The workbox yahoo group I participate in had a great discussion last week about “fun” boxes. I wrote my own comments and thought I’d share them here too:
I’m a little late adding to the discussion, but I really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments and thoughts about fun boxes. I always enjoy hearing how things are working for others.
I think I’m different from many in that my kids do their workboxes throughout the day. I couldn’t really tell you how many hours we spend doing school because general life is often school with the age of my kids (6,4,2). You know, collecting and talking about tadpoles/frogs has as much value as the math activities and handwriting practice. Singing and playing “Here we go round the Mulberry Bush” (musical chair version!!) in the backyard is technically ~music.~
Anyway, we have our main workboxes between two doorways (the hallway and kitchen), near the dining room table. I have to fit in our activities and schoolwork when it happens depending on the rhythm of the day, what my 2 year old is up to and so forth. The general workboxes have our traditional subjects (a couple of math drawers, handwriting, science, reading books, geography, unit studies and/or lapbook projects, German, preschool reading activities/phonics readers, file folder games, and things like that). I made up a master list and rotate things out doing many things once a week. For example, we do math daily, but twice a week we use our Right Start Math curriculum and the other days we do other activities (clocks, money, addition activities, card games, Montessori math activities, online math games, Peggy Kaye games, etc.) depending on my master (weekly) calendar.
As for fun boxes, I actually increased the number of “fun” boxes by adding another whole set of workboxes on the other side of the room. I saw how creative the kids were with new things being out and decided I needed more space for that to happen. That’s where I rotate puzzles, games (board games), mind teasers (like kanoodle, tangrams or rush hour), arts and crafts projects, various math manipulatives, design boards, pattern pieces, stacking sorting sets, and various things we have around. I switch the drawers around about once a week, but that way the kids have access to that stuff (which is packed tightly into cupboards here and there!) more readily. The kids are free to go into and out of any boxes at any time.
Anyway, my kids are quite young compared to many of you, but workboxes have helped me keep the environment interesting and fresh (well, I hope!) for the kids.
Anyway, I enjoyed the conversation and enjoy that glimpse into everyone’s routine!