Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Working On A Smoother Day

I've been experimenting with our system of doing school to try to make it a little more organized and streamlined. It's still a work in progress, but I thought I'd share what we're doing so far.

I had considered doing a form of the workbox system with Sterilite drawers I had purchased. But I let them sit there in the school room and kept thinking and thinking, finally discussing my whole dilemma with the King. I want to have a sorta, kinda workbox system. However, I am sooo not going to be filling workboxes each day. My goal was to come up with a system that I take care of once per week and then spend the rest of the days doing the work and having fun with other things.

I looked at different ways other moms have set up their systems. One thing that really caught my eye was Ginger's Setup for her Schedule Cards. I don't have the schedule cards set up AT ALL yet. First I wanted to try my plan and see how it all works.

Here is my bookshelf with a basic idea of my plan. There is a shelf for each boy. I have combined two different set-up systems. First you can see that each of the boys has a tote. This is for work they do every day such as: Math, Explode the Code, Copywork, Spelling, etc. Next you will notice that I have a couple of magazine holders on each shelf. I'm trying out using these for weekly work. I'll be getting some more magazine holders from Amazon and they each will have a set of 5 holders labeled Monday through Friday. In the holders is where I'll put their narration books for each day and any other activity that they need to complete. That includes their extras like music, art, handiwork, etc. I also have different games and manipulatives (and other things) that will be used more with this system.

I tried turning cereal boxes into holders but they are making the boxes differently now and the books just don't fit, although they are useful for smaller items. If something is too big for the holder, I'll just put a card or something in there with instructions on what to do. Then at some point, I'll have their schedule cards set up so they will have their 'Tote Work' their 'Weekly Work' and their 'Work with Mom" work interspersed with other things such as little exercises, snack time, etc.

It sounds sort of complicated explaining it, but it's very easy to implement so far. Their totes are almost always the same. Not usually much I have to change right now. Their weekly holders are easy to fill and they just put it on their desk, do the work and move on to working with me. I'm moving slowly on this because I want to be sure I like the setup. Too many times I've been really excited at an idea and been stumped along the way with unexpected obstacles that make the idea difficult to implement. I have to move slowly to allow myself to process what is working and what isn't.

Here is Pooh working with his Tote. Each assignment is divided with hanging folders. I found some hanging folders that are like bucket folders and I use that for his math. He's using Math U See and keeps his DVD in there for when it's time for the next lesson. No more hunting it down.

Tigger and his tote. He's got an old school desk someone gave me. In the storage area underneath he keeps his boxes of pencils, color pencils and scissors, etc. When he uses his tote he slides the lid under the chair out of the way.

The sit down work really doesn't last long. Weekly work usually is with me for narration and then we work on whatever extra for the day (nature study, art, etc.) The Work with Mom work is bible reading, recitation, poetry and any other spiritual study and reading we have assigned.

We are still a bit bumpy with our schedule but at least now I have a basic road laid down. The more we travel that road the more the bumps will get smoothed out I'm sure. When I ever finish the set up with holders and labels, I'll take pictures and post those too.


Berta said...

Can I just say i LOVe the tote idea. Especially each student having all their stuff right there beside them. Wonderful combination Mom, 2 thumbs up

The Glasers said...

AWESOME!!! It is so hard getting in a groove, especially when one child's groove is vastly different from another's . . .