2024 group cohort and workshop sche

We were just discussing in the Facebook HomeWRECK group how Crisis Schoolers can set up some structure in the homeschooling day and avoid power struggles while transitioning away from Distance Learning and to homeschooling. This old-school homeschool hack may help.

If you search the web (or, heaven forbid, Pinterest) for ‘workbox system’, you’ll get a million results. It’s complicated and time cosuming to implement; the directions aren’t intuitive. I’m going to give you the Crisis Schooling Executive Summary.

  1. The parent makes a list of the work that the child is expected to complete for the school day, preferably the night before.
  2. The parent locates all of the material for each required task. For literature, that may just mean finding the book that you’re reading together. For math, it may mean finding the textbook, workbook, a sharpened pencil, and an eraser. For an art project, you might gather watercolors, watercolor paper, a container for water, brushes, and some paper towels. Whatever it needs, get all of it. Get a separate pencil for each task.
  3. Put all the materials for each task in a separate container. Many people like to use the ‘scrapbooking towers‘ that you can get at a craft store. You could also use a series of shoeboxes, Amazon boxes – the sky is the limit.
  4. Number each box. The Workbox System complicates this unnecessarily. I would just number each box in order, and fill them in the sequence you’d like them completed. Only use as many boxes as there are tasks to be completed on that day.
  5. NOW, everything your kid needs for each task is at hand. He will not have to make you get up from nursing to find a pencil. The whole family will not have to search for a lost workbook. He won’t try to use some kind of heirloom antique to hold the water for his painting. You’ve provided everything he needs.
  6. He ALSO has a concrete representation of how long school will take that day. Only 4 boxes! He can look in each box and see exactly what’s required. No surprises. It’s easy for him to tell how much work he has to do, and he can put them empty boxes in a stack or away on a shelf when they’re complete as a visual reminder of how much he’s already done.
  7. Occasionally fill a box with something fun or silly, or some kind of treat. You could put in a deck of cards or a board game, or movie tickes (in the Before Times), or Play Doh, or whatever you can think of that might delight your kids when they open that box. I also used to generously add Hershey’s Kisses or Jolly Ranchers to workboxes one day per week.

That’s it; that’s the whole thing. Organized, predictable. Sure, sometimes they still complain about what’s in the box, or there are other struggles – but you’ve gone a LONG way toward setting yourself up for success and structuring your day.

Remember, Crisis Schoolers: Relationship first, then math and literacy. These are not normal times. You are a parent first, and a teacher second. I hope this gives you a backbone to plan around.