Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Homeschooling with the Workbox System

One of the great things about being online is that you often stumble across something, follow a rabbit trail somewhere else, and never quite know where you will end up. So it was that I discovered Sue Patrick and her workbox homeschool system. There probably was a bit of divine intervention at work as well.

I have found that once you have moved on to your fourth child to homeschool, sometimes the initiative just isn't there. You've been down the road a few times already and it feels as if you've just finished teaching at that level. What I needed was a little inspiration and a new approach, not to mention that my normally born-organized self had become a little sloppy as of late.

My first exposure to the work box system was through a system of blogging homeschool mothers. Here are a few of the sites that I learned so much from:




Their blog comments were so inspiring to me that I just had to find out for myself if this was a system that work with my two children still schooling at home, Goat Princess - 12 and H-Bob - 7. I was especially intrigued in that she recommended this system for children with self-control issues which we often deal with. After delving around Sue's site www.workboxsystem.com for awhile, I ordered her ebook and set about to read it.

What I found was that Sue's words were little gems to be treasured. She reminded me of why I was homeschooling and that not every system or curriculum will meet each child's need. She reminded me of the resources I have tucked away here and there that would be better utilized through this system.

What is the system? Well, I'd love for you to check out the details straight from her site, but in short order, each child's individual curriculum item is stored in a clear plastic shoebox that is stored on a shoe rack holding these twelve boxes. When each school item is completed, it is removed from the rack leaving a very visual reminder of what is left to accomplish. This has done wonders for both of my daughters and volumes for me. As a very visual learner myself, I can now see what we have left to do and am more motivated to fill up those boxes with possibilities for us each day. There is so much more to Sue's philosophy as well that just made perfect sense to me.

If you're feeling a little down about your homeschooling efforts or need a little boost or spark of creativity in your homeschool, check out Sue's sytem and the blogs of other homeschoolers who have found her to be a blessing to us all. I'd love to hear if you've heard of her work, and if so, if it has changed your approach to schooling as well.

5 comments - click here to leave your comments:

Renae said...

Thanks for sharing your experience with this! I do like the idea, but things have to simmer in my brain for awhile before I act. I may do this in the fall when my second child begins more official-type lessons.

The Happy Housewife said...

This looks very neat. I have a few children who would do well w/ this system. Thanks for sharing!

Katie Talbott said...

Any idea how this would work with larger families? Where would one put 5 (or more) of these shoe racks? I do like the idea. Thanks for sharing.

Connie S. said...


You might find the site by googling, but I did run across one family who used giant parcel envelopes for each activity and then placed them in a larger box. They had the same issue concerning space. They got the same visual recognition using that method. You might also contact Sue Patrick as she has a place for questions on her site www.workboxsystem.com Good luck!

SurvivorBlessing said...

This was very helpful. I have come across the workbox system pretty much like you, one blog to another and an hour later, I found out about those boxes. The first blog didn't really satisfy what I wanted to know about it, so I kept looking, googling, and searching. In a few words, you have told me what I wanted to know. Thank you. I will read Sue's input as well, before I will start using it. It's a great system, it seems. Thanks again.

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