Over the last couple of years, I have kept my eye on Sue Patrick's Workbox System. I like the theory behind the system, especially for my hands-on learner. However, I haven't wanted to fork over the money for the system, plus since our house has been perpetually For Sale, I didn't want to further clutter our home with workboxes.
So, with 5 years of tweaking experience and now 3 children who are reading fluently, I have finally found the system that works for us. We'll call it Kathleen's Two-Dimensional Workbox System. Here's how it works:
- Check the work he did today for accuracy. Anything that needs to be reviewed the next day because of errors, I mark on my Mommy's Daily Schedule in the slot marked "Jacob".
- I then fill in the workbox on his Workbox Sheet for that subject so that he knows what he must accomplish in that subject the next day.
- For any subjects he will do with me the next day, I simply write "(with Mom)" in the box.
- I cross out any subjects he will not need to do the next day.
- I giggle when I find things like "cool dood" written across the top of any of his papers.
- I place his completed Workbox Sheet plus any papers he will need the next day in his folder and put it and his books on his bookshelf.
I begin the next day by doing a couple of subjects with the boys together. Currently, I am doing Math Made Meaningful 3 with the both of them so they will gain a better understanding of what exactly they are doing when they multiply and divide. After math, we work on Four Square Writing, a book I picked up at The School Box. Although I am a writing teacher, and although I had some high school students who could write no better than a second grader, I have a difficult time teaching them from square one, so this program helps me teach them to organize and add detail to their writing.
After my time with the boys, I will meet one-on-one with each child while the others go to their folders, get their books, and go to work, crossing out each workbox as each task is completed.
I had a similar system going the first part of this year, and its near-success told me I was on to something; however, for my visual/kinesthetic learner, the simple checklist I provided still left a lot of room for error of omission (either that, or he just used "I didn't see it on my list" as a very convenient excuse). This visual two dimensional box system came to me while I was lying on the massage table of a one Dr. Quack. And it's working beautifully so far. There have only been two small details missed this week.
So, one down, 22 more to go. Crossing my fingers that the kids' great attitudes and my enthusiasm will not waver. If you need me, I'll be filling in workboxes and admiring my clean pantry.