Homeschool-in-a-Box {Quick Tip}


Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be talking about homeschooling. I’ll be sharing my thoughts from my weekend visiting Peace Hill Press and Susan Wise Bauer, our 2012-2013 curriculum plan, how I’m balancing homeschooling and working, especially as we’re getting ready for our third daughter to start kindergarten in the fall, and more.

But before we jump in, I wanted to share my planning/organizing system with you, because this box is my sanity saver.

Although we have a homeschool room upstairs, we’ve found that we much prefer doing school downstairs on the main level — sometimes in the kitchen, sometimes in the master bedroom, sometimes outside.

I’m also a big fan of gathering materials ahead of time so that we’re not having to hunt for or gather them in the middle of school, and when we first started homeschooling, I used these handy scrapbooking organizers for all of our homeschooling stuff. I loved how convenient they were, but we outgrew the system as we added more workbooks and notebooks and games.

Then I received a set of these pretty Rubbermaid bento boxes last year, and I immediately knew that the big one would be perfect for all our homeschool stuff.

It doesn’t really matter what type of box you use, though, as long as it’s sturdy enough for the weight of your books and big enough to hold the things you need.

What I love about this system is that:

  • Our schoolwork is truly portable. I add/remove things every couple of weeks based on what we’re currently working on, and I could theoretically grab the box on my way out the door and have everything we need to do school for a few weeks. We’d run out of read-alouds after a week or so, but the rest of our curriculum stays in there pretty much all of the time. We take the box outside on nice days, and I’ve even taken it to my mom’s so that we can continue schooling when we’re staying there for a few days.
  • The books stay neat and organized. When I’ve used a shelf or cabinet or desk to hold our current homeschooling materials, they inevitably end up in stacks that are sliding all over the place. Because there is limited space in the box, there’s really only way to put things in it, and it keeps it naturally neat. (To some degree, at least. I do still have to clean it out every few weeks.)
  • Our supplies and extras are organized too. Using the small dividers inside the bento box (and a separate small bento box inside one corner), I’m able to keep pencils, pens, scissors, crayons, flashcards, games, etc. organized and convenient. I sharpen a big pile of pencils every weekend so we’re not running around looking for supplies when it’s school time.
  • The box serves as an extra work surface. When the lid is on the box, we’re also able to use it as a work service for working with manipulatives, writing in our journals, etc.

I’m not sure what we’re going to do when we add two more kids (and the extra journals and workbooks that entails) to the mix. But it’s the best system we’ve tried so far, and it’s working for us!

How do you organize your schoolwork for the week?