Homeschool Update!

Homeschooling has been slack around my house since Layla arrived.  We’ve gotten our work done but we certainly haven’t done anything above and beyond the required stuff!  Good thing Annagrace was already ahead.

I started thinking about having to return to work and how I needed to get better organized to make things easier on Annagrace and Aaron (he will be homeschooling her one day a week!).  And just in general I need to get the whole house more organized!

I had been to a workshop at the Homeschool Convention about workboxes but at the time I was so new to homeschooling that I wasn’t really interested in the workshop.  But after I started reading and researching the idea it really made sense to me and I knew it would be something Annagrace would enjoy.  The concept of workboxes is to have a box for each subject or activity the student has for the day.  They are to go box by box and complete their work as independently as possible.  As they move from box to box they have a visual of how much they have accomplished and how much is left to do.

The originator of this idea (Sue Patrick ) recommends using plastic shoeboxes and a shoe stand.  I decided to find something more compact and what I found works great!  Here is our set up.  This is our room looking from the dining room into the kitchen towards the side door of the house.

This is the organized chaos that I call the homeschool bookcase!  Madalyn and Annagrace each have their own shelf for their “curriculum” books.  I have a teacher’s resource shelf.  We have two library shelves, a game shelf, an activities shelf, a resource book shelf and a shelf for the girls’ notebooks.

This is Annagrace’s “workbox”.  Each night I sit down and figure out what work she needs to complete and what supplies she needs to complete them.  She starts with #1 and works her way to the end.  Some boxes have more than one subject in them.

  • #1 today was Bible (write and recite your memory verse) and #2 was Math (complete your next math lesson on the computer).
  • #3 has her Spelling book in it and the next box has her art for the day in it.  Today we melted down leftover soap, added peppermint drops and crushed peppermint candy to it and cut it with cookie cutters!  So inside the drawer was the instructions, the soap, the peppermint drops and a candy cane!
  • #4 was her Science work.  She read about classification of plants and animals and she had a ziploc bag full of items that she had to sort(paperclips, coins, pencils, etc) and then make a classification chart.
  • #5 was geography.  She had several pages to read about France and she was to begin planning for our French Family Fun Night that will be Thursday night!
  • #6 was the Geography game that she is a whiz at!  She has memorized all the countries in North and South America and most of Europe!

These is our assignment strip “center”.  The silver boxes hold the little number and subject cards.  They have been laminated and have velcro tabs on them.  The help tags are for her to place on the front of the box if she gets stuck on something she needs help with.  I have instructed her to move onto to the next subject (for instance, if I am busy with Layla or Madalyn) and when I return to the room we can work on what she needs help with.

This is the inside of the assignment strip.  There is space to add in other activities.  Today I added in “Lunch”, “Tuesday Adventures” and “Go for a Walk”.

So far (we are only two days into this!) it is working really well.  Annagrace can move at her own pace.  She can see what has to be accomplished for the day.  It helps ME to get motivated to get her lessons ready and organized and if I am busy with the other girls she doesn’t have to ask, “What am I suppose to do now?”.  She can just go ahead and do it!

I have also become aware of the need for a more structured learning environment for Madalyn.  So I have decided that after Christmas she is going to officially start “Homeschool Preschool”.  We are going to make a big deal about her being in preschool!  She’ll have her own assignment flip strips (she’ll only have 3 drawers to start out with) and she will be expected to sit at the homeschool table at certain times during the day (no watching movies all day long!) and listen and learn with us.

I have been doing a few activities to ease her into school.  She has made a few lapbooks and we have been reading lots of books and doing some crafts.  Yesterday we worked on fine motor skills by transferring small items with tweezers into cupcake liners.

I was surprised that she could do the little sprinkles with no problem!  When she was done she was allowed to eat them!

Other things we have started talking about and working on learning are the days of the week, months, and the weather and we continue to work on our letters and letter sounds!

We sure do love homeschooling!

4 Responses to “Homeschool Update!”

  1. 1 Charlotte December 8, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    I am so new at homeschooling and you have given me enough to work toward for the rest of the year. I have three 5 and under and i will be following you in some of these great ideas. thanks!!

    • 2 lsaufley December 9, 2009 at 2:22 am

      Glad that you found some of it useful! I have found some REALLY great sites for preschool ideas. I’ll post about those soon!

  2. 3 Alison December 10, 2009 at 6:49 am

    Fun ideas, Laura! I’ve wondered about workboxes too….our “early preschool” with Charlotte has tanked this year (read: we, too, watch “movies all day long” :). Hoping that in the spring we can get some order, also!!

  3. 4 Melissa December 10, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Hey, I just started this website with some really great ideas for homeschooling your preschooler. It’s been a lot of fun trying out my ideas on my two boys!

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December 2009

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