My Twist on the Workbox System

What is a workbox?

Basically, it’s a way to organize the home school day so that your children have a visual of exactly what they’re supposed to do during the day. If you’re interested in more info, you can watch this slideshow from the woman who created the system.

After seeing the original workbox system, I was a little disappointed. It’s a big system and I have four children. There is no way I’m going to buy four wire racks and 48 plastic containers. Plus, the type A in me was really bothered by boxes thrown askew (*shiver*) by the large binders in them. Thanks to the wonders of google, I found a few different interpretations.

I wish I could remember where I first saw this variation so that I could give the mom some credit, but I can’t recall who she is.

This is what my system looks like:

Noah’s box:

I put almost everything he needs in each folder. You can’t see the rest of his hanging files because I put math in front. But you can see Abbey’s:

And Ben’s:

His Bible is in front. Binders and notebooks are behind the hanging files.

You can see in the next picture that I put the day’s assignment on post-its which I put on the book they are to use.

It takes some extra time on my part to stick the post-its on their books. But, overall, the system is working well so far. If they want to, the big kids can take their boxes to another part of the house to work. They know exactly what they’re supposed to do, they have almost everything they need to get it done, and they can see, at a glance, how much they have to do every day. I haven’t had to answer, How much school do I have left to do?

This system is helping me stay organized by forcing me to get all of their lessons together the night before. In the past, I would plan the lessons, but not have them ready until the morning the kids had to do them.

Lord willing, this will work for the rest of the year.

10 Comments on “My Twist on the Workbox System

  1. I saw this variation somewhere else, too. I think just having a pink crate would motivate my little girl. 😉 I may try something like this. It looks like a great way to keep stuff organized.


  2. Nice! I need a new way of keeping us on track. Love that it's portable. Grab & go. Thanks!baygirl69


  3. I use the each boy has a crate system, but I had not thought about the hanging folders. Would you please elaborate on what goes into those? Is it their finished work or work still left to do? I'll be checking out that video. After I clean up lunch. Thanks for the help. I'll never turn down organization.


  4. Okay, so I'm new to the "work box" thing but this is the second time I've heard it reference in a week.Looks like I need to look into it some more…


  5. I was just on another blog and saw her workboxes but didn't know what they were. I've been wondering about this.I, too, would like to know what goes in the hanging files.Thank you!


  6. What a GREAT idea! I'll be copying this for certain…and like you, hope it keeps up beyond the first week (lol)! I may add folders for each day so that I can fill the box on a weekly rather than daily basis.


  7. I had not seen this variation before and I love it. We have 9 children, so like you the full version would never work in our house, but I love the idea. This may work for us, thanks for the inspiration!!


  8. Elle and Latte Lady, I only put one day's assignment in each subject's folder. That includes workbooks, books they're supposed to read, worksheets, manipulatives…whatever they might need for that assignment. Melanie has a good idea, though, with filling it weekly. The only problem is that it would defeat the purpose of having the kids understand how much work they had left in one day. If I fill their boxes weekly, I would have to have enough folders for each subject for five days. And some kind of divider to separate the days so that they could see where they were supposed to stop. It could work. It would certainly save me time stuffing folders every single evening. It's worth trying!


  9. You make a good point Leslie! I'll have to think it through a little more…but one way or the other I will be utilizing this idea. I think it's brilliant!


  10. Leslie, thanks for answering my questions. I've just been keeping each boy's work in his individual crate and then writing their day's work into my planner and onto our white board. Then they mark off the white board as they complete their tasks. I'm going to think through how to tweak this system for us. Your ideas have been helpful.


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