Many of you have used a box system for elementary school, but have you thought of creating one for mddle or high school?
It’s not as difficult as you might think. The main problem is so many options that you can get lost in the decision making process. So lets break this down into two main components:
- What type of learning system is best for your student
- What type of system is best for your homelife
The Best Learning System for Your Student
This will be the easiest part. Ask yourself these questions:
- How many days a week do I homeschool?
- How many subjects do I cover each day/week?
Traditionally, if you homeschool 4 days a week, you may want a 4 box system. One for each day of the week.
Pretty easy, except I don’t think traditionally, and neither do high school students. Plus, it gets to be a headache to shift and move around all those heavy high school books.
For some, using a block method of education works fantastically. It mimics a college routine where you work on 2 or 3 subjects per day, 2 days a week. Ideally you’d give each subject approximately 1 1/2 hours of study time per subject to accurately establish the credit hours needed. For instance:
- Monday and Wednesday are math, science and electives day
- Tuesday and Thursday are language arts, history and other electives day
- Friday is “finish-up/study” day for all subjects (get your work done during the week, and you have a 3 day weekend)
Nothing speaks to teens like a 3 day weekend. Granted, they will be required to put in a full day’s work those other 4 days.
In a situation like this you could use either a 2 box or 4 box system. If going with a 2 box system, you’d need to make sure your boxes were large enough to hold all the student books & notebooks for M/W, or T/Th.
Or you could use a 4 box system divided up as follows:
- Box 1: Language Arts/English
- Box 2: Science & Math
- Box 3: Electives
- Box 4: History/Geography
This 4 box system is what worked best for us. It was very easy for me to locate the necessary materials to grade papers and make new assignments. All the required reading for the year is put into the proper subject box. As the readings are completed, they are placed in a completed pile for resale. The student feels a sense of accomplishment because the insurmountable pile at the beginning of the school year starts to dwindle.
If you use a 2 box system, you may want to create a couple of extra boxes for additional materials, such as:
- Required Reading
- Teacher Editions
Only current work materials should be placed in a 2 box system. This cuts down on box clutter that can overwhelm a student. Required reading books could go in a box alone, and you just pull out the current requirement. Also, your teacher’s editions will be easier to locate if you place them in a separate box. Again, this will cut down on box clutter. I found it difficult to locate my teaching books within the masses of the 4 box system. I seemed to pull out everything before I found the answer key.
Also, some less than scrupulous, or overly crafty teen, may think it cute to do schoolwork from the teacher’s book. Fortunately, Buttercup is clueless and would work from the teacher’s book and not realize it–but my son wouldn’t and take advantage.
The Best Type of Box System for Your Homelife
Now that you know how many boxes you need, it’s time to select them.
A few tips to consider:
- High school books are heavy and large. Select boxes that will withstand the weight of the material going inside them. You won’t only have books, but notebooks, workbooks, paperback books, etc., etc. My recommendation is to use heavy wire crates, thick plastic storage-type boxes, or heavy woven baskets. Flimsy plastic will crack and break long before the school year is over. Weak plastic casters on rolling carts will buckle under the weight of heavy loads. Even woven basket types can be easily destroyed by heavy books. Make best use of your money by purchasing quality products.
- Be wary of bins that taper in at the bottom. They may stack nicely, but these bins are sometimes too small on the bottom to accommodate high school books. Make sure the baskets are deep and wide enough so the books sit properly inside–either flat or on their side. Nothing is more aggravating than purchasing a beautiful basket that doesn’t fit your need.
- Find baskets and boxes that match your decor. Just because you homeschool, doesn’t mean your house has to look like a classroom. There are many choices and options that will match your taste in home decoration.
A box system can make your homeschool life easier and more productive. Middle and high school students can become more productive and relaxed when things are where they are supposed to be. Nothing sends Buttercup into a tizzy like not being able to find her books.
That’s another thing, if you implement the box system–use it. Don’t let them slide by not putting their books back where they belong. You’ve invested a lot of time, effort and money in those school books, make the kids respect that.
If you want more ideas on boxes, box systems and baskets, visit my pinterest page.