Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day one and two

Yay! We started Miller Academy (ha!) on Monday and it couldn't have gone any better. The kids were excited to start and they were amazed at how much work we got done in such a short period of time. It took about 3 hours to get everything done which totally rocked. I have a Bible study on Monday mornings and we were able to run a couple errands after and still be done with school around 3:30.

This morning they were rip raring to get started so we started around 7:30 and they were done around 10:30. Now we have the rest of the day to do whatever we want!! Woot woot!!

I spent most of the previous weekend getting all organized and I switched up how I was going to organize our day by tweaking the workbox system to fit our needs.

Instead of plastic shoe boxes for each subject/assignment, I am using file boxes that have 10 folders each. They have a numbered and velcroed picture on the front that starts out without the flower petals or treasure coins and as they complete folders they move the petal or coin to the front. It is so they can track how much work they have to do and how much they have already done. To see their picture getting completed is to motivate them to keep working and for them to see progress. They know exactly what needs to be done for their school day. They have 10 stations/assignments etc. for each day. So far I have only had 8 stations so they get 2 freebies until I can find more stuff for them to do. And not busy work, but something that will enrich what they are already learning.
This is what the box looks like at the beginning of the day.

Each folder has an assignment in it and a petal or coin on the front. Once they complete that assignment they move their petal or coin to the front picture.

This is what it looks like at the end of the day.

The fun part is that they can see what is next and it helps motivate them to get to the fun stuff. I have cards made up for snack time and for 20 minutes of computer time (I pick the website-it is always educational. So far for Eli it has been starfall.com and for Madeline it is a multiplication game.) There is a MOM card in the folder if it is something that I am to do with them. If there isn't a MOM card in the folder with their assignment than they know to do it independently.
So far it is working VERY well!! I am sure I will have to tweak it a bit more to make it more interesting as the year goes by but for now they are enjoying the newness. They get so excited when they see that blue computer card or the red snack card! Who knew it would be so simple!!


Chad said...

WOOT! WAY TO GO BABE! Im so proud of you and how awesome you are doing.


Stacie said...

You are doing an AMAZING job Manda! I love your fun, creative ideas. So proud of you!!!

Michalle said...

Those file boxes are an AMAZING idea!! I absolutely love it, and am trying to figure out how to do it for myself. haha Really, just a great motivator, and in such a positive way. Phenomenal start. Kudos to you!! ::applause, applause::

b.a. said...

cute! this is so awesome! you've actually caused me to second-guess my decision to send piper to boarding school! :)

Emily said...

love your organization-makes me want to send my kids to your school! ;)

haverlee said...

this is so fun to read. i love hearing about it!! and hey, sounds like you have lots of time for some afternoon playdates! let's do some of those when the weather gets colder.

b.a. said...

per company policy i'm not allowed to write anything about j.crew on my blog (you'll notice it doesn't even say i work there in my profile anymore, just "retailer"). so anyway, right before i went on maternity leave i got a HUGE paycut (along w/ everyone else) so i'm not sure if i'm gonna go back. i'm gonna miss it, but i'm just not sure it's worth it. if i don't get the library job i'll reconsider and maybe ask if they'd raise my pay a little.

Jon Colyer said...

manda. you. are. cool. period.