View Full Version : Your workbox experiences?

06-01-2012, 11:35 AM
Good morning,

If you have experience using workboxes, would you mind sharing your thoughts?

I've been researching and there are many ways to set up such a system. But I've yet to decide the best way to try this.

My dd really needs structure. I'm pretty sure this type of system will work well for her.

If you've tried it, what works best for you and why -- boxes, folders . . . . does it matter? Do you organize the work daily, weekly?

Thanks so much. Reading your posts has already been an invaluable source of information.


06-01-2012, 02:29 PM
Since we're barely getting started with workboxes I wouldn't say I have VAST experience, but we used a version of it before this so I thought I'd toss in two cents on both ways we've tried it.

I'd done a file folder version of workboxes first, and I liked it because I had all her work organized a month in advance. Basically, it was a file box full of hanging folders, one for each day of the week. Inside each day's hanging folder were individual folders labeled Week 1, 2,3, and 4. Each was stuffed with all her worksheets for that day, along with her Scholastic News and other thin, paper readers. She would pull her folder for that day and do the work out of it, and then rotate the empty folder to the back. At the end of the month, I restuffed them all. As a big time left-brainer, I loved the organization of it and was quite pleased with myself. Trouble was, my right-brained DD HATED it. Pulling open a folder to find a stack of Paperwork To Do made her feel overwhelmed and "bored". She got less done this way. So much for my great plan.

I decided to shift to actual workboxes instead. The boxes are colorful, compartmentalized, and hold fun activities and bigger things in general than the "boring old" papers in the files. She likes the idea of emptying a box one project at a time, too.

As for how I organize them, they are filled daily, but what will go in is decided well in advance. I used spreadsheets to decide what curriculum to use and how often, catalog activities and ideas gleaned from the internet, etc. Then I plugged it all into my calendar program. Now, I just glance at the next day's calendar to know what to put in the boxes. I can also see at a glance what crafts are coming that week/month, so I can make sure I have all the right supplies. Because we just started our 10-week summer program, I'm only scheduled that far ahead. After that, I plan to schedule a semester in advance.

As for her "paperwork", at the moment I'm just stuffing workbooks right into the boxes without tearing stuff out in advance like I did with the folder system. I mark the right page with a bookmark or post-it tabs so we can flip right to it. Since I also use a lot of printouts off the internet (Scholastic and CurrClick, for instance), I've been printing a few at a time right now, but my plan is to get them all done up in advance and organized in the old hanging file system so they're ready for me to grab and stuff in the boxes. I just haven't had a chance yet.

06-02-2012, 09:42 PM
We kind of use it, but very laid-back. And really, it's just a big file-box that keeps her stuff organized. I don't put in extra games and activities like those suggested on all the workbox sites. My dd8 really dislikes getting games and activities in her 'school' work. She wants to learn her stuff, fill out her worksheet to show me she knows it, and be free to go off and read her books. Anything extra just makes her grumpy, LOL. So Her workbox isn't too exciting. Each night I file the sheets she needs for math, LA, french, copywork, and whatever extra we're doing. And each day she takes her filebox to wherever she wants to work and does what she wants in whatever order she wants. I tried having a set order and set "with mom" times, but really it doesn't work in my house. too structured for us all i guess!

What I like is that the box is there begging to be filled each night, so I actually get it done. pre-workbox I was always scrambling at the last minute to pull her stuff together, and by the time I had it together she'd be off playing with something and all distracted. Now I print out and plan out whatever I need on sunday night, and it's ready to go for the week.

06-03-2012, 11:41 AM
Thank you for the great input. I've decided to do the boxes because I think they will require less fine-motor manipulation and allow for more independence. And I like the "stack 'em when you're done" method thinking she won't be distracted with getting the boxes back in or re-filing folders, just moving on to the next box.

Thanks again for the useful info. I'm grateful for the shared experience of those who've gone before me.