PhotobucketHowdy Hip Homeschool Hoppers!  This is my first time hopping and I am thrilled to participate.  We are fairly new to home schooling and blogging but we are having a blast.  Check back tomorrow for “What’s in your Workboxes Wednesday” to see and share ideas for filling those wonderful workboxes!

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What’s in Your Workboxes Wednesday 8/11/2010

Welcome to “What’s in Your Workboxes Wednesday!”  This is a post I plan to update each week for a couple of reasons.  First, updating the blog will motivate me to keep my workboxes fresh and second, I want to share what I am doing as well as learn what others are doing with their workboxes.  If I have and idea and you have and idea we each of have one idea but if we share our ideas now we both have 2!  I don’t know about you but I love to learn from others so I can expand my repertoire and not reinvent the wheel.  If you are using workboxes I would love to know from you What’s in Your Workboxes!

Our main curriculum is computer based so I use our workboxes primarily for supplemental work.  This week we are doing review so here is what we have in our workboxes:

I like to start her days with a puzzle to get her mind working and to help her get used to the idea that now it is time to be focused, plus she really like them so he is eager to start her day and see what puzzle she gets to work on.

The 2nd box here is a handwriting practice sheet that incorporates the days of the week.  There is also an alphabet and number dot-to-dot sheet to give more pencil practice.

The 3rd box is a file folder activity for identifying things that are alive and not alive.  This goes along with her current science studies.

This next box has her typing software.  We are doing typing 3 days a week and she is picking it up quite nicely.  Handwriting is difficult for her so we are trying to get her comfortable typing.

I love the Leapad plus writing system!  Right now she is working on Easy Reader Phonics Kit 1 and really enjoying it. 

The other box ha a set of cards and plastic shapes.  This is a pattern matching activity that helps with sequencing and basic math skill.

The last box of the day is a coloring page.  I like to keep this consistent for several reasons.  She likes to color and it ends the day on a happy note, by keeping it consistent it helps reinforce that the day’s lessons are finished, it helps to build muscle tone and coordination for handwriting without feeling like work to her.

So that’s what we have in our workboxes this week.  Tune in next week to see what changes we have made.  Also, if you are using workboxes please leave a comment to share what you have in your workboxes this week, I’d love to know!

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Review: Sue Patrick’s Workbox System

Sue Patrick’s Workbox System
Pros: Very easy to use, super flexible, inexpensive, expandable, good for any number of students, great for visual learners and children with special needs
Cons: Can be difficult to decide what to fill your boxes with, does require some spaceI LOVE this organization system. The Workbox System is exactly what it sounds like, you use boxes to organize your daily lessons for your child. Everything they need is right there available to them and it is so simple to “reboot” your classroom at the end of the day to take out completed work, add new work and make any necessary changes for the next day. We are able to include much more independent work with this system and my daughter is very comfortable understanding and managing her work load each day. I would recommend this system for any home school family that wants to have both structure and flexibility as well as the desire to have independent work accomplished more easily by their children.

There are a number of resources and blogs of other who are using this system or a variation so I am finding lots of ideas to help me with workbox ideas, organization ideas, etc.  In future blog posts I will share what we fill our boxes with and any modifications I may make to have the system truly customized for our needs.

Here are some pictures of our workboxes and number strips:

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Review: Home School Curriculum Planner

Home School Curriculum Planner – Curriculum for Home School

Pros: Easy to use, see entire year at a glance, flexible, reusable
Cons: Can be overwhelming to think about planning everything for the entire year

Flexible home school lesson planner. Use your favorite K-12 curriculum. Includes worksheets
and instructions for planning your school year, transcript templates, high school helps, how to use library resources.

This is a wonderful planner. Having the entire year planned in advance really gives the big picture on what you are going to accomplish. It makes it easier to adjust the pace and to rearrange weeks if needed. Having your lessons already planned with whatever materials you need at the ready makes the work of preparing your classroom for the day much easier. I really like this and plan to use it every year.

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Home School Organization

I knew if I was going to be successful at home schooling I was going to have to find a way to get organized and manage our time. I am not the most organized person by nature but if I find a good system I can follow it and adapt it to fit my needs. There are so many great lesson plans and calendars available it can be a little overwhelming. I also wanted some way to add structure to our day to make sure I was able to cover everything in our lesson plan but also allow for independent work as well as flexibility to add/remove activities and change plans whenever we want. I also wanted something easy to use and understand so if i needed somebody else to “substitute teach” for me they would be able to step in easily and help out.

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How am I going to manage teaching my kid?

Our system works for us and I think could work for most home schools whether you are dealing with a child with learning challenges or not. We use a secular curriculum from a variety of sources and try to keep some structure throughout our day. There are a lot of great curriculum options available and I knew I wanted something that was user friendly, fairly comprehensive, and customizable for the pace and learning style of my child but also didn’t cost an arm and a leg.  

As I started preparing to home school I also realized that I needed a way to stay organized and manage our time to be able to cover everything we wanted to get done without getting completely lost or overwhelmed. I also knew I needed some sort of reporting system so if we decide to move back into a public or private school setting or just getting ready for college transcripts I would be able to show the learning and progress we have accomplished.

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Home School? What? Why? How? I could NEVER do that!

This is what we heard in January 2010 when we decided as a family that it was time to take our daughter out of public school and try our hand at home schooling. We made this decision because at the time there were no really great education options for our 7 year old daughter who happens to have autism. This isn’t to say that the options were particularly bad but I knew there had to be something better and so far I think we have found it through home schooling. We are very happy with our decision to home school.

In North Carolina becoming a home school is a fairly easy process but the state does not provide a lot of guidance and support as to how to run your home school. There are some great home school resources made available by other home schoolers and organizations and I rely on those resources, the internet and trial and error to develop what we think is a great education system for our child. I get asked a lot how I do what I do so I thought I would create this blog to share what is working for us in the hopes it may help somebody else who is traveling down the home school path.

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