Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Independent Schooling – Part 1 #grow4christ

on August 9, 2013

Indpendent School - Growing For Christ blog

**This was initially going to be a 1 post post but I realized after I got to writing the post is going to be so long so I’m going to spread it out.**

I have an 11 year old daughter who is doing 6th/7th grade work, and almost 9 year old daughter who is in 4th grade and a 7 year old son who is doing 2nd grade work.  Trying to keep them all on task and finishing their work can be time consuming – so I’ve come up with what I hope is a solution to the situation – but allowing my 11 year old to do all her work independently or at least mostly (she’ll be joining us for science and family projects).

If you want to see what I did before when I only had 1 official student use my search box to search out “workbox” or “organizing school part 2” to see my past posts on how we did things.  Now that I have been homeschooling for 6 years and now have three official students I’ve had to look for ways to make learning fun and simple for three VERY different children.  What comes easy to one doesn’t to another so tweaking is always being done.  My 11 year old is quite independent and very mature for her age so she and I tossed around ideas and two drawers weren’t enough to contain all her materials.  I’ll write another post on what everyone is using for curricula this year in a another post.

I have a 6 drawer cart I purchased some years ago and at one time each drawer held one subject for my oldest, like drawer 1 would hold math, drawer 2 science, etc however as I added students I had to cut the number of drawers. Up until this week each child had two drawers.  Things were getting crowded, papers were getting crushed, even though they each have a ‘finished’ folder, and it was just well disorganized – and when they all needed in at the same time, well you can imagine.

I also keep our supplies such as pencils (I added a few to make the picture look good LOL), sharpener, stapler, etc to the top tray so they are always on hand and ready to be used.  Ignore the tags as we no longer use the workboxing tags but I just haven’t removed them so things like dog hair don’t get caught in the velcro.  So anyway, the idea is to eventually make them all working independently of me, using me for questions, helps, and grading.

We switched to Teaching Textbooks as well for the two oldest children – before we were doing Rod and Staff math (this is still being listed on our notification paperwork), which worked great when we needed something different from Saxon but now I need something with a little more oomph than I can give when it comes to math.  So now my girls just have to pop in their disc and go to work and I just need to look at their grades, if they are below a 70 they re-do it but so far it hasn’t been an issue.  I actually put my 11 year old in 7th grade as the 6th was too easy.

As I said above, my 7 and 8 year old now, have three drawers each, however my 7 year old only needs two. His extra drawer contains print offs and notebook paper, for now.  The three drawers at left are my 8 year old.  Her first drawer contains her plastic weekly folder, which has any print offs/worksheets/art assignments that are needed that week and segmented by days.  Also in drawer #1 (insert game show theme song) is her finished folder, where all finished papers go for me to look at, grade, go over and then file in the portfolio binder.  Drawer #2 has her science notebooking journal and that is about it for now…… and drawer #3 contains the DVD’s for IEW, EIW, TT, our MoH CD and her math place value flip chart I found at the dollar store.  My 7 year old’s drawers look similar.

Each child has a file organizer that has 8 pockets in it, they are labeled Monday through Friday (we had been doing school 5 days a week when I originally bought these) I found them at the dollar store, so quite inexpensive. On Friday or Saturday or if I’m procrastinating really badly, Sunday I fill the folders with their papers for the upcoming week. Usually these contain MoH worksheets, art sheets (the younger ones are finishing their Rod and Staff art we didn’t finish for 12-13), maps, etc.  This keeps things organized and if there is work they can do on their own, like a MoH pretest they can do that without me hovering.


Of course my 7 year old still needs quite a bit of guidance from me and my 11 year old helps a lot with his work as well, so that is something else that can help you out if you have an older child who can help a younger child while you, mom, work with another child (or do a blog post).  This is how I decided or organize my younger two that way hopefully next year my 8 year old can become even more independent in her work and working alone like her sister.  I’ll post next on how I’ve made my oldest and independent middle school student at 11 1/2 years old!


9 responses to “Independent Schooling – Part 1 #grow4christ

  1. working toward more independence, while producing excellent work is a major goal for my 12-year-old this year. not sure how I will organize things for him, but we have done workboxes in the past. maybe I’ll try that again!

  2. Bethany says:

    You’re so organized. I usually say, “Here are your jobs to work on. Go to it!”

  3. I really need to work on this area in my home. My goal is to spend the next few weeks getting organized before we start back. These are some great ideas!

  4. I am at an interesting point. I have older girls who are very independent in their studies. They know what to do and get it done. My son is struggling in this area. I am working on setting his studies up a bit differently so he can gain more independence. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  5. I understand trying to balance all my kids and their school work. I did similar boxes a few years ago, but my two oldest kids just make a pile in their room and go off their schedule charts and do the work. So much for my nice organization!!

  6. Laraba says:

    Thanks, Sarah…very good ideas to ponder. We’ve got kind of a mess here in terms of how papers are organized, BUT the kids all said they like it. So maybe I’m just being obsessive :-).

  7. […] this is part two of our independent school posts, you can read part one which is more about what I do for my two younger children, this part will focus on my 11 year […]

  8. Workboxes is what we call it and they are a wonderful resource!!

  9. […] get with you.  If you’d like to read about our trying out more independent schooling read Part One and Part […]

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