Friday, August 28, 2009


Have you heard of Sue Patrick's workbox system?

One of the ladies on my Weaver email loop mentioned them, and I was intrigued. After reading Ms. Patrick's book - honestly, I was nervous about the extra time it might take, but I also thought it would work well for our family.

I used it with just Punkin for the last few weeks of last year, and have been using it for the first 3 weeks of school with both of them, and it works really well for us.

The basic idea is that you organize the work into boxes.

Because Weaver is multi-level, I have 3 colors of labels - one for her, one for him, and one for both of them.

And then, I arrange their schedule strips for each of them each day.

The pink one is for Punkin. The blue one is for Little Man.

I love the schedule strip. It helps my highly-visual Punkin stay focused, and to refocus her all I have to say is "What's next on your schedule strip?" She does really well seeing what comes next, and knowing how much she has left.

My favorite part is a very subtle shift of the responsibility for finishing her schoolwork - it's now hers. And she has taken ownership of that. I definitely still help her with most of the boxes, but I'm helping her complete her work instead of her doing what I need her to do. It is a subtle difference in how it looks, but I love it.

It is more work. No doubt about it. But it is worth it because I'm so much more focused on them and relaxed during our school time. Actually, it probably isn't more work - it's just that I do more of it ahead of time instead of on the fly during our day. And because Little Man is taking my attention when she is working independently now, there is not as much "prepare on the fly" time in our school day anyway.

'Course this is still Little Man's favorite thing to do:

Gotta love that boy and his cars!


Jenny said...

Your set up looks great. We just started using the workbox system as well.

Lori said...

I too love the workbox system we have been using it for about 2 mos. now and it has so motivated my kids. I have a few posts about it you can check out. I have the same set up as you except we don't use the schedule strip.

Kelley said...

Looks great!

I LOVE the workboxes. We've been doing them for the past 3 weeks, and I can't imagine doing homeschool any other way now. We have the same set-up as you, except for the schedule strips. I think I'll make some of those up this weekend. Maybe that would help with some of our dawdlign problems.

Lori said...

We have been loving the workboxes too! Nice post. I have hesitated on doing the schedule strips (mostly being lazy), but I might have to give it a try. My guys are motivated by things that they can see and touch-- it would probably help keep them focused. Thanks for sharing!!

Karen said...

this is a cool idea- I'll have to remember this for the future, thanks for sharing.

Michelle said...

That picture of your little guy could be my Prince Charming. He's in that position about 75% of his day...driving cars.

Momma Roar said...

Yay, I found it!

Now, how does it work well with weaver? I feel like I'm always doing most of the teaching and that there isn't a lot to hand over to my oldest.

Any advice would be oh so welcome!!! Thanks! (hope I'm not being a pest)