Sunday, July 31, 2011


Our new workboxes arrived early than planned! I worked hard this weekend to get things set up and stuff moved around to find a place where they would be easy to use, but at the same time not be somewhere where the monsters... I mean the kids would destroy them.

I've been reading about so many different workbox setups and I've finally found a combination that will work for us. D's boxes are numbered 1-10 with numbers that stay on the boxes. Then also on the box is a picture card representing what is in there since he can't see through the boxes to see what is coming up next. Rather than having him take a number card off the box and put it on a grid or number strip I am having him remove the picture card and place a checkmark card in it's place on the box. I have an extra bin in S's boxes to store the cards, and I place a checkmark card in the box with the work that he needs to be doing. We will see how that works out. If he isn't completing his work before he puts up the checkmark and moves on to another box than I will have to make him bring me his work before I give him his checkmark card.

I was hoping that we would have a normal morning to get used to our workboxes, but of course I forgot that little E has a doctors appointment so I have to drag all 4 kids to the docs office ( so next week I will be posting about us all being sick after our well child check this week... it never fails that one of the kids picks up something from the docs office)

So hopefully once we get home from the docs office in the morning we can get right to work on our workboxes and maybe for once we can get through our days work without a ton of whining/complaining/stalling and whatever else a 6 year old can come up with to get out of doing some school work.

I will try to post pictures of our workbox setup soon. I took some tonight but my computer can't read them.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Eventually I'll get to doing updates Weekly - End of July

The week of the 18th to the 22nd was a blur. D had science camp for 3 hours every afternoon so our whole routine was thrown off and none of the little ones were napping and were all very grumpy every morning.

D managed to do some math and reading most days that week but that was all we tried to accomplish.

He had a great time at camp and they did all sorts of fun things. The first day was all about slime so they made different types of slime and made bouncy balls out of one of them. The second day was about bacteria - They went through the small cell exhibit that the museum has and also did cultures of the floor and bathrooms. The museum also has the Grossology exhibit about the gross things your body does so they talked about that and played with those exhibits. One day was "sticky" and they made all sorts of candy (that was a fun afternoon bringing home a tired sugared up kid!) The final day that made rubberbands and also made egg drop contraptions.

This past week we have been working on getting back into our normal routine and back to doing our normal amount of schoolwork. I also decided this week that I am going to try to do workboxes with D to help him see exactly how much work he has left to do because that is what causes the most whining when he doesn't know exactly what he has to do. I tried a listing of what we were going to do but since he can't physically see what is left he gets upset that it is too much to do.

I also started putting together some preschool/prek work for S. She complains everyday if I don't sit down with her and do "school work" with her after I am done with D. Hopefully this will help keep her happy and less complaining while I work with D. I also got her her own set of workboxes that she will split with R so they both have planned activities that they can do each day and hopefully stop destroying the house anytime I sit down with D.

I really need to be better about pulling out my camera. You'd never know that I used to have my own business and had my camera attached to me 24/7 before I got pregnant with E. I'm just so worn out most days that the thought of picking up the camera is more than I want to do.

Hopefully next week will be our last week without workboxes while I get them here and set up. Then we will be starting out our journey with those and hopefully they will work out for us.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Weekly Update - Mid July

We've been cruising along for the last two weeks.

A few fun highlights from this week

- We made recycled crayons - The kids thought it was great. We've had a bucket of broken crayons that I have said we are going melt down but it never gets done.

Next time we are going to sort them by colors and use candy molds to have fun shapes. This time it was spur of the moment so I just used my mini muffin pan and we had crayon coins.

- Tuesday we did our first real lesson with RSO - Life. We did a plot study looking for living and non-living things.

School Progress

- D memorized his second poem for First Language Lessons - Work
- In Writing with Ease D is getting better at Narrations and instead of trying to tell back the whole story he is giving two sentences about the story.
- We need to review his handwriting more. I'm having to correct his letter formation more than I should. So I am going to order an additional Handwriting without Tears book for him to work through.
- He's flying through the beginning of Singapore 2A. We got to Addition with Renaming and he surprised me with already having figured out how to do it. I gave him the problem of 36+28 to show him how to carry the 1 over. I asked him what 6 +8 was and he thought about it for a minute and said to me "That's easy! The answer is 64 - why are you asking what 6+8 is?" I guess we don't have to do much work in this section before we move onto Subtraction with Renaming.
- After a bit of coaxing he is starting to like History Odyssey and Story of the World. I have found that I have to ask him questions after every couple of paragraphs or it all goes in one ear and out the other.

Next week he has camp at the science museum - Icky Sticky and Gross - Sounds like a young boys dream class.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Crew

My Crew (from L to R) R-2, S-3.5, E-9months, D-6

Had the add a cute one of E. He's growing so quickly and I love this little face!

Things that make our day easier

A few things that I have found that help D keep moving through our day.

- I use Homeschool Tracker Plus to keep track of our plans. Using its Assignment Report I can give Drew a check list of the things that we are doing that day. He likes being able to see what we have left to do and being able to check things off is motivating to him since he knows that once everything is checked off he will get computer time

- Computer Time - I found an add-on for Firefox that allows me to block all websites except for the ones that I allow D to go to. So now he can have more unsupervised time one the computer. Even if he types a site into the address bar if it is not on his allowed list it redirects him back to the site of my choice.

- Bribes! It's amazing how quickly and neatly copywork can be done when there is a pile of chocolate chips waiting on the table for him.

- Letting him have more control - By printing out the assignment sheet I allow him to pick the order we do things. Occasionally I will force him to do something first when I know that R is in the mood to get in trouble or E is going to wake up soon but most of the time he picks the order.