Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Workboxes... Well, my version anyway.

I wanted to try work boxes but I don't have room for so many boxes. I spent about a month trying to figure out how to do this.
My goal was to give my children an idea of where they are at in the day so that they are motivated to keep working. Also, I wanted to encourage a bit of independence in my 7yo, Skittles so that I can focus more on my 4yo, Twizzler who is struggling.
So here is what I came up with.. I got a binder, some magnetic album pages, and some plastic sleeves.
I printed up a paper that I laminated to the cover. The paper has 9 squares on it and the child's name.
This one has stickers over the bottom 3 spaces because it is for Twizzler and he only has 6 tasks per day. Skittles  has 8 tasks and then a sticker. This way the binders can grow with them.
On the inside, I put a page from the magnetic album and a paper with a subject heading and then to-do list.
Behind the subject and to do page is the work that needs to be completed.
For math it is a worksheet but for Literature there will be a poem in the sleeve for him to read before our classical reading. For science there is a piece of his lapbook to fill in. For history I will keep his book of centuries behind the subject page.
Each subject page has a paper clip with a matching subject card. When the task is completed, he moves the card to the front of the binder, in one of the boxes.
Not all of the subject pages have a sleeve behind them. In fact most of the subject pages in Twizzler's binder don't. They are just to show him what comes next. When it is completed he moves the card to the front. When his boxes are filled in, he is done for the day.
If you do not have any magnetic album pages available, I recently found this alternative for only 75 cents at Walmart. It is an 8 pack of dividers. The last one has pockets on both side. I use the front pocket to hold my weekly planner page. I use the back pocket for finished work. Once the kids have finished a worksheet, they bring it to me and I put it in the back pocket. At the end of the week I staple the planner page to the front of all their completed work. Then I stick it in an expandable file folder.  

I might print a picture or let the kids decorate the colored side of the divider.  On the opposite side there are lines so that I can write down the check list like I had before. I am not sure yet. 

Here is a link to another great way to use binders. 
Here are some more links on workbox systems. 
And I got the majority of these links from.. 

As you can see workboxes are very flexible. You can pretty much make it work any way you like for your family. We have been using our "work binders" for a few months now and they work for us! I am no longer answering "now what do I do?" Ok, that is a lie. They still ask me that but now I always have a ready answer and it never changes, "Get out your binder." In fact, sometimes, I can see into the future and in it my children are doing impersonations of me saying, "Get out your binder." 

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