This is how we utilize the Sue Patrick Workbox System, as you can fully read up on at www.workboxsystem.com . Please note that the system is tailored to my liking.
We are officially in Week 4 of our school year, and we've consistently used our workboxes almost each day. I must say that I LOVE THIS SYSTEM!! Aside from setting them up each day, this has been by far, the best system for our family. The benefits far outweigh the few negative aspects that the boxes have to offer.
|See numbered fish and empty Velcro.|
These are the boxes after work is completed.
|Spunk's grid before his work is started.|
|I'm fully aware that these aren't perfectly aligned. |
My Type A eyeballs cringe every time I
remember letting the boys help with the Velro.
These are Spunk's little fish on his grid
after his work is completed.
I alternate the boxes between more challenging and more fun. For example, Thoughtful strongly dislikes reading, especially if its fiction. So, after he finishes his reading drawer, the next drawer should have something that he looks forward to, like US States study. This keeps him moving through his work, encouraging him along the way.
This also helps me coordinate whom I'll work with. I can give Thoughtful some independent work in his boxes 1 through 3, while I work with Spunk on his box 1 for math. Then switch.
I occasionally interrupt their box time to give separate lessons, i.e. grammar, phonics, etc. This keeps the lessons short and sweet, and the other child is never bored while he waits.
|Help cards attached with more Velcro|
to their folder bins.
What goes in the box? Besides our core Language and Math curricula, we have all kinds of fun learning! Nature Study, mazes, Draw Write Now, handwriting (eventually), games, readers, play money with instructions on making change, dice for adding and subtracting games, flash cards, Atlas, piano, dictionary, fun workbooks for extra practice, etc. Basically, whatever skills, they're learning in their core subjects, will get practiced in the boxes. For instance, Thoughtful learned about proper nouns last week. So, one day I gave him a book, and had him write 5 proper nouns from the book. Another day, he had a supplemental Language Arts workbook flagged at a proper nouns page for practice.
As they finish the work in the drawers, they stack it up in a letter-sized tray on top of their boxes. The physical act of emptying the box is rewarding in itself. At the end of the day, when they look at all they've accomplished in a heap, they smile. I've heard many comments such as "Look how much I did today," and my favorite, "It sure didn't feel like that much!" When we get it all in, and it was so fun and smooth that it didn't feel like school...........SWEET SUCCESS, my friends!
I let the boys work through their boxes for roughly 45 minutes then I demand they take a play break. So far, this hasn't worked out. THEY LOVE THEIR BOXES AND HAVE ALWAYS INSISTED THEY CONTINUE UNTIL FINISHED. I'm sure the honeymoon will wear off eventually, but for now, I'm going with it. After workboxes, we break for a while, to include lunch and read aloud. Afterwards we do our group subjects, History, Science, and whatever Unit Study we happen to be into at the moment.
I would encourage all homeschooling families to try out the workbox system, especially if your children have learning dysfunctions, are easily distracted, or sensorial issues. Tailor it to your needs. I know of families who use a "work-file" system. So be creative, and figure it out. We're getting in so much learning and loving every minute of it!!