Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Benefit of Using Workbooks

I have not always been a fan of workbooks.

I usually try to avoid using them.

I prefer for our learning to be hands-on and fun but my boys were asking for book work.

Then there are days like today when I am reminded of why there are days when we just love our workbooks!  



While they aren't always the best lessons, or the most exciting, they do give us a certain bit of freedom.

1.  We can take our schoolwork with us! We did a small bit of school while in the car today.

The boys had karate class and then we headed out to lunch with my mom.  We spent the entire afternoon visiting with her, my sister, and my niece.  It was nice and relaxing and both Ian and Evan had a great time playing with my niece.  She's a year and a half old so they built towers out of cardboard stacking blocks and let her knock them down.  Then they tried to teach her some new phrases and words.  They all had so much fun.

Knowing we were going to have a really relaxed day I had asked the boys to bring some schoolwork with them in the car.

2. Workbooks are great for some quick and easily tackled self- guided learning.  Often my boys can flip through and find pages that they can completely all on their own just following the one or two examples on the page.  They don't need me to teach them a lesson if they pick up the concept on their own.

Evan worked on two pages in his math book comparing numbers using the greater than/ less than sign.  He also completed a page in his Star Wars reading book filling in gl- sl- and a few other consonant blend chunks to the beginning of words.  He only had a hard time with a few of the pictures that he didn't know.

3.  It is a way for both the boys and I to evaluate what areas they still need to work on.  Having them work independently shows us all what skills are still in progress and what skills they have mastered.

4.  They can choose what skills to work on.  I do not make my boys work on the pages in their book in order; they are allowed to flip through and pick two pages they'd like to work on.  Ian chooses to go in order while Alec enjoys picking ones that look interesting.

The older boys finished up their math work.  Ian worked on two pages in his measurement book measuring to the nearest 1/4 of an inch and the nearest 1/2 inch.  Alec ended up working on a page with rounding money to the nearest dollar, 10 dollars, and hundred dollars.  He also picked out a page on area to do.  He's really enjoying area and perimeter.  He has stumbled across them on Khan Academy a few times and really enjoys those kinds of problems.

Our math workbooks (and Evan's reading) 
5.  They can find their own time to work.  If I'm teaching a lesson I usually have the boys all working on the same subject at the same time.  With workbooks, they can decide what they want to work on and when works best for them.  Alec prefers to save math for last and read first since he just loves reading.  Ian prefers to get math over with first and then tackle reading later.  With independent workbooks they can do that.

6.  They can see their progress.  They enjoy looking back and seeing how much they've learned over the course of the year.  They like knowing when they have completed a workbook because it gives them a sense of accomplishment.

7.  Fun pictures and characters make the work fun too.  My boys swear that they enjoy workbook pages and I've noticed those that have fun pictures or characters actually have my boys asking to do them.  They truly enjoy them; something I find a little odd but I'm starting to appreciate them more and more.

8.  Workbooks ensure that we're not forgetting any topics.  While I don't love workbooks they have been great at reminding me of all the various topics I need to make sure I'm covering with my boys.  I'm pretty sure there are some math lessons I would not have remembered to teach them at all if I had not had them asking questions about certain workbook pages.

9. All three of my boys like to see their day's work at a glance.  They like to know that they just need to complete two pages in their math books, a page or two in spelling, and work on some reading.  They prefer to see their wok laid out in advance and then they work through it all methodically checking each item off the list they have going in their head.  Workbooks allow them to do that (though we still have many days with hands on projects!)

10. Workbooks give my boys confidence.  They just don't seem to think we've learned anything until they can complete a workbook page on it and get 99% of the problems right. Seeing that they have learned, that they do understand, and that they're doing well gives them confidence in what they've learned.

 With schoolwork done by the time we reached my mother's house we were free to enjoy our day.

 There are times when workbooks are extremely beneficial to us and today was one of those times.  I really am trying to embrace the workbooks since they seem like such a good fit for my sons.

Linking Up With: Top 10 Tuesday,
Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling


Smart Mom Smart Ideas




“Mrs.AOK,

6 comments :

  1. We are finishing up our box curriculum then going unschooled-delight directed...I don't know if I will miss workbooks😉...found you on the Homeschool Nook party!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I usually don't at all. We were delight directed/ unschooling based for so long but my kids were asking and begging for them.... guess that goes along with it!

      Delete
  2. Workbooks are a tool. It sounds like you're using them as such instead of letting them control you like I did for many years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, exactly. I suppose all those years of using workbooks in public school turned me off to them but they can be a great tool and who am I to tell my boys they can't use them?

      Delete
  3. These are wonderful reasons to include workbooks! I like the on the go option. I have done this so many times so we can still have a homeschool day on those busy days! Thanks for sharing and hope you have a great day :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! We often school on the go.

      Delete