Guest Author - Alissa Moy
I imagine you are now looking at your tidy workbox setup thinking of the next step in this organizational method, namely filling and using the workbox system. Remember that whatever you do is not set in stone, and you can change things up based on initial or even ongoing success. My personality is such that I try to make things perfect the first time out, and follow my plans to a "tee". Then, once things go awry, (as they often do), I become frustrated and unmotivated. This is where I have learned I need to be less hard on myself and realize that even classroom teachers are constantly teaching to their students workflow. As a former second and fifth grade teacher in public schools, I recall often varying organizational methods depending on the circumstances and workflow. The point is, know that whatever you set up as an initial plan of action for the workboxes may be a changing work in progress.
Finding support alongside other homeschoolers implementing this method is important. There is no need to seek out others for competitiveness and criticism, just for ideas and valuable support. What works for one family will almost always not work exactly the same for another family. Look for area homeschool groups and suggest a moms night or get together to discuss and share workbox ideas, as well as other homeschooling methods. There are several groups online, in which many parents display fantastic ideas, setup photos and more on their workbox experience. Below you can find links for some of these groups.
Filling the workboxes is key. It may take some trial and error to determine how much or little to put in each child's box. While some children race through work independently, others tend to be more particular. Knowing your homeschoolers is crucial when determining their materials and assigments. Typical assigments might be any of the following:
-Mini, Easy to Assemble Craft Kits
-Small manipulatives with a math problem worksheet
-Short chapter book or independent reader
-Review worksheets on any current subject
-Pre-assessment worksheets, to determine prior knowledge for future lessons
-Easy coloring or art pages
-Vocabulary list and a pocket dictionary for definition work
-Handwriting or notebooking practice sheets
The list above is just a few of the ideas for filling workboxes. Take a look at your current units and lesson plans. You can then incorporate your current studies into usable workbox fillers.
If you are a current workbox user, or have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me at email@example.com. I'd love to hear from you!