Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Many Faces of Maggie

I had to jump on and share these photos that Marilyn took of Maggie. Marilyn enjoys photography very much so whenever she gets the opportunity she is always taking pictures of something. Most times Maggie has the honor of being her subject. Maggie absolutely loves to get her picture taken too.

I really had no idea Marilyn took these pictures until I was going to download something on the computer from a picture that I took. I thought these pictures were so cute that I just HAD to post them here on our blog.
I'll have to say if you think Maggie looks pretty animated in these pictures, your right. She has become quite the silly girl since she has turned three. Sometimes not so silly too.

I will also post her other two projects with the Many Faces of Katie and Hannah too.

So here is " The Many Faces of Maggie"

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Who needs the workbox system anyways?

Boy, time sure has flown by since the last time I updated that's for sure.
The fair just ended yesterday so now we can really start into our school work. The girls no longer have "Fair on the brain."

This year we are doing something completely different. I began the school year off with homeschooling the two older girls on my own only to have them want to do cyberschool again. So we decided to go with a K12 cyberschool this year. God willing they will be around for a while as they are having some legal issues. But if we get one good year in with them that's fine too.

Of course I began to panic thinking," How will I split myself up into three people again this year?" Marilyn is in 6th grade, Katie is in 4th , and Hannah is in 1st this year.
I had been reading about the "Workbox system". The word intriqued me and I'm all for anything that will make my teaching more effective and make life a bit easier for myself all at the same time. So I had gone on the website that described this "more convienient" method. The method itself sounded like a great idea as it helps ease children into becoming more responsible for their own learning and gives mom more time to work with the younger ones.
I had only one problem with the whole idea. The fact that you needed 12 small boxes and a shelf to put them on. Living in a small apartment we don't have much room for much of anything. So I figured 3 children times 12 would be 36 rubbermaid tubs I had absolutely no room for at all.
So my creative juices began to start flowing because, well, I liked the method, I just didn't like the fact I didn't have any room to impletment it.

Hence my new idea,, the File Folder System@. I did make sure I wasn't stealing another person's idea so I googled to make sure there wasn't, and if its truely not an original thought of my own I apologize in advance.

First, I created the box. I took a box that would fit a file folder and books into neatly. Luckily the boxes we got with our school stuff worked perfectly for this little experiment of mine. Here is a visual. Of course I encourage children to decorate their own box but for the sake of this I did the creating this time around because this idea came to me at night and I wanted to get on top of it and see how it worked out first.

Next, I sat down with the file folders and wrote down things that they needed to complete their lessons. I wrote down whether they needed a pencil, notebook, textbook, or workbook on the front to keep from hearing" Mom, what do I need for this?".

After writing that down I went through the lesson plans for each of their subjects, Math, Language Arts, History, Science , Art and Music. I also go over anything their teachers assign them for work that must be submitted for them as well.
Then I take out any worksheets out of their workbooks, add in any workbooks that I can't tear pages out of, any books that will fit in the file folders and so on. I also add in worksheets or games that I think will help solidfy topics as well.
Even if the book doesn't fit in the file folder the box is big enough for me to add the book behind the folder when need be.

Last but not least, are the lesson plans. I broke down everything thing I wanted them to do down to tidbit steps. For them its like having me right there next to them but not. I numbered each step letting them know if they needed to go online, start with a worksheet, play a game, or enter in answers to questions they had done for their assessments. I also drew a small and of course not so neat STOP sign. This stop sign let them know that Mom or Dad needs to explain the lesson to them. Everything in the folder is set in order in the way I want them to do their lessons as well. I also told them if I was busy with their younger system that they could close the folder and go onto the next subject while they waited as well.

Also in my little world I decided to go through the Friday newsletters that their teachers send and write down on post it notes the times they needed to be on the computer for their Scantron practice, Elluminates, Clubs and posted those right on the side of the computer so they know to get on at that time. I don't have a picture of that on here but I think that is pretty self explanatory.
I also gave them a brief orientation of what OLS ( online learning system) means, how to get on it, how to look at what lessons need to be done for the day as well.

So there you go folks. If anyone else tries this method out be sure to leave a comment and let me know how and if it is working for your family. I am hoping and praying it works for us otherwise I may just be a little crazy by the end of the year.