Workbox System

Okay, so I’ve started something new in our homeschool this afternoon.  It’s the Workbox System, and loosely started it I should say, as I don’t have the official book by Sue Patrick yet, but I do plan to get it ASAP (hubby just said he would put the money aside next week).

Anyway, there’s a huge discussion going on at the Five In A Row boards right now about the Workbox System, offering up alternatives to the clear shoe-boxes that are called for when using the Workbox System and tons of ideas for what to put in the boxes.   I got totally sucked in, but I think we’re gonna love it.

Confused?  You should be.  I’m talking in circles.  That’s mostly because all my Five In A Row buds already know what I’m talking about. 

In a nutshell, you use a rolling cart that will hold 12 clear plastic shoeboxes.  In these shoeboxes you place 12 items/assignments of school work to be completed during the day.  The child works left to right, top to bottom, finishing their work more independently than ever.  It’s apparently accomplished great things for children with ADD and other such diagnoses.  That’s a broad overview.  I have not touched on any of the fine points, which I’m looking forward to reading about further in Sue’s book.

Anyhoo, I’ve started out totally on my own eclectic foot with this program, choosing to use decorated cereal boxes for our boxes.  I am not saying I won’t go with clear boxes.  I am saying that I want to read the book first and that I want to figure out if I’ve got room for a stand that holds 12 clear boxes.   (We can barely walk through the hallway as it is.)  I am also starting with 9 boxes.  I want to see how Princess of the Universe reacts to this. 

Michaela’s school shelf is now totally clutter free.

The boxes are super cute and I know Miss Priss will love them.  (I cannot believe she has not noticed them yet. Maybe she cuts her eyes away when she passes by the school shelf. ha ha)

Each box holds an assignment.  We’ll start the day with math.

I am sure this system is going to help me pull in things that we don’t always remember to do.

Just look at that little Heart of the Home box.  Sweet.  This will contain domestic assignments.  Like now…

Don’t worry.  She won’t get free reign of the stove without supervision, but I do think she’ll enjoy this being HER assignment.  I’m going to get everything together this evening so it’ll be easier tomorrow.

She also has a Five In A Row assignment, a handwriting assignment, a page from a test booklet and a couple of other things I *can’t remember* right now. (*That might give you a clue as to why this system will help us do everything every day. It’ll be in the boxes ready to go.)

I could easily have filled up more boxes, but tomorrow is our first day and I want to see how long this takes her to work through.  Also I really want to read Sue’s book and get serious about the fine points.  In three short months Big Joe will graduate, so I’ll have another shelf for more boxes.  We could also perhaps switch to the clear boxes for the new school year.

For now I’m doing a test run with cereal boxes.

I first heard about this system from my friend, Leslie, and she’s got pictures on her blog

In looking on line, there’s a post on another blog where someone has set up their own version of the workbox system.  See it here at Ginger-Snap-Shots.

Another friend, Kristina, has pictures on her blog of her system

Another friend, Jessica, is using envelopes for her system. 

There are other pictures out there, but this gives you some ideas. 


PS — There is an update on our cereal boxes —>>  here!

  60 comments for “Workbox System

  1. Dawn
    July 9, 2011 at 6:29 am

    I’m encouraged to “meet” another mom with OLDER children trying to implement some of the workbox ideas into life. Your son John reminds me of our 13 year old son, Caleb, the firecracker in our family who seems to need to be the center of every conversation.
    Looking forward to hearing how your planning goes. I’m hoping for a simple plan that will keep all accountable and productive.

    • July 9, 2011 at 7:47 am

      Dear Dawn, thank you so much for the comment. I think you will like the workbox system. Even though Michaela was older, she really, really liked it; and, she liked the “surprise” of pulling things out of a not-clear cereal box. :) It worked for us, especially since we had so little space. I think the key is just following through and staying enthusiastic about it. Thanks again for your comment!

  2. August 4, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    I Love your blog :)

  3. December 31, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    I found this post such a blessing to my homeschool family! I just wanted to let you know I made a blog post about our workboxes that I adapted after reading your post. I’ve been getting many compliments on them, so I wanted to give you proper credit. :)

    • January 1, 2015 at 9:52 pm

      Cassie, I look forward to visiting the post you linked. Thank you for sharing your kind thoughts! Lynn

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