Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Heart of the Matter Science quickie

Ran across this great science magazine by Heart of the Matter and wanted to share.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New year, new schedule, Ms. Priss' new post

It's a new year and with it a new schedule.  Recently I had a conversation with another Mom about workboxes and my worktag system.  I have completely ditched the workboxes because they were just TOO much work on dear, frail, little me.  Heck I even gave one set of drawers to my neighbor for her to use for storage.

I am all about letting the kids own whatever they CAN.  Me filling up boxes with work for them as if every day is Christmas just wasn't fitting in with my Charlotte Mason philosophy of educating my children.  I don't believe Ms. Mason thought spoon feeding a child was particularly the best way to educate them. (Me being the robot shown)

And that is kind of how I've come to think about workboxes.  Don't get me wrong - I still think workboxes can be of benefit - to parents with many children particularly with young ones they need to keep busy or to parents of children with issues such as autism.  However I simply do not think that for my able-bodied girls that workboxes are either a necessity or a service to them.

So, I have decided to simply use the worktags sans workboxes.  If there is a task to be done there is a tag.  No more cross referencing some drawers with some work, etc...  My head wanted to explode every time I thought about the logistics of assigning them work.  Every assignment/subject now gets its own tag.  I just simply made sure I included at least some Reading, Writing, and 'Rithmetic for each day.  Here is a sampling of Tuesday's, Thursday's, and Friday's tags.

I also used to try to stagger their "work with me" times and have everything "flow" perfectly.  Gone are those days.  Now, they're responsible for working with me when they want to and if I'm busy or working with the other one they have to find something else to do.  Amazing...it just works!

Ms. Priss wanted hers to stand up on her desk instead of hanging from a hook with a book ring.  So if you remember my post on altering notebooks, I simply used the chipboard spine of an old half size notebook/binder to hold them all together.

The way I figure it is if they are capable of opening a drawer and finding their work, they are capable of locating the book or item themselves.  And guess what?  They get to put the items away too!   For things like Math, Spelling, Logic Books, etc... they know that we simply move on to the next lesson or page.  It isn't a terribly complicated lesson planning system but it seems to work.

"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out..."
                                                  --  Robert J. Collier

We had been using this laminated check-off sheet

However, I think the worktags will provide me the flexibility to be able to change their daily tasks if need be.  I was forever telling the girls "just skip so-and-so" on any particular day.  The laminated weekly checklist was making me feel like we were all terrible failures because we never sensed a feeling of accomplishment even though we were doing a lot and were all plenty busy.

For Ms. Priss' worktags I made a tag for her to blog on Thursdays.  So today she has a new blog post...  Do check out her recommendation.  You can visit her blog here:


If you'd like here is the pdf with the tags I use.  Also here is the pdf with the blank grids.  So that's it.  Never forget:  the best laid plans of mice and men sometimes go askew.  And this system may too (hey, I'm a poet and don't know it).

Happy New Year!