Monday, April 11, 2011


I hesitate to call these Workboxes because they are so far from the real thing in which they are named after. But this major modification is inspired by them at the very least.

note: I realize that some (maybe most) of you have no idea what in the world a workbox is anyway. If you want to know, you can go here. If this is something you could care less about you can stop reading now. :) It's just a part of my homeschooling journey.

Multiple times throughout the year I have to do some major modifications in my schooling regimen in order to continue to have the motivation, desire, inspiration, etc., to continue on doing the job I want to do in a way that is good for the kids (and me)! Whether it be adding in fun activities, or buying new supplies, or totally re-organizing the whole room, something has to give or I will just throw up my hands and quit! There are dry, dull spells that come upon us throughout the year and I happen to be in one right now. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make it through the last 7 weeks of our lessons. UGH! Last year before we started I had researched Sue Patrick's WorkBox System. It interested me, but I never really did anything about it. Didn't want to purchase the whole system without knowing how it might work for us and how school was going to go with a little baby in the midst etc.

Anyway, I started looking at it again because we need more organization something fierce right now. The curriculum I use is great because the lesson plans are already created. I don't have to do any prep work. In the morning I can open my giant folder, point to the day and see exactly what we are doing. This book, these pages; this kid, this writing assignment; etc. However, I felt like I was just going through the motions big time and only doing the bare minimum and was always torn between getting Wyatt onto something and Brendan needing me at the same time. And if someone didn't have something to do they would have to wait until I finished with the other, etc.

So now we have our version of workboxes. It's a trial for the rest of the year to decide if some of the Workbox ideas will work for us or not. We are using file boxes instead of individual clear boxes because I wasn't sure we would have room for the racks AND 24 individual shoe boxes in our already too cluttered school room.

So far it's working pretty well. The boys love them and it gives them a renewed since of purpose with school (me too). They are doing their work well and not dragging their feet like before. I have to prepare the boxes ahead of time, the night before, which takes discipline, but is well worth the ease of our morning the next day. I also find lots of extras to include that I tend to leave out when we are just wingin' it out of my Instructors Guide.

The file boxes I found have a nifty storage compartment in the top of the lid where they each have all the individual supplies they might need for any given assignment. I really like the added organization to our school day. Just after I started doing this we acquired 3 new bookshelves. At least 2 are going into the school room and I am planning on getting the clear shoe boxes for next year and implementing the system more along the lines that Sue Patrick recommends. It will ease the loading and unloading of the files that has already proven to be a little bothersome for little boy hands.

Wyatt's workbox with folders holding all his assignments for the day. In the back is his 3-ring binder that holds his completed (loose leaf) assignments, a drawing book and a small white board.

The front of Wyatt's box. The numbers attach to the folders when there is work to complete. They get placed on the chart on the front of the box when the work is done.

Wyatt's box lid has his handwriting strip on the top.

A folder with an assignment (15mins. computer. Hooked on Spanish)

Here's the top of Brendan's box opened. Oh, and also, I moved Brendan to his own desk in the corner because sitting across from his brother was rather distracting. :)

Doing this (loose) system has really encouraged me to think a little more about adding in the extras that we just never seem to get to. We incorporated extra learning centers for reinforcing things they are learning and adding extra practice that is more hands on as opposed to their workbooks.

Here is our "Money" poster center.

the envelope holds cards with amounts and real money$$$

I think we just might make it. Let's see...5 weeks and 3 school days left! :)
I've already started loading my online shopping cart with next year's school!


The Malloy Family said...

We are doing workboxes next year. Check out confessions of a homeschoolers link on my blog, then look at her workboxes system. It's based off of sue's but a bit different!

Anonymous said...

In the arts and crafts section of the workbox might I suggest fly tying.
Uncle Bubba

Rachel said...

you are such a great mom! you have such great ideas and do such great things with your kids! wish we lived closer, maybe some of it would rub off on me. :)