Friday, March 5, 2010

Workboxes - with pics

Oh how I've looked and desperately hoped for some magical formula to help me out of the land of woe. 2009 had been a challenging (read STRESSFUL) year and I felt that I've failed in reaching any decent goals with the kids in their education. Now this is NOT a woe-is-me entry, but one of praise. Praise for the system of Sue Patrick. The Workbox system. Now as I've read some (quite a few!) blogs about this system, I realised that I was a tad slow on the uptake and that some ladies have been doing it for quite some time, but hey, better late than never!

The workbox system has changed the way we do our lessons. We've done more work during the last 5 weeks than we did for two terms last year!! Well, it feels like that. This system is amazing. Although (as many other families) we do not follow it exactly as Sue had set it out, it has improved our everyday learning more than I ever thought possible. My dd frequently complained about the amount of pages she had to read, but with this she has not had one complaint about her reading! Cross my heart!

Ok, so I'm sure you are thinking: "Just get on with it and tell me about it", so here goes. (In a nut shell). It is a simple (but effective) way of organising yourself and the children for everyday.

Each child gets a certain amount of boxes to work from. Each box is numbered and contains an activity that your child needs to complete. The boxes are filled before the start of your school day so when the kids get to it they can see what work needs to get done for the day. As they complete each box they put it in a different spot (the floor / another shelf) thereby seeing what they still have to do. Some of the boxes get filled with fun activities as a bit of an incentive to get through the 'slog work'. My ds was not very keen on copy work and I put some fun things in the box that he'll use after his copy work. The kids are very keen in the morning to see what's in their boxes!! Oh JOY!!!

Sue also includes a 'schedule strip'. This holds numbers that correspond with the boxes and learning centres that the kids will do. As they complete the boxes, the numbers on the schedule stip are removed. Again, a visual aid for the kids to see how much work they've already done and how much to go.

The things that most likely make it work is that I HAVE TO FILL THE BOXES else nothing gets done. So, I'm more organised, the kids are more excited and we are having SO MUCH FUN!!! Thank You Lord!

You can visit Sue Patrick's site at:

For now, I best get to bed.

Happy schooling : )

Pictures: our workboxes and schedule strips


Honey said...

Hi Elizabeth,

Thanks for visiting my website.

I see that you are just starting with workboxes. Good for you!

Have you checked out the Workbox Blogroll at my website? Some of those moms have amazing ideas for the workboxes.


patty-jean said...

Thanks! I've never heard of this system, but I am eager to look at this website. I'm in my early years of Homeschooling, looking forward to it - but I am NOT the most organized this looks promising. Welcome to the blogging community!

Elizabeth said...

Hi Honey,

I've checked out some of the websites on the blogroll and I have to keep an eye on how much time I spend on enjoying reading up on them!!


Elizabeth said...

Hi Patty-Jean,

Thanks of the post. I just love this system. It is worth downloading the e-book as well! I'm not born organised either, but this has helped me stay on track. It's been 9 weeks and counting!! a HUGE deal for me!! Plus my kids still enjoying it and ask for more boxes to be added. WOW!!


Pebblekeeper ~ Angie said...

I love the schedule strips. We do this with post it notes. I think I might make up a few of these laminated strips. ;)