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Tuesday, February 07, 2012

workboxes in!

This year, We start our 3 year old on light academics, still peppered with lots of play, while our almost 5 year old transit to doing some 'real' work. So we looked around for a system that facilitates independent learning so that I would not really be needed to sit with both kids at the same time. Sue Patrick's Workbox System was something we have been eyeing for some time and it was ready for implementation.

We got our workboxes from IKEA. Yes, it is cheaper but also because it is not completely 'boxed up', it gives us the flexibility to put a toy or a manipulative that is taller than the drawer or materials for craft that ain't really the size of the drawer. All we need to do is to shift it up or down a step. Easy!

The only problem is the transport. IKEA charges $60 for any amount of furniture we buy, and the frame does not fit into the car boot. But thanks to my mum, her friend helped transport it back for us via a truck.

Instead of the usual numbering , I added fruit of the spirit onto the number tags, so I could call out the fruit or the number. I printed and laminated each fruit in colour and the same fruit without colour, so its abit like shadow matching.

Velcro set is brought from Diaso. Any velcro set that is designed to hold wires together usually works, but I like the flap at the end of the velcro best. I cut each piece in half and stuck the one with the flap sticking out to the back of the coloured fruit tag. You have to be sure the other part is stuck to the frame.

Next I would work out which fruit goes to which child's drawer only because it would speak to them as I converse with them daily.

Once the child is finished with his activities/learnings, usually from the drawers top down. He would peal off the left fruit and stick it to the one on the right. That way, we all know that the work is done. He would let me mark it on the spot and chuck it into the big white drawer for me to collect at the end of the day. See how the flap at the end helps the child pull the tag out?

My almost 5 year old was a breeze to work with as it was easy for his nimble fingers to peal and paste and he usually enjoys independent work. Since he also work really quickly he enjoys going to the boxes himself while I can busy myself with the younger one. My 3 yr old needed some coaching on how to use the workboxes. Granted work boxes were not meant for little ones as they hardly have any academics to work on, and fairly little independent learning at this stage. But I still threw in puzzles and manipulatives for my 3 yr old to do, if I needed to spend time with the elder one. We have been using this for about two weeks and it worked perfectly for us. :)


Elaine said...

I like this system. I've read about it in another mum's blog and is hoping to try it when my baby's older. I think if I were to start it this year, my baby would be happily open up the boxes and throwing everything around. Ha...