Monday, December 7, 2009

More thoughts on the Workbox system

Here we are about a week later and still loving the Workboxes! I love the organization of the kid's work and how we all know what we need to accomplish that day. I love that they know when the bins are empty, they are free for the rest of the day. I am free as well: free from guilt! For years I have wondered and worried and stressed about what we were NOT getting done each day. Now, it's all neatly laid out every morning and when that work is done, I know that we have accomplished all we needed to for "school" that day! It has lifted this huge weight off of my shoulders in another way as well...for years I have been buying homeschooling materials that we have never gotten around to using and now we are fully utilizing them! That was money well spent, not wasted! I also really enjoy coming up with things to put in the bins. I haven't gotten super creative yet (other than printing off some holiday themed fun sheets) but each day every child has at least a few fun and educational activities in their bins. I am looking forward to a few new homeschool purchases this next semester and it will be nice to know exactly what type of activity it needs to be (mostly child directed, reinforcing some skill/knowledge base and can generally fit in a bin.) I am also appreciating the way I can hold myself accountable as well as my kids. Before, I would have them do some work or study something and there was not a lot of follow-through or follow-up on my part because everything seemed pretty open-ended. Now I check their work every night before I refill their bins. If they got some things wrong consistently or if they did not complete something as I had asked, I put a note on it and put it back into their bins. Now they have motivation to get things done correctly and completely the first time around since they know that if they don't, it will add to their work the next day. It is also helping me to do something I have not been good at and that is making the kids do a bit of rote practice and memorization for things that need it like math, handwriting and spelling.

The only down side I see of this new system so far is all the paper we are using! I make lots of copies and print outs to fill the bins. But we recycle and buy cheap computer paper at Sam's Club, so I guess it's not that big of a downside! :) The other thing I don't like is having to block a window with the bins. At least they are clear and let in light in....they just block my view! In our next house we will have a dedicated "school room." Then I will be in Heaven! :)

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