Reworking Workboxes to Work for You

Workboxes are a fantastic homeschooling innovation, but like any idea, what works for one family may not work for another.

While the concept of workboxes intrigued me, I was hard-pressed to figure out a way to make them work for a family our size.  That is, until I ran across this post on another blog.

I took her ideas and reworked them into something that has revolutionized our homeschool! Here’s a taste of what that reworking of workboxes looks like for our family:

Each child has a black crate with their name on it. The crate contains their books, their pencil box, and a folder with each subject velcroed to it.

The preschooler’s crate has 1 coloring book and his pencil box which contains washable markers, 2 fat pencils, crayons, glue stick, and preschool scissors.

The kindergartner’s crate contains her folder with 1 math sheet and 1 handwriting sheet tucked inside, her reading book (Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons), and her pencil box with the same contents as the preschooler’s.

The older children’s folders contain their assignment sheets for each subject.  Their books and pencil cases fit neatly in the crate as well.

On the outside of each folder there are velcro tabs corresponding to each subject the child studies as well as tabs for their morning chores and weekly chores.  The kindergartner’s folder looks like this:

AM CHORES, CHORES, MATH, HANDWRITING, PHONICS

As the children complete each tab, they move the velcro tab from the outside of their folder to a chart on the pantry door.

Checked off assignment sheets and completed worksheets go back in the folder and the folder goes into the COMPLETED box where I can check them and reload them each night.

We’ve also added a tab for piano lessons and Scouts.

I hope reading how our family has taken a great homeschooling idea and reworked it to work for us encourages you to take an idea and make it your own by tweaking it to fit the unique circumstances of your family.

Amy can be found writing at Raising Arrows.

Comments

  1. We have reworked the workbox system for us also. We use this hanging organizer I got from Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Educational-Insights-Classroom-Organization-Center/dp/B000LLEA5Y/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=baby-products&qid=1269526689&sr=8-2

    Love it, it has 12 pockets and fits all of our work for the day. Completed work goes into a box on a shelf for me to check as I have time.
    .-= Cara´s last blog ..Our new house and other ramblings… =-.

  2. I enjoy seeing how each individual takes an idea and makes it work for their family. I keep kicking around the idea of workboxes, but haven’t taken the plunge yet.

    Cara,
    I really like the idea of using the hanging organizers! We have no floor space, but those would fit in our hallway. Hmm…
    .-= Renae´s last blog ..Small House Homeschooling =-.

    • Renae,
      Those are my thoughts exactly. I fantasize about the organization, but haven’t committed to implementing it yet. =)

  3. We use the very same thing Cara uses – The hanging “pocket” system. It works fantastic for us! We wrote about how we tweaked the workbox system for us here: http://nogginsandnonsense.blogspot.com/2009/10/work-boxes-to-work-pockets.html

    Isn’t that one of the beauties of homeschooling? to be able to tweak things to make them work for you ☺
    .-= Dana♥´s last blog ..Being a GOOD STEWARD of my TIME =-.

  4. lea helmerich says:

    what a fabulous idea! i used to really
    struggle with the organization of home
    schooling.

    your kids must feel a nice sense of
    accomplishment to put the velcro
    stickers to show completion.

    blessings,
    lea

  5. Thanks for posting this.
    I do not have a large family but our dilemma is space. I have actually been using the hanging folders in a portable file box since the beginning of this school year. Ever since the workboxes hit the scene, I knew there was a way for me to work this system in without using the large shoe rack. The file box works for us. Thanks again for informing others of this.
    .-= Mama Bear´s last blog ..DICE in your homeschool =-.

  6. Hi,
    I like this concept but how did it work for your older kids< Did they take to it as well???

    Lois
    .-= Lois of HisFireKids´s last blog ..PTAM Joining the Ultimate Blog Party 2010 =-.

  7. I’m so intimidated by the workbox system, but I hope to be able to manipulate it to fit our family’s needs next year when I’m homeschooling two!

  8. Thanks for this post; we’re just starting to implement workboxes and this was really helpful.

  9. Now if I can just figure out a way to adapt workboxes for my tutoring supplies and my dog training paraphanalia! Great post and ideas!

  10. I love the workbox system. We have been using it for almost 2 years now and it has made a huge differece in my daughter’s attitude toward school. My son loves it too. I basically use the laundry shelf with the 12 clear shoeboxes but when the work is done, the box just gets turned around on the shelf and a red smile face shows that the box is complete. I once read that someone used cereal boxes on a shelf for this system and you could use an expanding file folder too. So many possibilities!

    Terri

  11. Having only homeschooled with workboxes, I can’t compare it to homeschooling without, but I knew when I started this journey that I needed a way to organize it all. Workboxes have helped me keep everyone’s everything organized. I use 3 3-drawer organizers ( http://www.walmart.com/ip/Sterilite-3-Drawer-Wide-Organizer-Set-of-3/10877954 ) for each big kid (5th and 6th grade) and 2 of them for the smaller kids (1st grade and preschool). I don’t have any for the toddler, but he has low shelves for his activities. I can keep their workbooks, textbooks, some art supplies, etc in there. Love it!

  12. This is great! I’ve been trying to figure out how I can organize and get into schooling my 3 yr old before she starts Kindergarten next year. I love the “What I did Today” idea about the completed stuff.

  13. Like the idea, but what do you do with all the loose papers from each child?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] 8. Reworking Workboxes to Work for You [...]

  2. Making Homeschool Workboxes Fit Your Family | Growing Up Homeschooled says:

    [...] dedicate an entire bookcase to each child. In those instances, perhaps file crates like they use at The Homeschool Classroom would be more appropriate or the manila envelope system at Crooked Creek Farm Girl might be a good [...]

  3. Organize for School In A Small Space says:

    [...] Each boy at our house has his own “school box”.  I have arranged subjects by file folders and fill them with each days school work.  It’s a modified version of the work box system – and you can find more about it at The Homeschool Classroom. [...]