When it comes to operating my daycare, I spend a lot of time postulating on existing issues. I try to look at the issue and observe it from all angles. That is what I’ve been doing in the past 24 hrs since yesterday’s post. [issues supporting babies needs while developing a preschool curriculum.] I want to give the babies all the attention they deserve, but I do not want to comprimise on the preschool curriculum. I found an idea on Pinterest, and I think I am going to run with it. A trend right now in Homeschooling environments is to incorporate a “work box” curriculum (Designed by Sue Patrick.)
Although a Licensed Family Daycare is not a “homeschool”, in many aspects both programs face the same issues, namely: How to mee the educational needs of varied age children. Since I am not comfortable with pushing the curriculum to the wayside as I gain the babies confidence in the first few weeks, I am going to incorporate a daycare “friendly” version of the workbox system.
Isn’t this just so pretty in all it’s potential??
I am going to utilize the workboxes during times of the day that are normally scheduled “teaching times” for the preschoolers. I will use them when I am detained with the little babies. (you know..feeding, changing, loving, etc) I feel like the independent nature of the workbox will provide strucutred learning during my regularily scheduled “teaching times”, and still allow me to have control over the activity (by preparing what goes into each box, and observing the children’s progress).
I feel that if my daycare kiddos are allowed too long of duration in their free play; without some form of guidance from me, the play has a tendency to become “destructive” in nature. (the kids can’t find direction so they make poorer choices, conflicts occur more frequently with friends, “run” around alot, etc.). I view Work boxes as becoming a viable answer. I can intercept & even avoid the destructive tendancy of elongated free play by offering workboxes after a duration of time.
The best part about it for me, is I do not have to have it scheduled, when an issue arises that will take my attention away from the group for a time…I can direct the children to work on their workboxes! (Even if I only need them to be busy for 5-10 minutes!) So, essentially, this is not the traditional operation of the program…but modified for our family daycare specific needs. (Which, is obviously the appeal to the whole thing).
Family Providers out there starting to see the appeal??? So what to put in them???
I am going to try to cover all the basic “topics” I would cover in my lesson plan: Science, Math, Art, Language, Fine Motor, Sensory, Music, Spanish. Again, with the intent being to supplement my curriculum: I will designate a box to each subject, and change the contents as needed. (In traditional workboxes they are changed each day).
I am not going to change them daily because I do not forsee myself ulitilizing them every day, and each child will not get to all the contents in one day. I am only going to have one system, and all the children will take turns with the boxes, rather than having a box system for every individual child. To keep track of each individual child’s progress, I will give them a name card, with the numbers on them.
Sort of like this one:)
Instead of placing number circles on the line when completed, which is the traditional format, I am creating an option that I believe will be more pre-school friendly. (They will place an “All Done” circle over the number they completed, leaving only the numbers of workboxes left visable to them. )
Sounds like fun?? Ready, set “work box!”
I would love to hear your thoughts on how to implement this in a classroom setting, and/or suggestions for my little group!