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Monthly Archives: January 2014

A while back I was completely obsessed with work-boxes.   I read post after post about other families who used them and how they implemented them.  I even watched several you tube videos from moms who have made them. For those of you who are not familiar with this concept, as I was just a few months ago, a work-box is simply a way to organize papers and assignments that are given to each student.  There is tons of books and videos and other info out there to teach you how to make several different variations about this wonderful addition to an organized home.   I am not going to go into all the details of why and how you can do them, I simply wanted to share with the compromise we made to make them work in our home.  You see, we have eight children, and the thought of having eight rolling carts of drawers entering our home seemed a bit too much to me.  We would probably have to put on an addition to the house, and maybe a race track for racing the carts themselves.  I can envision the littles climbing up the drawers while the older kiddos are lining up and ready to push their carts, siblings on top and all, through the finish line.  sigh….not the most helpful thing in our learning adventure. The drawers do give plenty of space for each assignment to be placed in each drawer, along with everything the child needs to complete that assignment.  But, to be completely honest, I wanted to teach my children to be responsible for these items themselves.  Each child was given a toolbox with their name on it at the beginning of the year.  The toolbox was filled with school supplies they would need throughout the year.

I then came across the idea of making a work-box out of a Rubbermaid plastic file holder and filled with plastic ziploc bags with each assignment inside the ziplocs.  The thought of that much plastic makes my hair stand up like I just rubbed up against a giant balloon.  I could see myself struggling with the floppy bags that won’t stand up perfectly and maybe, just maybe some child may decide to fill a bag with water, or jello, or worse.  again, not helpful.

My husband is the best for thinking of ways to make things wok best.  He often looks at the projects U struggle with and can come up with wonderful solutions to accomplish them well.  He had the super fab idea of using those inexpensive accordion folders. he is a genius!  I like him!

So, we now have these simply adorable work-boxes.  I fill them about every four weeks, before we switch the continents we are traveling to in our studies.  I added cute paper and names to each to personalize it to each child’s interest.  The numbers on the back are for them to keep track of what subjects they completed each time.

While I think the work-box system is a great addition to many home schools, I think it could also be adapted to benefit families with kids who go to school outside the home.  It is a wonderful way to teach children to be responsible for their work and stay on track, in a way that is not overwhelming to them or to parents. Our hope is to raise responsible, self-directed learners in our home.  Children who will continue to desire to learn more in life wherever God takes them.  This is just one step of the process.

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IMG_2227Once again I find myself searching.  Reading, learning and taking it all in.  Trying to choose the best possible fit for our lifestyle  of learning in our home.  We desire to create an environment where learning  is natural, enjoyable, and woven into our daily lives.  I have recently enjoyed learning more about the methods of Charlotte Mason.  I found a wonderful video series on you tube that goes through and explains her thoughts behind her method and most importantly, her heart.  I am finding that if I can keep developing myself as a teacher, I gain more vision and enthusiasm for teaching my children.  I hope to use this blog a bit more as well.  Hopefully to encourage you to desire a closer relationship with God, a stronger marriage, and to pursue a legacy for your children.  You can look forward to more menu postings and posts about huge freezer cooking days.  Also, a journey through our home school curricula choices, and maybe even some book reviews.

With my new-found love for anything written about Charlotte Mason, I have been devouring books written on her life as a teacher and her dreams for children.  While cooking dinner I have listened to many speakers explain methods of gentle instruction leading to a desire in children to learn more.  For them to have the ability to read wonderful literature and to fill our home with quality choices of reading, art and musical choices. That sounds lovely now, doesn’t it.  I have visions of my children siting on a hillside, with their tablet open.  Nature study at it’s best, painting a beautiful flowering field, or nesting bird.  In the “real world” of our lives, we have paint splatters, crackers on the hardwood floors, books strung across the room by toddlers,  and days that are just too cold to go outside.  But, we have the paint on the brushes, and classical music.  We have joy, we have laughter, and prayers going up for those we are painting the pictures for.   An environment where learning is natural, enjoyable and woven into our daily lives.  that I can count as a success…..for today.