At-A-Glance Day Charts – a work box spin off

I’m loving our At-A-Glance Day Charts.  I’d seen these around on some homeschooling blogs and thought they seemed more doable for my family than traditional workboxes.  I do like the workbox idea and may implement it down the road, but for now this quick and easy chart is the perfect way for my young kids to quickly glance and get a sense of the direction of our school day.

Chelli over at Planted Trees created a 16 square grid (if you’re looking for more squares you can check Donna Young’s site for more options) and Jolanthe over at Homeschool Creations has generously shared her Workbox Tags.  Since we don’t use a “workbox” the girls and I call these tags “subject squares“. 

Next, I added some minor personalized trimmings to the chart by adding some color and stickers my girls would enjoy.  Then I added the abrasive side of Velcro dots to my chart and the soft side on the individual laminated subject squares.  I only filled 8 of the squares right now because I don’t need more than that for our current daily subjects, and I wanted to conserve my precious Velcro for future projects.  The chart leaves me with enough room to grow for when, and if, we need more spaces.

I don’t know what it is about Velcro but kids LOVE the stuff.  I don’t know if it’s the feel of it or the loud ripping noise it makes- or maybe it’s a combination of these things.  In any event, it makes my girls ridiculously happy to take off their subject squares.  After we finish a subject they run excitedly to their charts yelling, “I’m going to take my subject square off!” and repeatedly take it off, put it on, take it off, and put it on before finally putting the square away with the rest.

I got the idea to store these charts on binders from Pam over at Everyday Snapshots.  I liked the idea of it being stored so compactly, and considering I had recently splurged on Better Binders during Staples back-to-school sale, I had more than enough options to choose from.  (Word of warning– once you go Better Binders, you never go back.)  Considering their wide assortment of colors, prints, and designs you’re bound to find the perfect binder for even the pickiest student.

Mira loves “tiny” things so the subject squares are a BIG hit.

Stella is thrilled with anything pink.

Lyra, although happy with her yellow binder, was a bit disappointed that she couldn’t peel off her fairy sticker.

Our school day starts every morning with Morning Circle.  During Circle I hand them their binders and they look over the subjects we’ll be doing that day.

So what’s in these colorful binders, you might ask . . .  Sadly, last week it was nothing- just a glamorized chart holder.  I planned on going to Staples to have the binding cut off some of our workbooks [Kinko’s offers this service as well] which will allow me to easily take out each day’s lessons and place them inside with color dividers broken up by subject.  At this point, I won’t be breaking my binder into the days of the week because I really just want my girls to stay focused on the current day.  That’s about as much foresight as they need at this point; and honestly I can’t be bothered to plan a whole week ahead of time.  We work much better in a day-by-day basis here.

I wake up at least an hour or two before my children every morning.  This allows me to work on my blog, catch up on emails, have some coffee with the news, and now, add the compilation of our day charts to my morning chores.  I check our schedule on Homeschool Skedtrack to see what’s lined up for the day and add the corresponding subject squares to the chart.  By next week, I plan to place their daily dividers and include any worksheets or workable material into the binder.

They instantly “got” their charts and knew what they implied.  The second day of using them I caught Stella scrutinizing Lyra’s chart.  She looked up at me and said, “I think Lyra is supposed to do a puzzle for school today.”  I said, yes she was going to do a puzzle and I would work with her after I finished up Mira’s math lesson.  When I looked back again I saw Miss Stella doing this:

She went and picked out a puzzle and somehow got Lyra to follow her without complaint.  And no fighting or arguing ensued!!  For these two in particular that’s a big deal.  Normally, left to their own devices, they inevitably fight like cats.  Yet this exercise went off without complaint from anyone and when Lyra finished both she and Stella came running over to proudly show off the work.

There’s nothing like watching some homeschooling resource add a spring to your child’s step.  Sure I like the Day Chart, but I love that my girls LOVE them!

UPDATE – I had an email asking how we store our subject squares and realized I should have mentioned it here.  I picked up three ring pencil cases (color-coordinated, of course) similar to these and they fit perfectly into the binders themselves.  I also printed each of my girls their own set of subject squares but only laminated the ones that we will be using this year. The rest I am storing for use at a future time with the rest of my supplies.

