As the remodeling and reorganizing starts to wind down, I have to go and discover a new system for homeschooling that requires another method of organizing and implementing our studies! Actually, it doesn’t change what we do a lot, except to get us more organized and provide Dana with some visual motivation.
I came across “Sue Patrick’s Workbox System” and thought it just might put the fire and fun back in our studies, so I bought the book and have been working to get it set up. My grandson is excited about it and anxious to start using it, so that is benefit number one.
The physical structure of the system involves the use of 6 to 12 numbered clear shoeboxes to be filled with the day’s curriculum, including “fun” but educational stuff and even snacks. The system is designed to encourage children to work independently as much as possible and to visually encourage and motivate them to complete the day’s activities and studies.
Many people who adopt the system say that they are able to get in all those things they had meant to do but never seemed to get around to before, and that their children are getting more work done quicker than ever with the workboxes.
Since a routine, while hard for my free-wheeling family, might be beneficial but not so easy to implement, this system looks like an easy alternative to a rigid time schedule. Dana is moving into the age when he should be ready for more structured and independent learning and with his AS, providing him with organization and structure is good. He is also a very visual and hands-on boy, so a visual and hands-on system is a natural fit.
I am including file-folder games, educational board games, kits, lapbook making, computer games, and other fun approaches suited to his learning style and learning needs, as well as books to read to him (including texts), videos, learning centers (especially science labs), and his 4-H robotics workbook and building and programming activities. Exercise is also on the schedule with timed running, Wii exercises, and swimming. I am even hoping to use it to encourage more independent reading, which he has gotten away from.
I have been trying to set up the boxes for next Monday (we homeschool year-round with breaks), since that helps me see just how ready I am to begin. It is hard because Dana comes along and begs to go ahead and do some of the things in the boxes now – like the “S’MATH” board game, or even the file-folder math game. (Dana begging to do math!!!??)
We are excited about trying the new system. Now I just need a life-time supply of velcro dots!
I will post photos of our remodeled and rearranged learning area, as soon as the rest of the boxes are emptied, papers sorted, and the hammock swing chair is hung.