Earlier this year, I wrote a post about how we use workboxes to organize our homeschool, but today I wanted to explain a bit about how we set up our system. If you’ve read about the workbox system, it can sound a little overwhelming. (At least it did for me.)
Some homeschoolers recommend using a different workbox for each subject. Since we have four kids (three that are currently schooling), I was looking at 24 workboxes or more. Unfortunately, we have neither the room nor the money for that kind of setup. So, I decided to go about using the workbox system in a much more affordable (read: cheap) way.
Here’s a look at the simple way we use the workbox system in our homeschool!
Use inexpensive items.
I use clear shoeboxes for our kids’ workboxes. They’re inexpensive, see-through, and easy to stack inside our bookcase. Generally, getting a look at what’s inside the boxes helps the kids get excited for what they’ll be doing that day.
I don’t separate our workboxes by subject. I just stick everything they’ll do in each box. Tigger has a box, Pooh has a box, and Roo has a box. Piglet, who is 22 months old, has her own box, but I don’t let her go through it on her own just yet.
To organize the assignments, I printed the free workbox activity cards from Homeschool Creations, laminated them, and then stuck them on the side of each box with Velcro sticky back coins. That way, the kids can see what subjects they’ll be using the workboxes for.
When we first started with the workbox system, I knew it would take a little time for the kids to adjust. Prior to that, I had always assigned their work and they had come to rely on me giving explicit directions for each subject. Using workboxes, though, meant that they would be assuming some of the responsibility for their work. That’s a great thing, but it was very new for them.
To ease into the system, I started by giving them a few items or assignments a couple of days a week. For example, Tigger would have one worksheet for Language Arts, one worksheet for Math, and one worksheet for Reading. Over time, though, she adjusted to completing her work and I increased the amount of work I gave her. Now I have very little trouble giving her a lengthy assignment.
For Pooh and Roo, I started with one worksheet each. Pooh would get an early reading activity and Roo would get a coloring page. Now they each do several activities on their own that are adapted for their age and grade level.
Have you tried the workbox system? Did you like it? Let us know how you use workboxes in your homeschool!