I would like to try the workboxes system to organize my kid’s school activities. I have read many posts about it in different blogs, but I don’t know how to use the schedule cards or tags (how are they called?). I’ve seen each family use them in a different way. So, I’d like to know how do you use the cards? Are they really needed? I wouldn’t like to spend a lot of time ordering the cards every day, I’m looking for the most simple and practical way. If you have an interesting link or a picture to share I’ll be so thankful. All your thoughts and opinions will help.
@Elizabeth I don’t do the traditional workbox system. I do use a rolling cart with 10 drawers. I put a label on each drawer with one subject (math, reading, spelling, grammar, etc) and then I put that day’s assignment in a folder inside the drawer. (I actually put the full week in the drawer, but one day at a time gets placed in the folder).
Then I use a Velcro system (buttons on Velcro). Left side of drawer with button (TO DO) and when complete, the button gets moved to the right side of the drawer (DONE). If we aren’t working on that subject that day, I will move the button over to the right side. She can visually see just how many things need to be done that way.
I don’t use cards. My method seems to be the simplest for us while still maintaining the spirit of the workbox system. I have yet to figure out how to make pictures small enough to fit in here, so if you want pics, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will show you the cart/drawers and Velcro button system.
Kathi, I really like your idea of putting the entire week in the drawer, but only what’s in the folder gets worked on that day. I’ll be emailing you as well because I’d like to see pics also.
@KathiJohnson would you mind if I emailed you for pics too?
Hello Elizabeth, As of now I don’t have pictures… sorry. I took a regular manila folder.
On the outside, with the folder going vertically, I have two columns - each with 10 Velcro dots going down the columns (total of 20 Velcro dots).
On the inside of the folder, attached with Velcro, I have a little tag for each possible thing we may do (for example, Art, Geography, Math… etc). They are kept in there alphabetically.
At the end of each day I look at my teacher planner - I pop the tags that we will need out from the inside of the folder and put them on the front in the order we’ll be doing them. As my daughter finishes each task/activity/subject, she pops it off and puts it back where it belongs inside the folder.
It DID take a bit of time to make/create - 1-2 hours, but it takes less than a minute to put together each afternoon for her to use the next day. I hope this makes sense. If not, you can PM me and I can try to email you a picture)
That’s a wonderful idea, Kathi! I really like it. I will email you for the pics. Thank you very much!
Thanks for sharing! I will consider this option also. I don’t know how to send PM yet because I’m new in the community, but I will try to contact you.
We also do a modified workbox. We have a rolling 12 drawer cart from Container Store. When not in use, it stores easily in our closet.
One subject goes into each drawer. I made a label for each drawer (for example, Math, History, Vocabulary). I tried doing the velcro tabs where you move the tab from “to-do” to “done” but it was so tedious to “reset” the tabs every evening. Now, I make a weekly assignment page for my DD. She can see the whole week at a glance and I write down what she needs to do each day (for example, do pages 23-25 in your math book, finish writing your essay about pianos, do language lesson with mom). She knows which subjects she does independently and which she does with me. When we start school each morning, I sit with her and give her an overview for the day - walk her through what’s on her assignment list for the day. Then she works independently while I work with my younger child. My older child is 6 and this has worked well for us. When she finishes each assignment, she just crosses it off on her weekly schedule – this way I don’t need to deal with “resetting” a bunch of velcro labels each day. It’s also easy to bump assignments that don’t get done to the next day – she and I can both see what hasn’t been done yet in the context of the whole week’s plan – this helps us both get a sense for how best to allocate our time.
I Emailed two of you. If you wanted pics and I didn’t send them, please message me.
I love the idea of the weekly assignment page. Me and DH will be tag teaming school and I think this will be very helpful to us. It also will give my kids the freedom to work ahead if they choose to.
Thank you @krakenshoo. I have been working with a weekly assignment page with my older kids. It works well with my older daughter who is so organized, but not with my boy neither with my kindergartdener. I just want to try the workboxes without using the weekly assignment page. I will see which of the two systems works better with the little ones, or a combination of both, as you do. Thanks for the idea!
I have seen workbox systems where instead of the schedule cards, the box number or subject tags are stuck on the box with Velcro, and then when the student finishes the work for the day and put it back in the box, they remove the tag and stick it inside the box with the work. When they see the numbers removed from the outside of the box, they get the visual that their work load is decreasing.
There are tons of videos on YouTube on how people use the workbox system with and without the schedule strips. We love using workboxes!!
Thank you, that’s a good option also. I will watch some videos!
For us, a workbox folder system has worked great. Our kids are visual (and so am I), so the cards worked well for us. We can reuse them each year. I have a post sharing how we use them here: http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/2010/07/our-new-workbox-system-workbook-weekly/
Thank you for sharing this. For your youngest child that started on the folders, what grade were they in? How would you modify the folder idea to make it work for lower elementary since they tend to use more manipulatives? Would you simply put a “mom help” tag on that pocket and they’d see you to get the manipulativs they need or do they have a drawer or box they can go to to get items that don’t fit in the folder?
I love the workfolders idea for my older kids. Thanks for sharing! I love your website and your printables!
How does that purple folder have 12 pockets? I guess I am not understanding something about that folder. Idea is great!
@Lindsay This link will help explain the folders http://www.homeschoolcreations.net/2009/08/how-were-using-workboxes/ I was lost too Scroll down a little and she explains that she modified them.
Our youngest started using them in first grade (wanted to be like his big brother and sisters). Prior to that we used an IKEA Trofast system with 9 small bins as he work area