So here are some pictures of us putting our boxes together. The boys were SO VERY EXCITED. In fact Otto, 6, announced to me for two days after with pouty lips that he wished that our workboxes were not put together so we could put them together again. :)
They were so excited! HERE is a link to our cart.
Otto was staring at the instruction sheet and telling me how to do it. I had to giggle because the instructions told me to put the wheels on before the sides were assembled. I didn't want to deal with the instability of wheels while trying to make a square cart. I could see no reason for this order in the steps and so I was able to teach my very concrete minded son that sometimes you don't HAVE to do it EXACTLY the way others tell us it has to be done. He was initially skeptical but eventually said "Well, I guess you are right mom, but you really OUGHT to do what people tell you to do." giggle
Here is Abram turning the key to tighten the screws.
Here is our super serious big brother showing him how it is REALLY done.
These bottom thingies are NEVER COMING OUT. For some time I thought they were NEVER going to go IN until I channeled my inner HE-WOMAN and muscled them all the way in! OY, these babys are definitely NOT falling out when we lift the cabinet up!
Here it is all the way in.
This is Otto putting the knobs onto the drawer. I think the knobs are my only disappointment about this sturdy unit. The entire cabinet is SO STURDY yet the one part we will use the most is a super light plastic coated in a silvery plastic overlay. They attach just like cabinet handles (the knob screws onto a screw that goes through a hole from the inside) so if they end up breaking I will likely just invest in some simple cabinet door handles).
As you can see, we wasted no time before moving in. :)
Like a typical homeschooling mom, I'VE TWEAKED THE SYSTEM to work best for us at this time. :)
We have group time and I have a lot of little books that I carry around for that time. I need to work on a Group Time Activity Board but for now I have a "Group Time PILE." Thanks to these lovely boxes I now have a place to put my pile!
So drawer #1 = Group Time stuff.
Drawer's #2-6 are for Otto. I have made him cards numbering 1-6 to tell him what boxes we will be working out of for the day and in what order. He's always a bit bummed to see Reading is usually up at the top as he'd rather that be at the bottom where we might not "get to it."
Drawers #7-10 are designated for Abram my preschooler. I am seeking out easy to do activities (that require minimal/no printing and little to no prep by me) to fill these boxes with. Right now this guy doesn't really seem to *get* what his boxes are REALLY about but he knows that they are HIS and that makes him very happy.
So here is our chart. The white is removable cardstock that is now velcro'd onto both the chart and onto the drawers. It's hard to see in the picture but the bottom 1, 2, 3 have Abram's name on it to help him remember which drawers are his.
The other tweak about my system is that I don't use every drawer every day AND most days there is one or two drawers that is holding our books that we will NOT USE that day (see drawer 5, 6 in the picture).
An example is that I do not do history everyday but really wanted our Story of the World book and memory cards out of our living space. They rest in a drawer and if I have scheduled history for that day I move it up and give it a number. My son has learned that he only has to work on the drawers that have numbers on them.
I also have invented the QUESTION MARK. Well, you know, not the ACTUAL punctuation mark, but a workbox card with THE QUESTION MARK on it! :) I don't have a picture for you at this time. (I know, how horrible!) It is basically a white square the size of the number squares with a question mark drawn on it. I put this on the last drawer or two if I think we might run out of time (or ooomph) to do that activity. I am getting a feel for how much work we can accomplish. Before the workboxes I tended to write down 3 times as much as we could accomplish in Monday and Tuesday and then whatever we didn't get to we would just keep moving over to the rest of the week. It was like a 5 day plan in two spaces. Old habits are hard to break and this question mark gives me wiggle room. :)
I am loving this system SO MUCH. I need to get better at remembering to stock the drawers the night before. So far I have quickly restocked the drawers while Otto is outside gathering eggs. Hey, whatever works, right??
Later today or tomorrow I will be posting another workbox post full of links. I did not go into what workboxes actually are and how others do them, here. This post was mostly just show and tell of what I found, how we put it together and how we are using it. My next workbox post will have a ton of links to help you better understand what workboxes are and how others use them.