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Mini Offices

Updated on July 14, 2015

What is a Mini Office?

A mini office is a particular application of lapbooks. Each child can make his own mini-office -- a lapbook filled with reference pages for his own learning. The sky is the limit on what you can include. Fill the mini office with the charts that your child needs -- maps, state abbreviations, penmanship models, clock faces, a multiplication table, or timelines. The mini office actually helps the student move towards being a more independent learner as he looks up the answers to his own questions.

With a mini office, you have an individualized reference tool for each student! Cater it to your child's level and needs. Make a new one each term if necessary or make several -- one for each school subject. Pull out the math mini office when studying math. Or use the language arts mini office when doing a writing assignment.

Since the mini office is affixed to a file folder, it can be easily folded up and put away when not needed. But when the child needs to look up a fact, he knows right where to go -- to his mini office. And because it's so small and tidy, it's portable when you want to "homeschool on the go."

The Mini Office Base

Smead File Folder, 1/3-Cut Tab, Legal Size, Assorted Colors, 100 per Box (16943)
Smead File Folder, 1/3-Cut Tab, Legal Size, Assorted Colors, 100 per Box (16943)

Although you could use large pieces of posterboard or cardstock cut down to size, most people use file folders for the base of the mini office. They are easy to find at your local "super store" and come in many sizes and colors.

Consider a legal sized folder because you'll find so many things to include that you'll want a large foundation. Or use a display board or study carrel for an oversized minioffice.

 

Third Grade Minioffice

Click thumbnail to view full-size
minioffice openminioffice coverstanding uprightopen widemath and map of USA
minioffice open
minioffice open
minioffice cover
minioffice cover
standing upright
standing upright
open wide
open wide
math and map of USA
math and map of USA

How to Make a Minioffice

For more visuals, visit abc teach for a great PDF, complete with photos and directions for creating the file folder base.

Mini-Offices from the Classroom

These links show you mini offices created by classroom teachers. These webpages are filled with colorful photographs that will demonstrate exactly what a mini office is.

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Classroom teachers also use the mini offices to make a temporary study carrel, shielding each child from the distractions of the others in the room. Use a legal sized file folder for maximum height and privacy.

Homeschooling families use mini offices as well! Visit these links for photos and how-tos.

Mini Offices Poll

What do you plan to include in your child's mini office?

See results

Printables for Math and Science

You can use your own printables, copied from the curriculum you use or favorite posters you already have. But these links may give you some ideas for other things to include in the mini office.

Math Mini Office

Seeing a math mini office in action may help you understand it better. Watch this video to see an actual mini office used by homeschool children.

Fourth & Fifth Grade Minioffice - Language arts on the left; science & math in the center; history on the right

Click thumbnail to view full-size
inside the miniofficethe cover of the miniofficeopening the miniofficemaking the sectionsthree sections in all
inside the minioffice
inside the minioffice
the cover of the minioffice
the cover of the minioffice
opening the minioffice
opening the minioffice
making the sections
making the sections
three sections in all
three sections in all

Language Arts Related Printables

Language Arts Mini Office

This mini office focuses exclusively on language arts. What a great reference tool for a homeschooler who is an early reader!

Mini Offices

Reproducible Reference Materials

The World Reference & Map Forms (World & Us Maps)
The World Reference & Map Forms (World & Us Maps)

If you prefer an instant download, this book is also available at CurrClick in Ebook format.

 

Creating the Mini Office

For younger students, most mothers would create the mini office for the student. But for an intermediate elementary and higher student, why not let her create her own? Of course, you will want to guide her choices. But let her design the layout and decorate it. When she has some ownership in it, she will be more likely to use it each day.

Reader Feedback

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    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      I really like the minioffice idea. thanks for posting

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      You did it again! Well done!!

      www.homeschoolblogger.com/westward

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Thank you so much for this wonderful idea! I plan on starting mini-offices with my children tomorrow!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      AWESOME! You are always a step ahead of us.... pooling together great resources & inspiration! Thank you! :D

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 8 years ago from Royalton

      I was looking for some sites about Mini Offices for Math to link to my lens when I ran across your wonderful lens. The work you do is always inspiring. I have featured this page on my Hands-on Math Lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Hi Jimmie! Here's a link to my blog entry where I posted our mini-offices. Thanks for all the links on your site, very helpful! My kids had a lot of fun making these. God bless, Merry :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I just completed my 6th graders mini-office lapbook. I posted some photos on my blog.

      http://livingwaterchristianacademy-rhonda.blogspot...

      I'll be back when I get our 3rd and 1st grade mini-office lapbooks completed.

    • CLB LM profile image

      CLB LM 8 years ago

      Great lens, thanks Jimmie! I'll be adding this one to my favorites.

    • profile image

      Neosoul_Mama 8 years ago

      What a great idea! I wish I had this at my disposal while I was still teaching elementary school.

    • Antidote LM profile image

      Antidote LM 8 years ago

      This is great! The interesting title caught my eye, and I wanted to see more! This is a great idea because all of the necessary information that they may need is right there in front of them, ready to be accessed!

