In Progress: A Younger Book of Days for Preschoolers!

July 10, 2009

I’ve been struggling to teach Pip (5 ½) the concept of days, weeks, months and years. The only idea I’ve had success with so far is the idea of “how many sleeps” it is until a particular day or event (“Nana will be here in ten more sleeps”).  He understands that very concretely, now it’s just translating and expanding that idea into the broader understanding of the passage of time.

I recently ordered The Catholic Woman’s Planner from Michele at Family-Centered Press (love her planner!); I also saw her Student Planner and ordered two for both Firstie and Middlin.  I hemmed and hawed about whether or not to order one for Pip and decided against it; he’s not there yet.

Thinking about that gave me some wonderful inspiration.  I’m in the planning phase of A Younger Book of Days,  a calendar book designed just for preschoolers, so stay tuned!

~ Blessings

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New Lesson Plan File Uploaded

July 9, 2009

Instead of labeling days Monday through Friday, many prefer the labels of Day 1 through Day 5.  I did a little tweaking and the new pdf is in the green CLIPPINGS box on the right if you’d like to use it.  Look for “NumberDays” as the end of the file name.

Happy planning!


Lesson Plan Book for Workboxes

July 8, 2009

After much struggle brainstorming to figure out how to get a whole week’s worth of lesson plans onto a single page Workbox-style, I stumbled onto a format that is easy on the eyes and super simple to use.  Praise be to God for the inspiration!

This is a Legal-sized plan book, and although it’s a little bigger than I’m used to, I love the visual peace on the page.

Project Tools:

  • PDF file to print
  • Legal size printing paper
  • Binding (either supplies or a service)
  • Cover material (either construction paper (cut and assembled) or Legal size cover stock)

The PDF for the file is right there in the Box.net widget in the right side scroll bar; feel free to use it to your heart’s content and share it with your friends if you find it helpful.

This plan book is blessedly simple.  Here’s a look:

One week of Workboxing at your fingertips

One week of Workboxing at your fingertips

I grouped the 12 boxes into three groups of four, which reflects how we break up our our school day; we’ll work through these from top left to bottom right, just like reading.  There is plenty of room for family duties and fun.  The Notes box is to record problems & tweaks to help for the next week.  I have a global plan for the year, but plan in five 9-week quarters (we’re year ’rounders).  You can click the images for a better look, just hit the back button to return to the post.

Cover (very, extremely homemade O: )

Cover (very, extremely homemade O: )

Blessings to you in your planning days!

– Jennifer

ps–apologies for the dark pictures; hard disk error and not all of my software’s been re-installed.  Soon, hopefully. : )


Workboxes: My Variation on a Theme

May 5, 2009
If you haven’t heard the latest buzz in the homeschooling world, it’s all about something called the Workbox System.  This stroke of genius is the brain child of Sue Patrick.  Patrick, whose son was diagnosed with Autism at the age of two, studied, struggled, theorized, practiced, tried, erred and tried again to find methods and practices that would support her son towards a fullness of life and hope that doctors simply didn’t give.  The result?  Sue Patrick’s Workbox System.  It wasn’t only a tremendous success for her own son, it’s been a boon to many families who are home educating their special needs children, and to a great many other families and home schools as well.  Sue’s eBook is a great investment to have in your resource cache; lots of wisdom and know-how that you can’t find anywhere else.

When I first saw the Workboxes, I knew that it would be a great help for my supremely tactile bunch.  My only problem was the space issue; we’re already pretty full up here in this house.  After a lot of brainstorming, inspiration.  This is my version of Workboxes.

my Workbox variation: a hanging strip of 12 laminated cards per student

my Workbox variation: a hanging strip of 12 laminated cards per student

Cards on laminated so that I can write assignments on them with a Wet Erase pen

The laminated cardstock allows me to write assignments with a Wet Erase pen

Cards 1-12 hang on the wall; finished assignment cards tuck in pocket

Cards 1-12 hang on the wall; finished assignment cards tuck in pocket

Thick watercolor paper is a strong base.  I cut the slits where the cards are placed.

Thick watercolor paper is a strong base. I cut the corner slits where waiting assignment cards are placed.

Simple card stock folded and stapled at the bottom makes an easy storage pocket for finished lessons.

Simple card stock folded and stapled at the bottom makes an easy storage pocket for finished lessons.

I used 3M pull tabs to hang these on the wall.  Simple and works great.

I used 3M pull tabs to hang these on the wall. Simple and works great.

This is my “variation on a theme” of the Workbox System.  We’ve only just started with “tactile checklist”, but I can tell you that it’s brought motivation and peace for us already.  Boyville loved hidden surprise activities that they discovered upon turning over the assignment card; that was great fun and they were extremely focused on getting through their lessons. 

If you love the idea of the Workboxes but are short on space or it’s just not in the budget, there are other creative adaptations that can make it work for your space and budget.  This is just one way; I hope that it helps you to brainstorm what will work for your school.