Welcome back to our Guest Post series!
I am really excited to have so many wonderful bloggers posting for us lately. I have been up to my elbows in moving, so it’s been amazing to know they have this covered once a week.
Today, my pal Jennifer from Chestnut Grove Academy is sharing about her Workbox system. Part of why guest posts are so cool is that you’ll get to see some of the other awesome ways to organize and run your homeschool. Workboxes have always intrigued me, but I never did get them worked out in my own home.
Jennifer on the other hand has workboxes down to an art, so if you enjoy her post, I hope you stop by Chestnut Grove Academy each Wednesday to see what is in her workboxes that week, and link up with her! Actually, stop by her site right now, because she has a whole week of giveaways going, and you don’t want to miss out on them!
How we Organize our Homeschool Day (4 kids; ages 8, 5, 3, and 9mos), by Jennifer of Chestnut Grove Academy
Being organized is not always easy, but is required to some degree when homeschooling, especially when you have multiple children!
I wanted to take some time to share some tips for how I organize our days with multiple children!
First, Pick a prep night! Sunday is my prep night. I print, laminate, cut out and get things ready for the upcoming week! (prior to this I pin ideas on Pinterest, and make little notes in my planning book so that I know what I want to print and plan).
Second, simplify! I use to change my younger kids workboxes each day, that got so time consuming, I stopped! Now I set them up for the week – (sometimes the stuff stays there for two weeks if we don’t get to it all). For my oldest (3rd grade) I file his daily items for easy access to set up his workboxes daily (each night before I go to bed). It’s not difficult to set his up each night, mostly it’s just putting everything back and relabeling, pulling new items from the file box if needed. His daily workboxes are pretty much the same thing, different lesson each day. With the exception of maybe History and Science which can vary in materials needed.
The right hand picture also shows his additional assignments that are not in the workboxes and his flip book where he sticks the velcro tabs of finished items.
If you aren’t familiar with worboxes, let me back up just a bit. This is the NUMBER ONE key to my sanity when it comes to homeschooling!! If you are not familiar with them, let me introduce you – The WHY and HOW TO of Workboxes
My oldest likes me around A LOT during his school time, but I need to be able to work with the little ones some one-on-one as well. Workboxes give him some independence, I can easily tell him – “I’m working with your brother now, please pick a box you can do on your own”. The boxes that need my assistance are marked “Mom’s Help”, so he knows which ones he needs to do with me. He can also keep track of what he has done, and what is left to do easily with workboxes.
For my younger ones (Preschool and Kinder), They have a velcro checklist to keep track of what to do each day (though if we are busy with other things during the week, this is more of a weekly checklist).
They are suppose to pick 2-3 workboxes a day in addition to other assignments. As you can see Z (Kindergarten) has some computer items he does, some curriculum items with me (Handwriting and Math) and then workboxes.
They have 20 boxes together – some for specific individuals, some for both of them to do (either together or individually). You can see what goes into our boxes by visiting Workbox Wednesday each week!
When they aren’t doing workboxes or schoolwork (but their older brother still is) they can play in the toy room adjacent to the school room. I have a 9mos old as well, she is either napping during school time or playing in the toy room or school room.
For me, workboxing has been the easiest and most efficient way to organize our days! It takes a little bit of pre-organization, but once you have them set up, they are a breeze to maintain.
A few other tips that help our days run smoothly – we start at 9/930 every morning! We start with circle time each day. Then they take charge (for the most part) of which order they complete tasks (I have some stipulations like Minecraft class is LAST, only a specified amount of time on computer assignments, if I’m busy do an assignment that doesn’t need my help, etc…).
Not everyday is perfect, and occasionally we do tweak things a bit, but for the most part this has been our core and it has worked well for us!
Jen is a mother to 3 boys with a baby girl. She is starting her fourth official year of homeschooling. She has a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education and worked with young children for many years before having her own. She likes to read, cook and get crafty – though she rarely has the time for any of it! She blogs at Chestnut Grove Academy and is a part of The Schoolhouse Review Crew