Our homeschool has been revolutionized! If you haven’t heard about Sue Patrick’s Workbox System yet, then please, allow me to share this wonderful system that is making our homeschool so much more pleasant, organized, and efficient.
Sue Patrick’s Workbox System, is an organizational system that can be used with any homeschool curriculum. It’s simple to implement, though it does take a bit of time to gather together the supplies you’ll need. You will want to begin by purchasing Sue’s book, available in both print and ebook form. Once you’ve read the book and understand the concept, along with the reasoning behind each step, you’ll be ready to go shopping. What’s on the shopping list, you ask? You’ll need the following for each student:
~a $15 shoe rack (I found mine at Target)
~approximately 12 clear plastic shoeboxes ($1 each at most dollar store–mine came from The Dollar Tree)
~colorful printer paper or cardstock
~lots of velcro dots
~a book ring
Basically, you’ll be setting up the shoe rack with the shoeboxes (workboxes). The shoeboxes are labeled 1-12, and you’ll make a schedule strip, on which you will place the numbers 1-12 and maybe a few other cards for breaks, lunch, outdoor play, computer time, etc. In each workbox, you’ll place one assignment, along with everything needed to complete that assignment. For example, if you place a Draw Write Now book in a box, you will also include the paper for the writing and drawing, a pencil, and colored pencils.
The child will work through the workboxes sequentially, following the schedule strip for breaks, lunch, computer time, etc…..you decide what your child will be doing. Some of the workbox assignments can hopefully be completed independently, while other will be labeled with a ‘work with Mom” card.
The benefits of this system are numerous. On a personal level, it has created more organization (both for me and Ben), more independence for Ben, and no questions about what we’ll be doing each day or what comes next. It has created more organization for me as his teacher. Each night, I am required to fill the boxes, and thus plan (at least one day ahead) what we’ll be doing. I can also arrange Ben’s schedule with enticing “fun” projects and assignments that will spur him on through the tougher assignments.
Developed for a child with autism, this system is also recommended for children with ADHD, those who need to move toward more independence, and for larger families. But trust me when I say, this system can work for anyone!
I have several friends who are also using the Workbox System. Some of us are using it pretty much as it was designed, but many are tweaking it to fit their homes, lifestyles, or children’s needs. I’ve seen gallon-sized ziplock bags, manilla folders, decorated cereal boxes, and plastic drawers used.
Here are a few links to some blogs of friends of mine who are using the system, so that you read more about how others are using the system.
Ami’s blog if you look over on the right, Ami has a category for workboxes, including some free helps!
Heather’s blog check out the lefthand sidebar of Heather’s blog for lots of Workbox fun!
Jessica’s blog Jessica has 8 kiddos and is adapting the system using manilla envelopes.
Leslie’s blog Leslie introduced most of us to the system, see how she uses it with her 6 children.
Candace’s blog Candace is adapting the system with ziplock bags
Ginger’s blog check out Ginger’s blog for how to use drawers with the system.
Lynn’s blog Lynn beautifully decorated cereal boxes to use.
So after 3 weeks of using this system, I heartily recommend it. I wish I had learned about it a long time ago, but am very grateful to know about it now. I am more organized, and we are getting so much more accomplished than we ever did before. Our day is more fun, since I’m spending time actually thinking about what fun things to include. Ben loves it because he knows what to expect and enjoys watching the boxes disappear off the shelves. It give him such a since of accomplishment!