Adventures in Workboxes

I haven't updated much about our homeschooling journey this week, you're going to see quite a few posts on that subject - starting today with our Adventures in Workboxes!

I've been reading a lot about workboxes and how to implement them within your homeschool setting. When I initially heard about them I thought they sounded interesting but was a little intimidated because when I get interested in something I tend to just dive full in and try to do everything. Not always a good quality but it has advantages sometimes too.
Anyway, I started reading up on workboxes. If you don't know anything about them, I found this page on Squidoo to be very helpful: Working the Workboxes. It gives a good overview of how workboxes are used, what to put in them, the different ways people have implemented them and so on. To quote from the Squidoo page, workboxes are "an organizational system used with any curriculum that helps foster independent work habits and a well-structured school day." With this system, you have a certain number of boxes (or folders, crates, etc.) for each subject or activity the child will be working on each day and a schedule strip that tells the order they need to be done in and/or additional things that need to be done. Confused? How about some pictures to help:

These are our workboxes. We did deviate a bit from the original idea but that's the beauty of this system - you can do what you want to make it work for you. I got two of these plastic see-through boxes at Wal-Mart, one for each child. (I thought the big group of boxes would be a bit much for the kids and I didn't want to have to try & find space for a giant stack of them, lol.)

These are the tags for our schedule strips - I got them from Homeschool Creations. I liked these ones because they're very visual and they included a lot of different activities, like going for a walk, clean-up, puzzle, math game, piano, etc. in addition to all the regular subjects. They also included times which you can see on the right-hand side of the picture.

This is Zeke's box. Each night, I'm going to take out the things we did that day and put in just what is needed for the next day. For example, he currently has in there - his science and history books, his daily handwriting worksheet, his math manipulatives and time/clock worksheet, his Bible lesson, his social studies packet, his reading book and something fun for when he's all done. He has a grid for each day of the week that I put on a ring to keep all together. I had sticky-backed Velcro stickers I used to stick his tags on with. I just stuck a few on so you could see how it'll be set up - as he finishes each thing, he can take it off. I think this will really help us to manage our time better and it'll make school more fun for the kids. They won't get overwhelmed seeing giant piles of worksheets, books and activities - it'll just be a small group of things in a box to get accomplished.

This is Ellie's box. I knew I couldn't do something for Zeke and not include her so she has her own box as well. It currently has in it - a puzzle, a folder with different coloring and activity sheets, foam letters, some of Zeke's math manipulatives and stickers. I also made her a grid on a ring but hers is smaller and doesn't have days of the week since she doesn't have set things to do each day.

Today was our first day to use the boxes and they worked out pretty well!

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