Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I finally got to show off all my WorkVelcro handiness to our TORCH group last week and decided it's time to do the obligatory blog post as well.  I came up with this system whilst laying in bed pregnant all Summer, trying to figure out how to keep nine schooling kids occupied enough that I could sleep in with what was soon to be a nursing newborn.  It started in my mind as a pile of index cards stuffed into those little cardboard library card holder thingys and taped generously to the front of their schoolwork boxes.  The more I tossed and turned over it, I was able to eventually develop the idea into its current incarnation.  Once I had the idea up and moving I discovered this thing called Work Boxes.  It's a remarkably similar system but I decided to stick with mine for a number of reasons, mostly due to the sheer number of creatures I school on a daily basis. 

So here's how WorkVelcro works - I think most of these are of Philip's cards.

Each kid has two index card holders in their schoolwork box (I got these at the Dollar Store)- one holder for storing all the possible cards they could use and one for storing the day's active working cards.

Each evening before I plan to use the system, I move the cards they are going to need for the day from their storage holder to their working holder.  Before they go into the working holder they have a number attached to each card which tells them the order in which to do their cards.  The numbers are stored on this chart - the letters represent the child's first name to avoid confusion about whose cards are whose.  
As they work through the cards, they pull off the number and replace it on the chart.  This is so first of all I can see how much of their work they have completed at any given point in the day, and it also resets the numbers for the next time the system is used.

The main reason I implemented this system was to utilize all the fun educational resources I've collected that otherwise sat unused in my school cabinet.  Their cards may have such activities as:

Play a Game (alone or with a few sibs - will be assigned)
Play a Computer game (specific games are assigned along with this card)
Ride scooter (this is a therapeutic goal for several of them - many of the cards incorporate therapeutic activities as well)
LeapPad or Leapster
Various types of Math drills - Flashmaster, flashcards, math games, etc
Wii (we've been using Wii fit Balance games to meet therapeutic goals)
Read chapter books or history books
Cooking task
Brain Gym
Read to a younger
Math assignments

If a task card is included which involves a larger item then that item can be found on this shelf with the child's initial velcro'd to the item so they know which ones has been assigned to them.  They use the item and replace it on the shelf as is.  If they are assigned to play a game with another child and that child is not yet ready, they are instructed to keep going through their additional cards until they can come back to the shared activity.

And that's it.  Putting together the laminated task cards was the most time-consuming aspect of putting this into effect.  I think daily of more cards I could add to the system and will continue to mix in more activities.  The kids *love* this.  I don't get the cards ready every day and I don't expect myself to.  If we do the cards 2 or 3 days a week then I've had a good week with the system. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I have a 5 year old who totally gets money.  I've never had one of those before.  It was fun listening to him talk to Adora this morning who was totally unprepared for a 5 year old to actually know what he was talking about when he has a fiver and some change in his possession.

Adora, I have six dollars and five cents.

You do?

Yeah.  I have a dollar and five cents.


I have five dollars.


I have a hundred and five cents.

You do?

Yeah and I have five dollars.


So I have six dollars and five cents.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Faith - Eight Months

She's grooving much more on those wipes than the turtle this time around...

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Philip has some trouble forming sentences and hearing what he's said or written.  Currently he has a very difficult assignment, then.  He is doing a "research" report on Amerigo Vespucci and I asked him to write down five new things he had learned about Amerigo in complete sentences - must start with a capital, end with punctuation and have a noun and an action word.  Once he wrote his sentences, I asked him to read them aloud to Betsy since he can't see if they are lacking without hearing them in action.  He turned in his paper and this sentence apparently made perfect sense to him:   Amerigo to school.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Bright Monday

Bright Monday liturgy was followed by an egg hunt for the kids.  Thanks Pani Chris for the fun hunt!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Resurrection Nerf Battle

So...after staying up all night for Liturgy, gorging ourselves at the Paschal Feast, sleeping for a few hours and then hunting down baskets in our own yard it was off to Aunt Great's house for an epic nerf battle and egg hunt for the wee ones.  Adults v Kids.  3 eggs per team.  Get all the eggs on your side to win. GO!
The kids won....of course....Meanwhile Maegan and her friend Sarah occupied the little ones with an egg hunt where everyone won...of course...

Hunting Down Easter

Another successful and way fun Easter Basket Scavenger Hunt.  We started this tradition last  year and the kids liked it so much we did it again but modified it a bit.  We repeated the idea of picture clues printed out on the printer in black and white but this time they found their baskets along the way instead of all of them in one spot at the end and the boundaries were expanded into some of the neighbors' yards which meant a bit of traipsing up and down the street. We had a couple of mix-ups with climbing the wrong tree due to Hunt Master error and searching the wrong picnic table due to Hunter Reader error. The older ones had a bit more....challenging basket recovery while the younger ones retrieved their baskets early on and made short order of the contents.