Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Our Workbinders distilled down from Workfolders which are a spinoff of Workboxes…

Ok, I could not think of a decent title, but the point is that my Workbinders are inspired by Jolanthe’s Workfolders which are derivative of Sue Patrick’s ubiquitous Workbox system.

I tried traditional workboxes a couple of years ago with Geo and they went well with the downside of taking too long to load each night. I always felt like I was forgetting something. It was enough to make me go slightly batty. I took a year off from workboxes and this year decided to give them another try after reading about Jolanthe’s workbox twist and revision. It seemed like it would work so well with the Gs so I set off to imitate it (please feel flattered, Jolanthe).

I saw the folders that Jolanthe said she got from Wal-Mart, but they were a bit more expensive than these tabbed pocked folders by Avery.


My math failed me and I bought 3 packs not realizing till later that I’d only need 6 dividers per kid if I wanted them to have 12 pockets. I ended up with a bunch extra but it didn’t turn out to be a bad thing after all as you’ll see.

I decided not to do a separate weekly grid for all the tabs, my kids would just lose them anyway.



Instead I put 12 velcro dots on the inside cover of the flexible poly 3-ring binders that I have the workpockets in. I put one tabbed divider (from a pack of these, again from Avery) in front of the pockets and I put more velcro dots on both sides. The front side is for their completed activity/subject cards and the back is for extras or activities/subjects that aren’t assigned on that given day. On the right tabbed divider you’ll see a smaller (older) card which says, “I’m ready to work!” I made (and had laminated) a lovely school clock-in / clock-out setup , and they just don’t use it :( So this way it hopefully will still give them the idea that before they get started on the other stuff they should “clock-in” in their workbinders at the very least.

I had originally thought I would use all 3 dots on each pocket for the subject, a place for them to match up the subject card from the front cover of the binder and an extra one for a “with mom” card. But since it’s easier for them to just move them from the binder cover to the tabbed divider, we’ve just been doing that. It also makes it easier for me not to have to hunt down the cards on several different pockets.

Like Jolanthe, I have a week’s worth of assignments for each subject that gets assigned, then in the evening, all I have to do is to reload the front cover with the cards for the next day and we’re good to go. I only put papers or very small/thin books in their workfolders and the rest of their books are in their “workboxes” (I love our Trofast setup by the way!). 


I put workboxes in quotes because I’m not using them in a typical workbox way in that the boxes aren’t numbered, but have labels for their category. So, for instance, I have Geo’s reading books in one box, Gigi’s in another. Geo’s reading comp. and grammar books share a box. Their workbinders share a box and my teacher’s books get their own box. It’s nice because the kids know where to go to get the things they need, they know exactly what’s expected of them from their workbinders and my job of refreshing them each evening is a breeze.

Oh, and the extra pockets? I made my own workfolder and in it I put my daily routines, weekly schedules, monthly calendars, my little notebook for jotting down things I don’t want to forget, our Keys for Kids devotional, reward stickers, a knitting pattern, memory verses, and whatever else I want to put in there. It has helped me get a lot more organized too and that’s always a good thing.

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