Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How we're using "workboxes"

When I was initially thinking about homeschooling I came across several blog posts about Sue Patrick's Workbox system.  I really fell in love with the idea of having school work organized this way; however, as I saw others' ideas and thought about how to do it without purchasing a lot of extra containers, I decided to utilize some plastic drawers I already had.

As described on my schoolroom page, each of my guys has a shelf with their drawers and materials.  I use adhesive velcro dots to place a label on each drawer and these may change from day to day since they only have 6 drawers each.  Also, I've decided to only do science twice a week and history twice a week, so those drawers flip flop each day.

As I write this we are only two days in and so far the boys aren't using these drawers very independently in terms of "working through" them.  However, at this stage I am wanting to sit with each of them, especially as they do their core subjects, so I can assess where they're at and then determine what might be most appropriate for them to begin to do on their own.

For now, I'm using some pieces of cardstock that I laminated to write their "assignments" on, and I place these in the corresponding drawer.  These can easily be wiped off each day and reused.

In the above photo you can see one set of my oldest son's drawers.  In the photo below, you can see his "assignment card" along with the necessary materials (in this case, his Reading A-Z book and science notebook).

I guess you could say that for now we are mostly using our "workboxes" to organize their work instead of as a system to increase their independence.  And for now I'm fine with that.  I really like having a designated spot to put all the materials they need for each day.  It seems a lot easier to break that all down by subject instead of having it all glopped together somewhere in our schoolroom.  The drawers are not wide enough for all my teaching manuals, but for the ones that fit, it's nice to be able to stick the manual in the drawer along with a paper-clipped assignment card.  So far, it hasn't been taking me a whole lot of time each night to get the drawers ready for the next day. 


  1. Hi Laura
    For those of us that have followed you from your Montessori classroom to your Homeschool, can you write an article about your move away from Montessori? Will you incorporated the Montessori method into your homeschooling curriculum?

  2. It's always good to use what you have! How do you adhere to subject cards to the drawer in a way that they come off and on easily?

    I also wondered about you possibly using less Montessori at home but figured it was because your boys are older than preschool? Would be interested to hear as Miles is K level, and I'm not sure the best balance because I have workbooks but also love the hands-on!

  3. Ok, I just reread and see you are using velcro it. :)