Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Well, it seems all the world has a blog but me, so I'm giving it a shot! This is my first shot at setting one up. I'm a homeschooling mom of 3 and happily married nearly 15 years. My life basically revolves around my kids and their education, so most of what I post will be something to do with their school and activities, I'm sure! lol.

If anybody reads this, I'll be amazed! But I have to say I've really benefited from the blogs of other HS moms recently, so hopefully, I can return the favor by posting some great ideas.

I just recently discovered Sue Patrick's Workbox System. I'm so glad I did! It has totally transformed our school day. My oldest son has ADHD, and getting through the school day can be a real chore for everyone because of the way he drags his feet and gets distracted a million times a day. But the workbox system has been very motivating for him, and it keeps the workflow going when I'm working with my daughter and vice versa. They also love the little surprises they get in their boxes in terms of fun activities and special snacks throughout the day. It keeps things new and fresh, and they really get excited about it. I didn't like the idea of the open bins, as her book suggests. One, it's untidy looking, and this setup is located in the corner of my dining area. Two, I have a toddler who would be all too busy dumping things out of the bins if they were so easily accessible. These rolling carts were affordable ($11 each for the big ones, $6.50 for the smaller ones, and $2.50 for the return baskets on top...all from Big Lots). Since this photo was taken, I've moved the chart that holds the numbers to the wall above the baskets, and I've also added the clock-in/clock-out pockets above, plus a clock on the wall so they can be more aware of the passage of time with each workbox.

We started just a few weeks ago, so we were able to spend our final month of the school year setting up the system and tweaking how we use it. We school year-round, so we only have a week-long break between school years. The kids were so excited to be done that they even did their first day of the new school year before they started their break, just to see how the typical school day would be for them both. Hayden is starting 5th grade, and Haylee is starting Kindergarten.

Holden is turning 18 months old at the end of this month. Hooray! He's such a big boy and so full of personality these days. He starts off every day with such gusto, and he never fails to make us all smile.

I made a couple of file folder games for the kids today to keep them occupied since they couldn't go out to play in the pool on account of the overcast skies and occasional drizzle. That kept them busy for a little while. I'm loving http://www.teacherfilebox.com/. I signed up for the monthly subscription. The first month is only 99 cents, and $12.99/month thereafter. I'm really getting a lot of use out of it initially. If the usefulness continues, I'll probably switch to the annual subscription for $99, which saves $55 over the course of the year. It seems well worth it. The Evan-Moor Take It to Your Seat books generally run about $25 each, so if you print out 4 of those a year, you have recouped your cost already. There are so many topics available there to supplement your homeschool, and the material spans grades PK through 6th.

Well, I guess I'll sign off for now. We just got in from our end-of-school-year celebration dinner. Every year, the kids get to pick where we go out to eat as a reward for all their hard work at finishing up another school year. We hardly ever go out to dinner, so it's kind of a big deal for them, and they even get to pick dessert.