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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Work boxes Part 1

Okay so another home school mom that I met the other day (the one that gave me the Sonlight K read aloud guide for FREE!) mentioned work boxes to me.  I meant to google them and then it completely slipped my mind.  Then today on one of the many home school forums I am part of, I saw them mentioned again....so to google I went.   Can I say I am totally stoked about the concept??  So I went straight to work, figuring out how I could make this concept work for us (with minimal cost).
So, you may be asking, "what are work boxes exactly?"  so let me slow down and take you on the internet journey I took today...
First, the concept of work boxes was first introduced by Sue Patrick, and many variations of the concept can be found in homeschooling blogs all over the web.  Some of the many I looked at today are:
Heart of Wisdom and Squidoo, both of which linked many other great resources!!  So check them out, and you'll see what I'm talking about!
So first things first....I needed to find a space...I have these shelves with bins from Ikea that would be PERFECT...they are in the toy room, right next to the school room, so they would be easily accessible.  Most of the bins were full of toys though, so I went to work reorganizing.  I was able to find new homes for everything!  So this will be our work box station (I'll have to help reach the higher ones)
(yes, those are cookies sheets hanging on the wall...we have really small kitchen, so we put metal cookie sheets up to hold the toys that use to be on our refrigerator at the old house, it works great and if I remember correctly I paid less than $5 for the set of 3!).

I also purchased Sue Patrick's e-book; though with all the resources, I am not finding it 100% necessary.  I will say , However, that it was useful (I have found that everyone seems to have their own way of doing it, and seeing the original way was helpful to me).
Then I printed off a variety of things...
Work Box Tags and Blank Boxes from Heart of Wisdom (2 sets)
Toy Story Number Cards from homeschoolcreations.com (2 sets)
and some more Work Box Tags also from Home School Creations (2 sets)
UPDATE:  I have decided I was being over zealous and you only need either the heart of wisdom box tags or the home school creations box tags...not necessarily both.

So far I have laminated the Blank Boxes and the Number Cards (I mounted them on colored card stock first, blue for for C and green for Z, and I also made a colored name page for the front of the pack).  I need to buy more Velcro to mount the numbers, but you get the idea.  These will hang from a hook on the side of their desks.

There will be another number of the same color on the boxes, and as you can see I only have 8 boxes for each.  The other 4 blank squares will be things like snack, lunch, karate, computer, games, centers, etc...(from the activity cards I printed).

I've decided to work the system more like the creator did.  It will go something like this:  The numbers and the other activity cards will be placed on the blank box strips.  They will start with number one, remove it from the strip, and go to the work box with number one on it.  Place that number one beside the number one on the box already, then do the activities in that box, going along with the box strips, numbers mean number boxes, other activities will be done as they appear on the strips.  (does that make sense??).  I'll update as I continue the set up.

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