Monday, January 12, 2015

How We Use Preschool Workboxes in Our School Day

We are homeschooling our 4 oldest daughters while taking care of our two youngest children. Our almost 5yr old twins were constantly coming in while I was working one on one with our oldest two daughters and asking "Is it time for our school now?". While I love that they are so interested in school and motivated to learn I was getting a little overwhelmed trying to balance all four at one time. A friend recommended a workbox system. The more I looked into it the more it made sense for our family. I loved the idea of having their work presorted, preboxed, and ready to hand out whenever the girls were motivated to start working. 

I started by reading Sue Patrick's Workbox System ebook. I found her approach to be very educational but a bit more structured than I wanted to get. I am the type of person who throws teachers manuals away. I don't really do well with step by step directions. I took Sue Patrick's idea and then went my own way with it...

First up was boxes. I do not have the room in my school room for multiple boxes per student per day. I wanted a box big enough to hold a whole day's work and easy enough for a 5yr old to handle moving from place to place. I did some searching and decided to go with this set of 12 plastic shoebox storage bins. I needed 10 boxes and figured I could use the 2 extra boxes for school supply storage. I love them. They are simple for the girls to carry around and easy for them to open and close on their own! 

The first step once I received the boxes was to figure out what I wanted to include for each day's work.  The first item was simple enough. We have been doing a new ABC pack from 3dinosaurs each week. I can't say enough good things about these ABC packs. They are very in depth and cover so much material. We have only been completing part 1 of 6 each week just because there is so much offered. All for free!

Next up I wanted to add something "exciting" for them to complete. I did some searching and found tons of free preschool packs available in all different types of themes. The girls favorites would have to be Doc Mcstuffins and Frozen themed packs. Big shock there!

Lastly each day I added 1-2 pages from their preschool workbook. These sheets cover everything from rhyming to math. These are the only sheets in the boxes that need either mom or an older sister to help with. The older girls LOVE to get to teach their little sisters, luckily the little ones appreciate having their older sisters one on one attention.

In Friday's box I added the girls ABC My First Sticker Activity Book. The girls LOVE this book and I have to stop them from competing the entire thing in one sitting. I instead allow them to do that weeks letter pages on Friday after they have completed all of their previous work for that week.

Once all of the boxes were prepped and ready to go for the week I cleared a few shelves in our storage unit and got everything set up and ready to go for the week.

The true did the girls like the boxes? They were a major hit! So much so I have to stop them from completing all 5 boxes on the first day of the week. I think I need to add more to each of the boxes!

So what does mom think of the boxes? I am a major fan. I love being able to pull out the boxes while I am working with the big girls and have all four girls doing school at one time. I can't explain how amazing the quiet is when you have four energetic children all sitting still at one time learning! 

I would love to hear how you implement workboxes in your family!

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