If you followed my previous blog, you may remember that I tried the whole "Sue Patrick Workbox System" craze last year. I'm such a rule-follower, that it never occurred to me to *tweak* the idea to make it work for us, until I started seeing that other people were successfully using Sue's idea, but making it work for their indiviual needs. I rushed out and bought 12 of the traditional plastic shoeboxes, knowing full well that our books would never fit and my OCD nature would have me in fits that I couldn't keep them looking tidy.
And at the time, we really didn't have room for them - we were doing our lessons in our breakfast area in our kitchen. Then we moved to the dining area, which wasn't much better. But we really liked the idea - Trey is just like his mother. He likes organized and scheduled spontanaeity. I know - weird. We like surprises, but only if we know how they fit into our plan for the day - and it helps to know that we're being surprised.
So when we moved into our new house and I was able to have an actual classroom, I decided to get with the program again. But this time (being less "new" to homeschooling has given me a greater sense of confidence in my decision to stray from the rules a bit. lol), I did my research and found these Sterilite Latch Boxes at Wal-Mart that fit a standard size textbook PERFECTLY! (I bought mine individually in the store, not in the set they have online). The handles latch the box closed so Trey can stack them neatly once he's finished with his boxes. They also have different sizes available, which is great because some of my workboxes include chore cards or suprise cards that don't take up as much space, thereby eliminating the wasted space in a bigger box. I do use a couple of shoebox size boxes, too, because I like that size for crafty-type workboxes, and all of Trey's smaller workbooks, magazines, mad libs, etc. Here's what our workbox station looks like: drumroll, please......................................
This works well for us because the boxes and contents are separated immediately, rather than piling them all together in one large tub, where everything gets all jumbled up.
The boxes get stacked on the right, the box contents go in the green tub, and his completed assignments (in paper form) go into a tray on my desk labeled "Completed Work". (BTW, there's a second tray on my desk labeled "Graded Work," that Trey checks at the end of each day and places in his Portfolio Binder. It really saves me from having to dig for his work. I like organization.
I can't really say enough good things about these boxes - I. love. them.
They have the interlocking grooves on the top so they can be stacked together and not fall over! I know - I'm easily excited.
And we're stacking.....
So in lieu of the schedule cards, I decided on this idea. He likes file folders (trained him well, I know!). So I have devised a 2 or 3 page schedule list that I print out each morning. Snacks, Lunch, and Playtime are all built in to the schedule, just as Sue suggested, and that works well for Trey. In fact, he just loves it. I no longer hear 400 times a day: "Mom, what all do we have to do after this??"
Trey loves the workbox system and so do I...it helps us to stay organized, but it also reminds us to schedule a little fun into our day as well!!