Homeschooling with Workboxes

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On Friday I talked about my new File Crate System for staying organized. I so excited about that!


Well, I have a new way of doing things for our homeschool, too – Workboxes. Apparently this new craze began this past spring, but as we are winding down our homeschool each year, I am just getting cranked up for Campmeeting which takes all of my attention in the Spring, so I missed this one! If you are like me and have not heard about the Workbox system, you can purchase the e-book over at CurrClick. I did not purchase the book because after reading here, here, and here I decided to make my own “system” which may very well be inferior to the actual Workbox system, but I am very excited about it and I think my own version will benefit our family very well.

The original system was developed by a homeschooling mom, Sue Patrick, for her autistic child. She has specific reasons for doing things the way she did them, so you may really want to read her book to discover all of her reasonings and techniques.

The original system has a shelving unit and 12 clear plastic “shoeboxes” for each child. I thought about that, but honestly 12 boxes x 4 girls… I have no room as it is! In the past I have used one large plastic drawer labeled with each child’s name for them to keep their personal school stuff in. Well, this year, just like my new file crate system, I purchased 4 more file crates – 2 pale ink and 2 lime green from Wal-Mart at $5.00 a piece. I bought 2 boxes of hanging folders (25 folders per box) at about $7.50 each. I placed 12 folders in each child’s crate and labeled them 1 – 12.

Each evening before bed or perhaps in the afternoon after school has been completed each day, I will fill each file folder with a new assignment for the next day. The twelve folders will have a different lesson or activity in a different order each day. I plan to add in some fun activities and mix it up so the girls have a surprise and something to look forward to each day. Each folder will be a surprise. They won’t get to look in the folders until it is time to do the lesson.

For lessons where the girls share a book, I am laminating 4 x 6 cards decorated and printed with the name of the book. Then, I will place those lessons in alternating folders so they don’t have the same lesson at the same time. All four of the girls are excited about this new system. I am thinking that this new system will help keep my children focused on the task at hand and encourage them to work through their lessons without much prodding.

There is a Yahoo! Group that you can join to discuss with other moms creative ideas about what to place in your workboxes. And as Amy said, this is the perfect opportunity to use all those fun homeschool “extras” that you have around the house that never got used in the past because you didn’t have time.

In the back of our “work box crates” the girls will keep their binders with their pencil holders, and their clip boards . This way, they have most of their supplies right at hand. They can carry their crates over to set next to their chairs at the table (or sofa) and work efficiently through their assignments.

Some of the ideas I have for extra goodies in our workboxes:

– recipes – Emily wants to learn how to make my Sweet Sourdough Bread, so one of her first fun assignments will be to learn to bake the bread!

– watercolors

– nature journaling

– a card telling the kids to go play outside for 30 minutes

– a card telling the kids to go on a walk with mom

– games

– fun worksheets

– crafts

– mad libs

– sewing projects

– playdough

– garden seeds in the Spring

– movie time

– story prompts

– flash cards

– Leap Pad

– Draw Write Now

– library books

– one on one time with mom

– paper toys

– paper dolls

– audio books

– lapbooks

– unit study materials

– holiday activities

– post cards to write to friends/ family

– Pathfinder Club home work

Oh! And if you hop on over to Homeschool Share, you will find lots of new “workboxables” to print out and use in your own program!

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    1. Maria, the numbers are just the order - so the girls would do #1 first and so on, completely each of the days assignments in order. Hope that helps! Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope to see you again soon. :)

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