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Workbox Basics

Workboxes are the latest craze in homeschooling organization. In general terms, it is a way for homeschoolers to utilize organized work, and to promote independent activity and learning. This is not to say that all of a homechoolers work should be done via a workbox system every day. Rather, this is a way to organize independent assignments for your homeschooler. Some parents prefer to keep workbox assigments for purely review material, while others use workboxes for assignments that are inherently independent, like handwriting practice.

You might be wondering if this method of organization is right for you. Here are some situations where the workbox system might be to your homeschooling advantage:
1. You are teaching several children simultaneously and you need an organized place to keep assignments for independent work, etc.
2. You are homeschooling any number of children and find you are disorganized. Maybe you misplace worksheets, art project materials, and various independent activity ideas (like centers or file folder games).
3. Your child works well independently, and he or she will be motivated enough to complete workbox assignments when the time comes to do their work alone.
4. A goal you have is to encourage independence and self motivation for your homeschooler.
5. An organized and neat homeschool environment is crucial to your teaching ability.

While some moms have told me that they don't see a benefit in having a shelf full of plastic bins to fill and unfill every day, other parents rave about the increase in productivity and learning when using workboxes. Some homeschool parents choose to fill a weeks worth of boxes, while others update the boxes nightly, depending on work accomplished.

Finding a good way to implement this method of organization is the first step. Decide how much space you have and need to have. File folders hanging might be all you have room for, and these are fine as "work folders". Maybe you have several children and need Sterilite drawers, or a shelf for various sized plastic bins. Also think about how much money you plan to spend on this project. While there are awesome and innovative choices at The Container Store, you need to consider the financial investment and overall use. Come up with an idea of a size, quantity and amount of money you can spend comfortably. Then you are ready to obtain your materials to get this project underway!

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