Because we are home all day, every day, with kids all over the house, organization for homeschool families is not just an option, it’s a necessity.

School books, papers, bookshelves, craft supplies, and science kits all need to have a proper place.  Similarly, the WAY school is conducted must be organized.  Most homeschool moms have some sort of system in place to keep kids on track and moving forward each day.


The workbox system seems to be all the rage in the homeschooling world these days. Internet videos abound with uber-organized systems of drawers, file cabinets, or plastic tubs with cute tabs, velcro buttons, and laminated place holders. In the online pictures, they look adorable, all numbered and color-coded, filling up a wall of the kitchen or school room.

But…let me be the first (maybe) to tell you – workboxes don’t work for everyone.  And that’s OK!  To some of us, they just feel overwhelming and exhausting. I tried a workbox system for a year, several years ago, and that’s how it left me.  If that’s you, too, here’s another option:  Student Planners.

The concept of workboxes is a great one – kids know what they need to do, when they need to do it, and are able to be responsible for their own schoolwork.  Student planners have this same end result, but without the nightly workload of filling boxes placed on mom’s (tired) shoulders.

Homeschool Planners

Here are my favorite reasons for using student planners, especially compared to workboxes:

  • they are incredibly easy to use;

  • they take up much less space; and

  • they serve as a permanent record of each school year.

Easy to Use

I fill out my kids’ planners once a week. Once a week! And that’s it – no need to move things around or write out a series of post-it notes with assignments each day. Plus, all their school books for the whole school year stay on one easy-to-get-to shelf. I don’t have to bookmark their readers, tear out workbook pages, or split up science supplies constantly – I just write out which pages or lessons they are to do (once a week, remember!) and each kid pulls the appropriate books off his/her shelf for each subject.

Space Saving

This one is pretty obvious.  Many workbox systems take up quite a bit of room, since each child needs a box for each subject or task.  Planners, on the other hand, are just one spiral-bound notebook per child.  One more added benefit is that if you will be out of the house for the day, each child can easily transport his or her planner and the appropriate books in the car, in a waiting room, or at the library.

Permanent Record

In the end, workboxes are only an organizational system. They do not allow for any tracking of progress or give a permanent record of the year. At the end of the school year, you are stuck with a pile of completed workbooks, notebooks, papers, and tests. However, with a student planner, you have one compact, cohesive, and complete record of each year of your student’s schoolwork.  Work samples filed in the back pocket, resource lists and progress reports contained within.  No worries about forgetting what books your child read at age 9 or what that great history resource was that you used in 7th grade. AND, when college application time comes around, you’ll be prepared for any question about curriculum, test scores, or resources used.

Student Planners

Student planners (especially those from A Plan in Place!) are an organizational system and a permanent record of your students’ progress all rolled into one. Don’t get caught feeling like a complicated, time- and space-consuming system is the only one out there. Planners may sound too simple to work…but give them a try and you’ll see that the simplicity is what MAKES them work.

We offer Student Planners for all ages.  Make sure you check out the Early Learner for PreK and Kindergarten and the High School Edition, recommended for 8th – 12th graders!  Order today in our shop and get your plan in place.

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Happy Homeschooling,

Homeschool organization | Planner vs. Workbox