Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Follow Up: An Organized Homeschool

First off, thank you everyone for your wonderful responses and questions regarding my post over the weekend An Organized Homeschool. I truly appreciate all the feedback and I love brainstorming and fellowshiping with other homeschool Moms who struggle with organization just like I do.

By request, I will delve more into my workbox and binder resource organizational systems. Both of which I feel are two key components to our organized school day.


So what actually goes into those goofy looking drawers? What is all the hype about? Can I use workboxes but not fill them every night?

1. The inside of our boxes: These pictures illustrate two things; one the no frills simple approach in which I load our boxes and two, the system I use to fill most of the boxes only ONCE A WEEK.
This is my 3rd grader's math drawer. His Singapore 2B textbook and workbook are in this drawer. Also inside is a spiral notebook of graph paper. While he doesn't use this everyday, I keep it in there so it doesn't get misplaced and he knows to only use it when needed; otherwise it isn't a distraction for him.

This is my 3rd grader's phonics/vocabulary drawer. He is flying through both subjects so I have decided to alternate weeks with these 2 subjects. As you can see there is ample space in these drawers for workbooks, textbooks, and any accessories an assignment might require.

Don't waste your time buying shallow drawer cart systems to use as workboxes, they will cause you more hassle then they are worth and are a waste of money in the long run. Tall craft carts might be aesthetically appealing but they don't function well if you want your workbox drawers to hold all the supplies needed for an assignment. Honestly, in the end isn't that the whole purpose of workboxes? To keep everything together so assignments get done more efficiently.

Also shown in the 2 photos above are my quick and easy way of loading boxes once per week. Keep in mind, I don't use this system on ALL of my boxes, just most of them. Some subjects do not lend themselves easily to this system of box preparation. Having said that, this is an inexpensive and quick way to load your boxes once a week. I do mine on Sunday night after all my angels are tucked in bed and I can concentrate.

The post-it note system works like this for subjects that require the same workbook/supplies each day:
1. Prepare your weekly lessons as normal. 
2. Write out a post-it sticky note with the weekly assignment.
     For example, Monday: pg. 12
                            Tuesday; pg. 13-14
                            Wednesday; pg. 15
                            Thursday; pg. 16-17
                            Friday; pg. 18
3. My son either keeps the sticky adhered to his assignment or will transfer it to the bottom of the drawer so it doesn't get lost.

I have also used the sticky note system for my Kinder, he is able to follow it without incident.

Not only does this method cut down on daily workbox prep time but it also helps if I ever need to look back on an assignment that changed for some reason during the week but I didn't note it in my lesson planner.

Here are a few more pictures of the inside of our boxes:

Daily reading book with a fun book reporter book mark I found at the 99cent store.

My binder topics include Science, My Father's World, Bible, Story of the World, Writing, Spanish, and Holidays

I started this system of organizing my homeschool papers because of all the ebooks and other pdf documents I was downloading from all the wonderful curriculum sites available. Not only was my computer screen becoming littered with a ton of icon files but I couldn't find a document when I needed it. So I printed the ones I knew I would need soon, moved them to a "printed pdf folder" on my computer, then put them in binders by subject and further divided in the binders with labeled tabs. The remaining ebooks I do not plan on printing soon I moved to a "unprinted pdf" folder on my computer. Now I can find what I need when I need it without frustration or wasted time searching.

For my friends using My Fathers World Kindergarten

My file system for the weekly letters; filed in lesson number order 
with lesson # and  related letter science topic

I pray that this post helped to clear up some questions. As always, I love your feedback and any questions or suggestions you might have.


  1. I love your system for the binders. I need to do something about all the unprinted stuff I have....especially the stuff that we need now. I guess I better buy a new ink cartridge and get busy lol.

    Thanks for sharing Alexis!

  2. What size are your drawers? I have shallow ones all the same size. We are not currently doing workboxes, but would like to get them set up for next school year.
    Thanks for the pics!

  3. The smaller drawers are 10.5"w x 13.5"l x 3.5"h

    The larger bottom drawer is the same length and width, but is 7"h



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