Workbox Wonders!

Now that the school year is in full swing we are busy, very, very busy.  R is in preschool for a couple of hours a day and having a blast.  P (1st grade) is going to school for language/literacy work for a short time in the morning and then for PE for 25 minutes in the afternoon and D (5th grade) is taking PE, Music and Art in our local public school.  Apart from that we doing all the academic subjects for P and D at home, so we have a really crazy schedule this year (even crazier than I anticipated because D’s 5th grade “specials” schedule was changed).  I have to print out our schedule daily to see who has to be where and at what time.  It all seems to be working out, but since we have so much going on, I have to be extra organized with the homeschool subjects.photo 4

(Cue the music….) Workboxes to the rescue!  The “Workbox System” is a homeschool organization system that was invented by Sue Patrick for teaching her autistic son.  Since then, many, many homeschoolers have used it (special needs or completely typical kids) and there are a million variations on it.  Google “Homeschool Workboxes” and you can see thousand of ideas to inspire you (if not more).

I “tried” workboxes for a while last year, but I used a hanging file system and it really did not help that much since space was very limited for each subject.  This year, we actually bought two shelving units from IKEA (Trofast) and put an old closet door between them as a desk.  What a difference!  The biggest advantages are:

1. For D, he can be more independent.  He has a list with a number by each subject and he can go to the corresponding drawer to find everything he needs.  Subjects that he needs me for are marked “with mom.”

2.  I don’t lose P’s attention while I am gathering the materials for our next assignment.  Last year, by the time I found the iPad, the crayons or whatever I needed, he was gone doing something else and wanting to go back to that for the next ten minutes.  Now it is so fast that we just move to the next thing without losing attention.

I was afraid that I would have to spend hours preparing the workboxes the night before, but honestly it only takes ten minutes or less.  Plus, all completed work gets put in the “All Done” bin and we are not searching around the house for D’s math test, or essay that has disappeared.  Raquel even has her own bin for when she wants to do “homework.”  I do not know why we did not do this sooner!

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