! I also voted for you on the Picket Fence!
Nice to "see" you again!
Have a good day!

Anonymous said...

I'm probably going to use workboxes next year when I have both my kids at home (my 3-yr-old goes to preschool four mornings a week this year, it almost feels like I'm cheating since I'm only actively homeschooling my oldest!) - thanks for sharing your great ideas! I especially like the "busy box" sheets.

Thank you so much for laying this all out for us all to see, it's so helpful, I'm sure it's a lot of work to keep up with updating us, but it's always nice to see how someone else's homeschool works. I am learning a lot! Homeschooling can be lonely, but we can remind each other that we're all going through the same thing, in our own homes.

Mama Hen said...

Tracy thank you for visiting Mama's Little Chick and for following. Your blog is super and that is so neat that you did it all on your own. You should be proud of yourself. I am a teacher, but I am not teaching right now while my duaghter is little. I am so interested to know why people are choosing the homeschooling. I have seen so many mom blogs who have chosen to homeschool and I would love to know what brought on this decision. I think it is great! You are very organized and this post shows how great you are at setting everything up for your children's best learning. I look forward to following your blog! I also have a new network that I just started a couple of weeks ago. It is a super group of bloggers and is grwoing daily. Come check out Mama's Little Nestwork! Have a great night!

Mama Hen

Hi Jenny! Thanks for stopping by and your comment! I hope your homeschool journey is going well as you start out :) Great to hear from you!

Hi "nottwins" ! Thanks for your comment and visit! I just left a comment on your blog after your daily schedule post. I hope you get it because I didn't see it pop up after I submitted it. In my comment I recommended the saint books that I read to my children which we love!
I also voted for you by clicking the Picket Fence button on your blog :)
Happy homeschooling!

Hi "MamaHen"! Thanks for your visit, comment and follow. I am following you back and I am following your Nestwork now too! I have enjoyed "meeting" other homeschoolers through blogging. For me, it makes my homeschool journey not feel so difficult since I know so many other moms (and dads) are going through the same trials and triumphs as me :)
Have a good day!

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I'm Tracy. I love my faith, family and on most days, homeschooling my 5 blessings. When I'm not busy baking cakes for my family or making memories in real life or dreaming I had a housekeeper or professional chef, I enjoy documenting a slice of Smith life in blog land.

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