Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Workbox System for homeschool

Here it is in all its glory! Ok, so it really isn't fantastic...well, I think it's fantastic, but you don't have to think so. I have been struggling for years with how to organize the kids schoolwork and we have done some systems that temporarily worked but it never even lasted 3 months. In fact they usually only lasted about 4 weeks (or less) but who's counting? Oh right....I am.

I had heard about workboxes for a few years, and I tried a folder system that mimics the workboxes because I didn't have the money to buy 1 box per subject per kid. It didn't last. I kept forgetting to put worksheets and stuff in the folders and if the subject didn't have a worksheet, but instead they had to read...they wouldn't do it.

So, I finally had a meltdown  told my husband that I NEEDED something that worked for us. I had been struggling for years and now that I have a 5 and 3 yo and they are begging to do school with the older kids and my oldest will be starting highs school soon, I needed the organization. So here it is!!

The 3 orange boxes and 1 green box are my kids Science. They are SRA Science Labs that I got years ago. The top right cubby holds teachers manuals and my binder that has our yearly schedule and other important stuff. All the white bins hold more teachers manuals and manipulatives. I had to hid the lower stuff from my 18 mo old so he wouldn't pull everything off the shelves. The kids chore cards and daily schedules hang on command hooks. I will explain these later in this post.

Each kid has 8 bins that are numbered and color coded. I added the subject labels on them for my info so I don't mess up which bucket I put what in. Depending on the child, buckets # 7 and  #8 are not labeled because they are "floating subjects" or fun bins. Floating subjects means that the subjects that go in them rotate between electives. So one week might be art, the next week music, the next cooking, etc.

I put everything that the kids will need for the week in the buckets. That means, living books, worksheets, textbook, whatever is needed. I even put the teachers manuals for their math in their bins so that if they have a question they can refer to the lesson in the manual. 

I used my silhouette to cut out the circles and colored flower design. I wrote the numbers on them and laminated them. I put the round velcro dots on them and the buckets. The numbers stay on the left until they are done with the subject, then they move the number to the right side of the bucket. That way with a quick glance I can see who has done what.

These are my kids weekly school charts. I modified the weekly schedule I have been using for years and laminated the charts so I could use wet erase markers on them and plan a whole week at a time.

Each card has the subjects listed and I just write the assignment they have. They like having everything split up into days and they know what to do without feeling overwhelmed with a weekly list. I know, I know,  this  is a weekly list because it has Monday through Friday, but they like having each day on an individual sheet. They don't do every subject everyday, and some kids don't even have all the subjects, I just made a master and photocopied it for all of the older kids.

I keep our manipulatives in the buckets on the shelf so we can grab them when we need them. Easy access for the kids and they know where to put them when they are done.

So there you have it! This is helping my kids become more independent and need me less and less which is AWESOME! I mean, I love helping my kids, but when each one individualy wants me to sit next to them and tell them Every. Single. Step. That is not ok with me. I have other kids to take care of and meals to prepare and my chores that need done. This is the FIRST time I actually think my kids feel responsible for their own work and I can see that they feel more accomplished because they are doing it themselves. My only regret is that I didn't start this YEARS ago. Thoughts or comments?! Let me know!

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