    • MusicMadness LM profile image

      MusicMadness LM 8 years ago

      That's a great idea for kids. I would think it would help with their organizational skills as well. It's nice to see so much stuff to help kids learn with these days. I think I'd be a lot smarter today, if I had something like this as a kid. 5 stars for you.

    • jazzymomintx profile image

      jazzymomintx 8 years ago

      Hi Jimmie! I made a mini office for both of my kids today. It was so fun and I'm sure it will be helpful.

      Carletta

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Thanks for linking to me, Jimmie! :) I also added your link to my post too - you've got lots of great resources here too! :)

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 8 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Great lens, you have so many brilliant ideas for homeschooling. 5*****

    • SJMurphy LM profile image

      SJMurphy LM 8 years ago

      This is an awesome lens! It's so nice to have all these resources in one place. It has inspired me to make another mini-office. :) Thanks!

    • profile image

      marsha32 8 years ago

      Jasmine is in 6th grade this year but just hates math. I am going to have her build herself a math office in hopes this will help and inspire her. I can't wait to go check out the links you share here.

    • ngio64 profile image

      ngio64 8 years ago

      I never hear of Mini-offices! We are going to be busy making some! Thanks!

    • profile image

      marsha32 8 years ago

      I bought the materials today and we've been printing off stuff...she seems really excited about making her math office...and hopefully will then want to continue and make them for other subjects. (can you tell me exactly how to put the file folders together?, we can't seem to figure that out)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Home schooling is an every growing trend and having a mini office for the children was something a I did for my kids. It sure helped them to be more motivated and productive. Great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      WOW... the sparklebox link was the best for me personally....

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      This is a great lens with tips not just for home schooling but any parent who supports their children's studies. I am thinking that we ought to create a mini-office for both our girls as it will definitely help them be more organised with their homework - this will undoubtedly help both of them, but particularly Lizzie who struggles with being "organised". She is mildly dyslexic so "organised" is a slightly alien concept to her, but she is working very hard at grasping it!

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 7 years ago

      Great lens!

      I never would have thought to use a lapbook for reference material.

      Thanks for sharing

      Lizzy

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      RuthCoffee 7 years ago

      These are a great idea, maybe I need one for my work!

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 7 years ago from Western Mass

      great format for info!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Hi Jimmie! You always have great lenses and resources! I can't wait for you to see what I've been working on. Anyway, great work! I'm making one for me, and one for each kid, and maybe even hubby!

    • profile image

      Joan4 7 years ago

      Wonderful! I will print out many of the printables! What a resource! I want to make a mini office for second grade granddaughter. She loves to "work" and would so enjoy all the reminders! Thank you!

    • JenniferAkers LM profile image

      JenniferAkers LM 7 years ago

      This is an amazing resource. One my son's teachers introduced a mini office for their desk, and it was so helpful for him. I'll have to pass your lens along to her because your mini offices look more organized. I loved the photos - thanks for all the links and resources.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      These are fantastic - great resources mini offices - I can't wait to get started using these.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Loving Jimmie and her ideas...we just finished our daughter's 2nd grade mini office! Check it out here. Thank you, Jimmie!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 7 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I just saw this lens (and some of your other ones) in a message of recommendation on my local homeschool group's mailing list. Very cool! I love this resource, too. Lensrolling to my Lesson Plans and Planners lens!

    • profile image

      mariedaniels 7 years ago

      Good ideas nice for homeschooling and also public school kids who need extra help.

    • profile image

      SnoopyGirl1 7 years ago

      This lens is an awesome resource! (5 stars) I have made several of these now and my kids love them. Thanks for all the great links! They were a big help!

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 6 years ago from USA

      Great resource page!

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 6 years ago

      Thumbs up!

    • dustytoes profile image

      dustytoes 6 years ago

      The mini-office is such a helpful resource for anyone homeschooling. If I had read this about 25 years ago, I most likely would have been convinced to home school. I give all homeschooling parents loads of credit for their dedication to teaching and I'm sure your kids will be well equipped for the world by graduation! Excellent..!

    • profile image

      lilgirllapbooker 6 years ago

      Really great lens, thanks. Do you know specifically where I can find resources for a 7th Grade Geography mini office? If you do, email me!

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 6 years ago

      What a great idea! This can be used for so many subjects, not only home-schooling. you are so resourceful!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks so much. I liked your Squidoo.

    • AsianMarketplace profile image

      AsianMarketplace 5 years ago

      Interesting and nice lens you have here

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Cool! Awesome! I might make one! The mini offices are very nice!

    • bilafond lm profile image

      bilafond lm 4 years ago

      Excellent idea. You have made a very nice lens

    • profile image

      Doc_Holliday 3 years ago

      I love the organised approach behind this. It's a great idea.

    • profile image

      Bobbyann 22 months ago

      This is just wonderful. Thanks a million.

    • lrdl3535 profile image

      Richard Lindsay 12 months ago from California

      Lots of information and great ideas, Great post

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