09 January 2012

My version of the workbox system.

Last year, I read Sue Patrick's Workbox System A User's Guide.  For those of you not familiar with the idea, it's a system of "boxes" for the school day.  Each box is to be labeled with a number and the students are to work through them in order.  It's actually great for breaking up subjects that are overwhelming, but for me, I wanted it for a little more independence.  I felt like Josh wanted me by his side 24/7 to reinforce his answers.  It was like he wasn't wanting to be the least bit independent, even if it was just to color. 

Last year, I did it exactly like it was written in the book.  Halfway through the year, I was a little sick of filling boxes nightly.  I looked around the ol blogosphere trying to find something to work for us.  I loved the idea of the IKEA trofast system, but realistically, I would need three separate shelving units....and I don't have that much room. 

The one day I found this pin on Pinterest:

Problem solved.  I have room for three dish drainers.  This is what I've been using this school year and I love it.  We not only get through our "have to" school, we get to do our "want to, fun stuff" school.  It's easier for me to fill, easy for them to see what comes next and when they've finished a subject, they just put it into our little robot bag that I keep by my desk.  Here's a picture of our system.

If there is something over sized, like a floor puzzle or like tomorrow, coin sorting and adding, I just put a slip of paper where I want him to work on it and he knows what to do next.  Sometimes I even hide little treats, like tattoos or stickers in after subjects I know he doesn't like.  I really think the workbox system is amazing.  We get through a large amount of work each day in a very reasonable amount of time.  And now that I'm doing 1st, K & PreK....really, it's just about priceless for us. 

Here's a video I made going through it a little more for you:

28 comments:

Lisa Grace said...

I've seen this done, but never really given it much thought ... until I watched you video. Thanks for doing it that way! We, too, are using astronomy this year and enjoying it. I did, however, buy the notebooking junior journal that goes with it to make my life a little more simple. And we're also using Story of the World! I get excited when I see others using things that I recognize, LOL.

How do you like the Road Trip USA?

Currently I have 2 children homeschooling (K/1 and 2nd) and have a set of small drawers that I use. I wanted to buy scrapbooking drawers, but they were expensive, so these hold an 8 1/2 by 11 paper/book no prob. However, our family is growing a lot and I don't know that I'll have room for 5 or 6 sets of drawers. I'm excited to explore this option and see if it will work for us. Thanks!

Charli said...

Lisa, I looked at the scrapbooking drawers, but the reviews on Amazon made them seem not terribly sturdy. We are really liking USA roadtrip. I'm not doing as fast a pace as she recommends, we do one state a week. It's a lot of fun, the boys especially like the food aspect that goes along with each state.

247mama said...

I love this and am totally stealing it from you. I have been looking for a more simple way that doesn't take up a bunch of space and is economical and this is it. Can't wait to try it.

Rachel E. said...

Love the dish rack idea! I don't do workboxes, but it may be perfect for my little preschooler. She just started today.

Charli said...

You'll love it. It's so much easier (and cheaper) than all those little shoe boxes.

Jennifer said...

You are a genius! I liked the idea of the organizational aspect of workboxes, but I have no room for 12 separate workboxes for 3 kids!

I need to implement something like this so that we do get to the fun stuff instead of just math, reading and writing.

Thanks for the video, it was great! :)

Sheparding Hearts: Wife & Mommy said...

Love it! Definitely going to use this idea for next year (we only have 3 weeks left of this year)!!!

AdoptionMom said...

I bought the scrapbooking drawers at Hobby Lobby using 40% off coupons and love them. We have been using our drawers for 4 years and they have held up. I think I have a pic on my blog. http://adoptivemomhomeschoolinganonlychild.blogspot.com/2011/08/here-is-my-dreama-homeschooling-room.html
This link has my dream homeschool room and then a picture of my actual workbox system that we use.
Moe

Damsel said...

This is awesome. Organization makes me HAPPY! We are homeschooling our 3rd grader for the first time next year, and I'm gathering ideas.... definitely bookmarking this one! Thank you!

TN Quiltbug said...

Love your idea! We are also using Road Trip, and are having lots of fun! :)

Charli said...

I'm glad to know this. The reviews on Amazon we're not that great.

Anonymous said...

You may want to play with them a bit at the store. We have a lot of boys and I'm not sure how sturdy they are. The idea is good but more then 1 boy in a room with plastic shelves is just asking for trouble. At least dish racks are cheep to replace.

Hilliard Family said...

I like this. I did buy one set of boxes to use this year but we really haven't done it. Mostly I don't like that the books and papers don't lie flat and get bendy so I don't put them in there. Then we end up not being organized for the day. Since I'm adding my second kid next year, I need to do better. This might be a better idea for us. Thanks!

Steph B. said...

I Love this idea! :)

I am a homeschool mom from WV as well! :) So excited to "meet" you! :)

Shecki Grtlyblesd said...

Great idea! I've never been attracted to the workbox plan, but I'm glad you found something that works well for you.

mamaforhim said...

I love the workbox idea! I thought about buying a set of drawers for all my kids, but then what if we want or need to travel within the school year? I decided to stick with what I have: a file box!

I just need to streamline it more!

Anonymous said...

This type of thing is very similar to how I work in my Montessori classroom (in a school). I write up on the board what the children work on in their 3 hr work cycle and while they are all working independently I call groups and work with them on lessons... All the materials that the children need are in their trays or on the shelves and they have access to them at any time they need.

Charli said...

It really does help the day move more smoothly. Thanks everyone for stopping by!

PeLLeW FaMiLy said...

I LOVE this idea! Thank you so much for sharing and for making a video. Very helpful! :)

Charli said...

Thanks for stopping by. This system worked great for us last year. I'm keeping it for this coming year.

Anonymous said...

Charli,
I loved your ideas about the dish drainer! We have two kids, ages 10 and 12. I am thinking that when I go to a yard sale this weekend that I will be looking for dish drainers and trying to follow your ideas. I so much like your compact idea, I don't have a lot of room for shoe boxes all over the place.
Thanks so much!
Mary Catone

Charli said...

Glad you like it Mary. Good luck at the yard sales!

Drea said...

love this may try this 1st -was debating doing the work boxes this coming year. we will have a K and 2nd grader but i also have a 2 yr old and am due in oct with a 4th. all of ours are boys!! (so far hah) - any how, this looks a bit more destructive proof :) - and the dollar tree sells them for a buck, so you cant beat that! off to read your blog more ;-)

Drea
www.dreawood.com

Charli said...

Drea, thanks for stopping by. Congrats! Boys are awesome.

Jimmie said...

Clever idea. Use what you have, right?

JES said...

I like this idea. I prepare a stack but it isn't half as convenient as what you are sharing because you can go through your inventory quicker. Also, I LOVE the Language Lessons Series that I see you use :) I am going to dig around and see what I can come up with. Thank you for sharing this :)

Amanda said...

I LOVE this idea! Thanks for posting about it. I have been trying to decide how best to implement the WB system with my 6 kiddos - there is no way I can do individual boxes for each activity for each child! Thanks!

Charli said...

Thanks for stopping by! I can't imaging the volume of shoe boxes with six kiddos - it was overwhelming with three!