I finally feel like we are settling in here in TX. I started back up with homeschooling a couple of weeks ago and I have been swamped with that and the housework ever since. I’m finding that a smaller space is much harder to keep up with and not having a dishwasher makes for twice as much work, though I don’t hate it. I’ve been busy most days from morning till night going and going. It’s not all work though, we do spend a lot of time at the park.
I also discovered “Workboxes” about 2 weeks ago. I heard another mom on my homeschool email group talking about it and couldn’t resist looking it up. The whole idea has changed homeschooling for me in a very positive way. I may have mentioned a few times that teaching can be overwhelming, while I love it, there is a huge amount of information I have to keep in lists or in my head, I have to be able to direct one of my children to work on an assignment while I’m working with the other and keep prompting them with what is next. The workboxes idea has cut that down to half, at least. I saw the best presentation of different workbox ideas at this website http://www.squidoo.com/workboxes I went with the roller carts which I will explain in just a moment. The idea is to enable your children to work independently and have their entire day’s worth of assignments arranged in one place. This is how the idea is working for me; Each assignment or project is placed in a different box (drawer in our case) and a removable number is attached to each drawer with work still in it. Once the child has completed the drawer, turned in the work and put away the book/supplies, the drawer is finished and they get to take the number off the drawer and place it on a chart that holds all the numbers. When all the drawers are empty they are finished for the day. Some people, I noticed, placed snack time or play time in some of the drawers. I have found that I might put some “went to the park/Library/Field trip” cards in a spot where they can exchange them for work in the drawers if our day gets interrupted (which happens often) so for example if we decide to go to the park, I can allow them to skip an assignment since the time got cut short. On the top of the roller carts I have a file box where I prepare all the work a week in advance so that I can simply fill up the boxes each night without a lot of prep. So far this is working very well. The first week, I assigned too much work in my enthusiasm. This week is going much better now that I have a sense of how much work is realistic. The kids seem to like it too because they know what is expected of them. Picture number 3 shows the file box where I put all the work. Picture number 2 shows a couple of assignments in the drawers. We do a lot of work on the computer so I often just have to put a note in the drawer. Picture number 1 shows the workboxes about half full with the numbers and charts. I hope this all makes sense. The Workboxes idea has made my life SO much easier!