I have been a member of the Work box yahoo group for about six months. I have bought and Sue Patrick's book and spent many hours looking at everyone's systems trying to figure out how we can incorporate it into our school day. My biggest obstacle is we are currently living in a rental and just don't have room for 2 sets of 12 boxes. Here is an earlier post of what our school room looks like! I am bursting at the seams so I needed another plan. After searching thru many, many blogs I decided to try folders. I even color coded them yellow for my daughter and green for my son. Unfortunately the magazine rack that holds the folders are not the same color. That will teach me to buy items at two different stores during two different shopping trips:)
The first folder the kids work on is their calendar/copywork folder. I know they aren't the right color (I really need to be more organized in my shopping trips) . I have been reading about copy work and never really figured out a way to include it in our day but then I saw this idea a while ago (sorry can't remember what blog I saw it in):( It is a fast and simple way to include calendar time independently and includes quick copy work. This is the first folder the kids get as they both can now do it independently and it gives me a few minutes to wash the breakfast dishes or put a load of laundry in:).
The Calender and copy work folder takes less than 15 minutes and includes the following:
A calendar and a page where the kids write out the date and the code date for example 1/9/11. It is helping them to remember the month and the number of the month.
It also includes a weather graph and at the end of the month the kids construct a weather bar graph using their data. The kids are also using a Indoor Thermometer to document the temp in C and F. I have been meaning to construct a monthly C and F line chart but haven't had time. It is on my never ending to do list:)
Next they each get one copy work page to do per day. They are to write on the dotted lines first then reprint on their own. My daughter should be working on cursive by now but she isn't interested in that at the moment and to be honest she still needs to practice her printing. Since we have started I have noticed a difference in both children's printing skills, but we have work to do:).
What I love about this folder is that is that I don't have to change the papers until the end of the month. I just put enough of each paper inside and enough copy work pages and leave it there until the end of the month then I swap the papers out at the end of the month, file away and refill with new forms. Huge time saver:) and one less folder to fill every day.
I am slowly putting the other folders in order as we begin our unit on the solar system. I found a great free site for a which I have put together our Solar system unit Learning pages.com. I am having both kids complete similar topics but this site had pages geared to younger and older children so I was able to give each child individual worksheets. They have worksheets geared to math, science and language arts on this topic. We of course will not be doing only worksheets but again all the pages can be put into the folders and I only have to swap out and file at the end of the month.
In addition we are doing lots of hands on learning going to the Cambridge Observatory, making models of the solar system and the moon phrases. Last night we took the kids outside to see the International Space Center cross the sky just above the moon and Jupiter. Already my daughter is able to pick out certain constellations in the sky. I have even caught my son reading the books I have set up for our school which makes me so excited to see them excited about this topic.
I am expecting to spend at least 4 weeks on this unit more if the kids continue to be interested. I will stop when they seem to be no longer interested in space. I think I have gathered enough materials to go two months of study. My goal is the cover all of the planets at the start and then if there is still interest tackle stars, comets, asteriods and more:).