Friday, August 1, 2014

Workbox System for our Charlotte Mason Style Homeschool

As I was researching ways to make our homeschooling days run a bit smoother, I came across the idea of using workboxes.  This was such a great idea!  But, I do not have the budget or space to have a huge rolly cart with drawers for each subject, and one cart for every one of my children.  Still, I was intrigued by the idea of having the kids be accountable for what they need to complete for the day.  So, the search continued!

I kept looking into different examples of workboxes and finally was inspired to come up with my own way of utilizing the workbox system in a way that would fit our needs and our budget.  We have used this system in the last few weeks of school last year and our days did run smoother, the kids enjoyed it, and I did not have to dictate every single thing they needed to do throughout the day.  It has kept them on task and instead of me feeling like I am running a three ring circus.  I know they are doing what they are supposed be doing and I am enjoying their ability to work together and take charge of their school day.

So, in each file I put the work that needs to be done at that time along with a post-it of the specifics.  For example, "Read one chapter then narrate to Mom.", or "Read one chapter as a family."

If we have to do things as a family, the kids know to communicate with each other to see how long they will be so that they can do their family readings together.  If they need me for dictation or narration, they would wait until I am done with their sibling, or move on to something in their box that they can do independently.

Our number grid has 16 spots and I make sure that ALL of them are filled!  This is not only for school work, as we don't go through that many subjects a day, but this also includes chores, educational game time, music practice, computer time, hadicraft time, anything you want them to do throughout the day.

In the evening time or early morning, I will fill the crates in the order in which I want the subjects to go through the day.  I use my CM style Weekly Schedule along with my lesson plans for the day and it only takes a few minutes to set up the day's work for the kids.  Then it's set-it and forget-it!  The kids know to go through all their numbers and I can see what they have done and what needs to be done.  Also, saves me from them constantly asking what they need to do next.

Here is the breakdown of how I put together the box:

Crate - These I had just laying around the house
Hanging File Folders - I found a huge pack of these at the thrift store.
Velcro Dots - I found a 16 pack of these at our 99 cents store.
Hooks for Number Grid - I also found these at the 99 cents store
Pencil Holders - The ones that I used are from IKEA, I bought them years ago and never used them
Number Grid - FREE printable here. I didn't use all the days of the week, I only printed one per child
Numbers - FREE printable here, but it only goes up to 12, so I hand wrote the rest.

I laminated the number grid and numbers, but it could also work if you print them on cardstock.

I have uploaded a video on my YouTube channel, walking you through the workbox system. Please like, comment and subscribe of you found it useful!