Between the excitement of the sale (expounded by the fact that I had a $40 gift card) and the fact that our co-op had registration yesterday, I didn't get to post my blog. I am one of the coordinators at co-op so I spent a good portion of the morning there (all though, to be honest, all I did was chat with the other ladies) and then I spent my afternoon running errands and shopping. When I got home I set up my new system and had no time for blogging! In fact, I am so excited about it that I am moving my organization blog to today so I can share it with you all (well, also, Bella hasn't quite finished her art project, hopefully she will finish it tonight. Not a difficult project, but a little more time consuming than I had anticipated). So, without further ado, my homeschool workboxes:
First, the before picture. Until yesterday I had emptied out my crafting drawers. There were still only 5 drawers (one drawer had crafts in it still) and the kids had to share them, each using half a drawer. Some of the subjects were combined. This was not a big deal for Alex, his still are, but made things harder for Bella. She works better if things are broken up into smaller segments. It wasn't the best system, but even this rinky-dink workbox system did wonders for the efficiency of our classroom. I would rather have it than no system at all!
I still have one of those sets of large drawers (the one with the printer on it) but now it can go back to it's original purpose of helping me to organize some of the kids crafts. We have a ton! Here is what our workspace looks like now:
I traded the other large drawers with this set of small plastic drawers from my daughter's room. She needed more storage, I needed something that fit in my space. Alex will be using the three drawer box for now. If you ask him why, he will tell you it is because he is 3. Everything must be in 3's for him lately. It is the magic number, you know. His drawer theme is Star Wars, and all I did was tape the numbers on. At this stage he really works his drawers in what ever order he wants in between the stuff he does with his sister and I.
The newest edition is Bella's drawers. We got these lovely specimens for only $30 and I am quite happy. I got all of the numbers from the files in my workbox group on yahoo.
There is a link if you want to join. Bella's numbers have different animals on them that almost look like Littlest Pet Shop. They were from a file called "Little Girl Numbers." I laminated all of my numbers first with my handy dandy Scotch Thermal Laminator (best investment ever) and then I taped the numbers on.
On the opposite side I attached Velcro squares so that I could add squares that say things like "snack, work with mom, science center, art, computer time, etc." for when the job is with me or when it is something that doesn't fit in the workbox. Right now our science center involves a fish tank. No work box could hold that.
I got all of these labels from
To be even more specific, here is the link to the exact workbox page: Confession of a Homeschooler Workboxes
I also have a little bag for all of the cards not in use and I plan on attaching it to the cart with a binder ring this week. In addition to the cards for me to use there are cards that say "help please" for Bella to set on my desk when she needs help that way she doesn't interrupt me if I am on the phone or busy. There are also "bathroom break cards" for younger kids. These are intended to be put on the Velcro so they know when to go to the bathroom, but for Bella these are some of her cards to put on my desk when she goes to the bathroom that way I know where she is. She may have a tendency to try and disappear for long periods of time and I am hoping this will help keep a better tab on her. I am not making her ask permission or anything, just having her put the card on my desk before she goes so when I think "where is Bella?" I will see the card and know. (Right now the answer is usually "in her brother's room poking him with a light saber."
Another good page with information and print outs for workboxes is Home School Creations. That particular blog even has ideas for using folders instead for those of you who don't want to invest the money or space in actual physical boxes. The workbox is more a concept than a physical box is what I am coming to learn. I have seen work shelves, work accordion files, work binders, work pouches that hang on the wall. There are a million ideas out there. If you really want to try this system, there is one that will suit you and your family, and there are people who are willing to help you to create it, I promise!
Do you have a non-traditional workbox? I would love to hear about it! I have several friends who don't have the space for workboxes