Now glory be to God!
By his mighty power at work within us,
he is able to accomplish infinitely more
than we would ever dare to ask or hope.

Ephesians 3:20

Search This Blog

Monday, October 11, 2010

Trying something new

We are going to take a stab at a new organizing system for school.  I am going to work on teaching my son to work a little more independently.  Not entirely, but more than he has been.  This is a modified simplified take on the workbox system combined with inspiration from a blogger who does her lesson plans on a white board.  I love this idea!

As we have made our way through our first month and a half of homeschooling, we are learning a lot. I am such a "fly by the seat of your pants" and "wing it" gal, that I can pretty much make anything work given a few minutes to think about it or talk it through with someone.  This is both a blessing and a curse.  The blessing is I can make things work and make stuff up as I go.  The curse is that I often make things up as I go.   Planning is not my strong suite.  It used to be, I don't know what happened.  But I digress.

One of the things I have noticed for my oldest, is that a list makes him euphoric happy.  He likes to know what to expect, and when to expect it.  He has a fairly good grasp of time and the calendar too.   So I'm going to try to give him some more independence.  My "wing it" style tends to increase his anxiety.  I'm hopeful that this new system we are trying will pay big dividends for both of us. 

I was so overwhelmed with trying to figure out all this homeschooling stuff when we started that I finally had to just jump in and start.  Waiting til I had it all figured out, which is what my inner perfectionist and organized persona wanted to do,  was going to mean we NEVER got started.  So finally, I took the plunge and just started.  I am so grateful that I did.  As we get some time under our belts, we figure out what works for us, and what does not.

One of the biggest advantages of homeschooling in my opinion is the flexibility.  If something does not work, we can try something else.  If we go off on a tangent sparked by something we read, that's okay too.  All in the name of learning.  What I am learning the most is to relax and trust the process.  The time difference blows me away.  We can get so much work done in a very short time, because I only have two students. 

Here's a look at our new system.  In an effort to better meet the needs of my son, I am trying to add more structure to our homeschool. 

The list.  I don't have wall space for a white board, so I typed it out and put it in a page protector.  This allows me (and my son) to use a dry erase marker and re-use the the same page over and over.  The forests of the world thank me for my efforts at saving a tree or two.  There is space for my son to check off each task as he accomplishes it.  He is free to choose the order he does the assignments.  I am guessing he will do them in order, but we shall see.

Since a lot of our learning is done online, we don't need a huge workbox.  I happened to have this one on hand, and it's perfect for now.   On top of the box are the books he's currently reading from.

Much of our learning is done online.
But not to fear, we do a lot of stuff the old fashioned way too.

In one drawer are his handwriting practice assignments.
In the other drawer are the math resource worksheets that coordinate with his online math lessons.

And because I am not opposed to bribery positive reinforcement we joined the Pizza Hut Book It! program. He reads books and earns pizza. A match made in heaven for my pizza loving student! This is a very real and visual way for him to keep track of his progress. And I know once we go get the first pizza reward, he will read more, faster.
I do approve all the books that he is allowed to count toward this goal.  Just to be sure he's not using his Pre-K brother's books.

I hope that this helps. If it doesn't, we'll try something new.


wlomano said...

Wonderful update, Lena!

I love that you're adapting your methods to what works best for the boys -- the list is actually quite like what they use in schools ("rubrics" -- our middle school son has had them since elementary, lists of what he needs to know by the end of the unit & they can check off what they know as they go). Bribery is a wonderful learning tool - don't ever knock it! :-)

Lena Just Lena said...

Thanks Wendy. We're all learning as we go. I'm confident that in time we will figure out what works best for us. I am interested to see how this system works out. I like it because it feels like there is more accountability for both S and I. :-)

Unknown said...

Sounds like you are doing an amazing job!

Unknown said...

Oh Lena, I pray this is a blessing for you. I loved all your pictures. What a beautiful family. (((Big Hugs))) Mary

Lena Just Lena said...

Thanks Mary. Is this Mama Mary from T4L? Thanks for the kind words....we keep busy around here!