Edited – Check out my latest update on our Day Charts here.

If you like the idea of the At-A-Glance Day Chart but think you’re kids would benefit with something a little meatier, I suggest you check out Homeschool Creations’ WorkFolders.

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About Kristen

Home schooling classically with a dash of whatever strikes our fancy.
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21 Responses to At-A-Glance Day Charts – a work box spin off

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  2. Chelli says:

    Love the pictures of the girls! And I really like the idea of storing their workbox charts in the clear sleeve of the binders. That might help me figure out how to keep Monkey from pulling off the sisters’ subjects from their school bins, because you are SO right. There’s just something they love about velcro! 🙂

  3. molly says:

    Thanks for giving the details about your Day Charts! I loved the look of them on your gift bag post, and think my girls girls will love them, too. We’re not quite ready for work boxes either, and these charts seem like a fab method 🙂

  4. Emilee says:

    What a great idea! I’m not sure I can have them ready by Thurs (when we’re starting our homeschool year), but I’m putting this on my to-do list! Thanks for sharing!!

  5. Mud Hut Mama says:

    After reading your last post I was hoping you would tell us more about these. I love them! Thanks for all the links. So very sweet that Stella is already becoming a teacher – she looks like she doesn’t take any nonsense!

  6. Love it! Might work for us too. So um… I wish I could wake up before the girls. But then I keep telling myself when I’m done with being sick of tired of being sick and tired I’ll get on a schedule. Hasn’t happened yet, and a new antibiotic is about to start, because I finally gave in.

  7. Jolanthe says:

    That’s really similar to how we’re doing ours, but I ended up making a chart for each day of the week {since we have a fairly similar routine each week} and have a chart for each day:

    I am SO checking into those binders!!!

  8. I love this! What a great hybrid of a workbox and a schedule.

  9. SnowyRow says:


    I’m new to reading your blog, and so far, loving it!! I’ll be homeschooling my two boys “officially” starting in two years. So I’m ALL ABOUT research and reading other homeschool bloggers. Especially those with similar interests as myself!

    Anyway, I love this idea, and will most likely use it with the boys, but my question to you (as a fellow laminate-obsessed person) is, how do you cut the laminated squares out? Do you leave a little of the lamination edge? I mean, do you cut them, and laminate them, then cut them again? I worry about it all pealing apart if I don’t leave an edge on things!



    • Kristen says:

      Hi Rowena! Thanks for stopping by! And yes, I cut-laminate-AND-then-cut again leaving a fractional amount of laminated edging around each piece. It IS time consuming but considering how often we’ll be using these and for how long, I consider it time well spent. I have heard some people say they just laminate and then cut- but yes, then you do have the greater risk of peeling occurring. I have just gotten into the practice of cutting/laminate/cut for everything. Best of luck to you!! Keep me posted!

  10. Amy says:

    I thought that my son would benefit from something like this this year too! I just am using post-it notes on a piece of poster board on the wall, but they lose their stick, so maybe I’ll have to check out what you are using! I love knowing what the flow of the day will be and love when my kids know too =) Thanks for sharing this with us at Trivium Tuesdays last week! Hope to see you again tomorrow!

  11. stephanie says:

    love this! i knew there was a reason i bought those binders!

  12. Jeni says:

    What a great idea! I’ve tried workboxes, but it was simply too much work FOR ME. This may work for our family! And I’ve looked at those better binders but haven’t taken the plunge. Perhaps next time. Thanks for the post – visiting from Simple Homeschool’s weekend links.

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  15. Kathy says:

    Ca-ute and space saving idea! Love it. May have to incorporate this eventually if we start to find our workboxes cumbersome. Thanks for sharing!  I’d  love to have you link this to Titus 2 Tuesday this week on Cornerstone Confessions.. I hope to see you there. 

  16. Wow, such organization! I’m impressed. Kids love routine and thrive on organization so I know your little ones love these.

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