Saturday, February 19, 2011

What's in the Workbox?

School for Saylor, up to this point, has consisted mostly of her asking me for something to do, I dig it up, and then she comes back for more when she's done. Not very efficient. And all my planning energy was spent on Noah's schoolwork, leaving her with a handful of last-minute ideas hastily snatched up in desperation. Well, I finally determined a way to get Saylor started on a workbox system...withOUT purchasing another cart of drawers. Eventually, I might like to move to a cart, but for now this works really well. And I didn't have to spend a penny because I already owned it! Yay for me!

I'm starting her on six boxes/folders, since she's six. (Well, it just so happened that was how many folders I had, too.) She may be ready to add a couple more pretty soon, though, as she works really well with this system. She really enjoys order, especially when it's all laid out for her.  :)  Bless her heart.

For today:

1. Handwriting Without Tears "Get Set for School." She loves all the components to this program. Fine motor skills are not her strong-suit, but this is her favorite part of school now--simply because she gets to listen to a CD, "build" letters with wood pieces, and write with chalk on a slate while doing the work. Besides, the music and the tactile aspects HELP her learn better.

2. We love this series for its "big picture" style. The kids enjoy the one-on-one time with Mommy as we read through it. And that's pretty much all we do. Unless I get a wild hair and feel a sudden burst of inspiration to "take off" on a certain subject matter. Doesn't happen often. But we have gotten a lot out of it just from reading and discussing things together. Right now she's learning some interesting facts about each of the seven continents.

3. This is a great independent activity for exploring the world of spelling. There are plenty of easy-to-decode words like "cat" and "hut," but there are more difficult ones as well, like "eye" and "egg." So it provides children with the opportunity to explore words with strange spellings.

4. This is technically a file folder game I made for my kindergarten/first grade class years and years ago. But I simply put the pieces into a baggie. She has to use decoding and word recognition skills to match the correct-colored "yolk" to the egg white.

5. Reading lesson.

6. This book provides interesting spatial problems to solve while using pattern blocks. Sometimes I assign a specific page. Other times I let her explore the book on her own.

She was on folder #5 by the time big brother was on his box #2, which says something about how much fun SHE had, as opposed to how much HE enjoys school.

In other news, we've rearranged the whole house (just about) and Mommy here has decided to move all the school BACK upstairs. *sigh* The homeschool is an ever-changing thing. Stay tuned for more details.

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