One of our school books is the original story Cheaper by the Dozen. In the book, the father is an efficiency engineer. As I read about his stop watch and silly antics trying to get everyone dressed or fed or out to the car faster and more efficiently each time, I smile to myself. I love this man!
I do love me some efficiency!
I'm therefore always looking for ways to do school in a "more better" way. Not to rush through it, but to just cover the same ground in a wise way.
One change I've made this year was by giving each "student" a box of their own for their daily work. I have read about this for years, as many homeschoolers do it but I just couldn't figure out why I'd need boxes/crates when I had a school cabinet. It was neater to keep all the books lined up on the shelf, that's true.
However, as I am now doing three cores (Sonlight's word for one year's worth of instruction) plus some Pre K books for Jaika, my beloved school cabinet is overflowing. More space is a plus, but that's not why I started the crate thing. I have been reading about workboxes, but I just can't justify the expense or space needed for this system.
So, my adaptation works like this: I found some $3 tubs at Wal-Mart near the dish drainers. One for each schooling girl and one for me. In the girls' tubs is all they need to complete one school day, and any extras I want them to do. Oh, and sometimes there's a treat like a snack or a game included. I write things like practice piano, jump rope, watch the Schoolhouse Rock DVD etc. on note cards and drop them among their books. Mine contains teacher stuff: manuals, stickers, and my wonderful red pen.
Why is this good?
They can visually see what work is expected each day.
They enjoy the variety of extras we're now getting to.
They like to know what's next-now it's all right in their box.
It's portable, so they can take it to the front porch swing, their bedroom, or even to Grandma's if needed.
All of this adds up to more motivation and school seems to be going smoother and faster. Love it!