[Note: I wrote this post in June, and was waiting for the start of school to post it here.]
I stumbled across an organizational system online called the workbox system. A mom invented it for her autistic son, but scores of homeschool moms are now using it for their school days with kids of all ages and abilities. Well anything involving bins and school has my attention right away.
I spent a few days reading about this system and daydreaming about doing it in my home. One Saturday, I went to Target and picked up the supplies and today we put the workbox system to the test.
Wow! It is awesome in so many ways. I do realize that I have chosen to implement this on our last week of school. What a dork. Yet I just couldn’t wait and I knew I would drive my girls crazy all summer if I didn’t just try it out.
Here they are:
[I love how you can see our messy table in the mirror. And yes, that is a whiteboard in our living room. We put it on hooks so it would be easy to remove for company. Then we realized that we don’t have anyone that fancy over and we usually end up playing games, so it hasn’t been down since!]
It is the simplest thing ever. Each child has 12 bins (or less if you choose). Before school starts for the day, you fill each bin with one activity. The child starts on bin#1, completes whatever is in it, and then moves onto the next box. Some bins will have a little note, “Do this with mom,” and some will not. Some bins have plain old school work, and some a fun activity.
This appealed to me right away for my 5 year old who can breeze through school in 30 minutes if I am not careful. Then the rest of the day is spent with me trying to keep her occupied while I help sister. The other thing that jumped out at me is that all these moms who blogged about work boxes said that…
They now find time to do all those “extra” things they always want to do in their homeschool day and never find the time for.
Sign me up!
When I first came across this idea, I tried to use a 5 drawer cart I already had. I did this with Soleil and it worked pretty well, but I was loving the idea of 12 whole bins to fill. Then, Coco said she’d like to try it, too. After one day with them both using the bins, I am hooked. I love it, they love it. Sophie got up after I put her to bed tonight because she needed something and I saw her peeking in tomorrow’s boxes with a big old grin on her face!
My only concern was my husband not liking the idea of more school stuff in our living room. When I set them up and showed him how easily we could move them to another room if we have company over, he was fine with them. (I think once I got the whiteboard up in our living room he figured it was a lost cause.)
There are all sorts of ideas out there for these workboxes. The original site is here: Workbox system. I got my racks at Target for $15 and the clear shoe boxes there as well for $1 each. They had really cute baskets that would have worked, but cost twice as much. I was a good girl and got the cheaper ones.
The bins with the numbers I made for them:
Soleil’s are pink, shown here. Coco’s are the green ones above.
Some moms say they worry about not having enough ideas to fill the boxes. I, of course, have the opposite problem. I do have loads of ideas for filling the boxes, and I will be posting those soon.
[Here it is! Filling your workboxes!]
I even made a wish list at Rainbow Resource Center for more activities, and will use any leftover cash in my curriculum budget to buy those. [Note: as I said, I wrote this in June. My curriculum is all bought now and I had a good laugh at my idea of leftover cash. How cute.]
Here are some links to other moms blogging about workboxes.
Leslie Nelsen (She has photos of the box of the exact rack I got at Target)
Walking by the way (Tons of ideas here for filling boxes.)
Sunflower Schoolhouse (Links galore here)
A Mother’s Journal (Uses cereal boxes instead!)
What do you think about workboxes?