Tips For Filling Your Charlotte Mason Workbox
I have found that the Charlotte Mason Workbox is not an oxymoron even though some may think they are contradictory. Workboxes add structure, and you can still use many of Charlotte Mason’s teaching methods within that structure.
Workboxes can seem a little too schoolish for some. But for us I’ve found them a relaxed way of keeping all of our work together.
Here are a few tips for how I adapt some of my Charlotte Mason Ideas to fit in with workboxes.
Living Books In Your Workbox
Charlotte Mason wanted children to use living books and deal with books directly. Using workboxes has meant that I now have a good system for organising the reading schedule in a clear and concise way.
Short Lessons Planning
Charlotte Mason encourages short lessons. As you prepare your workboxes you decide on the duration. I have found short lessons to be very effective in getting homeschooling done. The emphasis is on concentration on the topic and getting the work done well. A focused lesson of 10 to 20 minutes per subject for 5-9 year olds and slightly longer for the older ones is adequate.
“A Natural Reward.––What is the natural consequence of work well and quickly done? Is it not the enjoyment of ampler leisure? The boy is expected to do two right sums in twenty minutes: he does them in ten minutes; the remaining ten minutes are his own, fairly earned, in which he should be free for a scamper in the garden, or any delight he chooses. His writing task is to produce six perfect m’s: he writes six lines with only one good m in each line, the time for the writing lesson is over and he has none for himself; or, he is able to point out six good m’s in his first line, and he has the rest of the time to draw steamboats and railway trains. This possibility of letting the children occupy themselves variously in the few minutes they may gain at the end of each lesson, is compensation which the home schoolroom offers for the zest which the sympathy of numbers, and emulation, are supposed to give to schoolwork.” Charlotte Mason
Variety in Lessons
I order the lessons to encourage concentration and give variety. Giving children a variety of lessons helps them stay interested and focused.
The teacher should have some knowledge of the principles of education; should know what subjects are best fitted for the child considering his age, and how to make these subjects attractive; should know, too, how to vary the lessons, so that each power of the child’s mind should rest after effort, and some other power be called into play.”Charlotte Mason
Setting Up Good Habits
We have lost sight of the fact that habit is to life what rails are to transport cars. It follows that lines of habit must be laid down towards given ends and after careful survey, or the joltings and delays of life become insupportable.
Using workboxes establishes a good educational habit that teaches independence.
Watch My You Tube Video to see how I organise mine.