*I am organizationally challenged. I hope this will encourage me (and my children) to keep things in their place and have things ready for each new school day. No excuses.
*With several workbox tweaks (described below), I want to foster my children's independence.
*My preschooler. At four, he desperately wants to "do school." He has a couple boxes in which I'll stash some hands-on activities and books.
*I have a LOT of school materials around here; I'm hoping this encourages me to use some that I've forgotten about.
Here's my plan...
I want my son to continue to schedule his day. I love the way this gives him a sense of responsibility. It's also beneficial for our parent-teacher-child-student relationship. *I* am not telling him what to do. The schedule--which he created--is telling him what to do. Don't get me wrong. I have no problem telling my children what to do (or I wouldn't have had FIVE); however, I do think that one of the challenges in homeschooling is the ever increasing amount of directives coming from adult to child. For homeschoolers it's not just parent-child directives, but also teacher-student.
I prepared* the schedule cards for this year as follows. (*I prefer to have the child create the cards, but in this instance I needed to figure things out as I worked. Tweaking, always tweaking.)
Blue cards include subjects:
- math calendar
- reader/history (Sonlight Core 3)
- writing workshop
- foreign language
- Bible (Sonlight Core 3)
- read aloud/history (Sonlight Core 3)
- history (Sonlight Core 3)
- cursive writing
- "extra" (catch-all box)
- pick up house
- pick up room
A few boxes are double labeled like the one at left; we will do art and science on an alternate schedule. A few boxes have an additional sticker. The MOMMY sticker. This sticker indicates how many minutes Mommy needs to help. For a few subjects, it's the entire time. For most, it's a smaller length of time, designed to introduce a subject (teacher/student), followed by some time to do some independent practice work (student).
When he finishes a subject, he empties the box into a large "I'm done" box and turns over the related blue card.
No moving discs or worrying about velcro. And he still will set his own schedule. The biggest benefit to me is that I am accountable for having his entire school day ready to go the night before. As I told a friend, it's your basic "lay out your clothes the night before" routine. Just for school.
I never was good about laying my clothes out the night before. Hope I can do this. Although we're on Sonlight Core 3, week 9, and have been doing it all summer, we "officially" start school on September 7th. I'll report on my workbox progress then.
Two of my focus boxes on this blog will be preschool math and living math books/related activities. Check back!
See also: Kids, Homeschool, and Schedules