Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fun and Workboxes

I have been thinking about this for a while and come to the conclusion that activities for the workbox should not be fun for the sake of fun.

Let me try to explain. I have just re-read Sue's book and found no mention of fun boxes just for the sake of having fun. She does mention fun teaching, fun work, fun and interesting materials.

Here is my conclusion we need to be thinking very carefully what we are putting in the workboxes and why. Are we just filling the work with worksheets or activities to fill in time? If so why?

"The philosophy of the Workbox System is to provide:
1 Structure
2 A firm foundation in discipline
3 A clear and visual presentation of their curriculum
4 A way to present expectations for their curriculum in a clear and logical way
5 Fun and interesting materials
6 Important educational repetition
7 An expectation of greater independence"
(From pg 23 Sue Patrick's Workbox System User's Guide)
Through out the book the emphasis is on SCHOOL and learning in the best possible way for our children. Does this involve fun? YES but fun with a purpose. I have been reading some discussions on a few different yahoo groups and this subject of fun in workboxes is causing burnout to both parents and children.
If you are having trouble filling your boxes and resorting to fun or worksheets to just fill them. Or are you struggling to get through all the work in the boxes? We were for us 12 boxes was just too much. That is why we planned the boxes based on time and what we needed to accomplish each day.
(I have a post here that explains in more detail how we planned the boxes)
Sue allows 4 hours for school work 8:30-12:30. (my oldest is only 9 and so far this time has been ample) So break up your subjects to fit this time and then in the afternoon (other than chores) it is fun time or extra activity time - we go swimming most afternoons in summer, sport with other families, extra art activities, sewing, cooking, the list is endless. For those who are more inclined to natural learning I suggest you find another name for this "school time". Learning never ends but for us this 4 hours is the time we focus on the book work side of school, the formal lessons of maths, writing and reading.
I would like to share another quote from Sue
"Homeschooling is not what we do when we don't have anything else to do. It's not what we do when we're not doing laundry and cooking and cleaning. Homeschooling is what we do first. In order to raise a generation of homeschooled children that are good representatives of what it means to homeschool, we must be committed. It is mission work and it is a full time job. Having it take any less position in your life will be to short change your children and yourself. You have been called to homeschool for a reason, and to do it well and to the best of your ability."
(from pg 51 Sue Patrick's Workbox System User's Guide)
Because of this I have removed all posts on my blog labeled as fun and relabeled them with the real work category they should be :)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for posting this. I want to teach my K-er the principle of "work before play" and this will help. (Not that schoolwork can't be "fun," but I think you know what I mean. :) )