Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bless the lady who came up with the "Work Box" system for homeschooling!!

Searching for some homeschooling inspiration a few months ago, I came across a few homeschooling blogs that raved about a work box system. After doing some google searches and reading more about it, I felt like I had finally found exactly what I needed to implement for our home school!

You can check out the website of the lady, Sue Patrick, who actually made this system popular ( and do a google search to see the different ways people have modified her idea to work for them and their home schools. Sue's original plan is to have 12 clear plastic bins for each child you home school. I knew right away that would not work for us...that is just WAAAY too many bins and WAAAY to hard to try and find a place out of the baby's reach to keep all the bins! It took me a few months to figure out how I could modify the idea to work for us. Some families were just using 12 folders per child all kept in a milk crate, and I thought that might be the only way we could do it. Then the other night I got a brilliant inspiration to set up our foldable table and see what I could fit on top of it.
Miraculously, things fit PERFECTLY. Each of the 3 older kids all of 4 bins which I fill with between 2-4 assignments depending. The two little girls each have 2 bins. And there is even room on the table for my crate full of file folder activities (another "new" addition to our home school and another life saver!!) and my little clipboard to keep track of the assignments I have the kids complete each day (very general.)
We have only used this new system now for two days, but it has literally revolutionized our home school and I can't imagine life without it! I have been amassing home school materials and books for years and have not really known a good way to implement them all into my children's education. The workbox system is the perfect solution! There are some things that go in bins each and every day of school (we school Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday then the kids go to the Home school Academy on Thursdays and Fridays are reserved for special projects and field trips.) I have a few great books like daily prompts for writing and daily math practice prompts and things of that nature. Each kid gets a few file folder activities that cover a range of subjects from reading to geography to writing to math. I LOVE file folder activities (my favorite are the Take It To Your Seat learning centers) and my laminator and I have had many nights of bonding (ha, literally!) as I have put the folders together. I still have TONS to assemble, but am so happy to have found this great resource! I try and put a few "fun" things in people's bins every day like puzzles, tanagrams or other fun activities. It has taken me about 30-45 minutes to fill the bins every night. I have had to make copy's out of books so that takes some time (even consumable books I generally make copies of so other kids can use them later on.) I really enjoy filling the bins, though, and finding things to put in that we have never had the chance to use! I also try and think of things the kids will enjoy finding in them. :) In general, this is the EASIEST homeschooling system we have ever had!
I have been literally amazed at the children's response and enthusiasm for this new system! Sebastian was actually up early and wanting to start on his school work first thing in the morning! He is usually *less* than enthusiastic about doing any school work. They all get their bins out and work through their assignments with basically NO complaining! It is lovely, wonderful and heartwarming to see them all busy at work for a few hours every morning!

1 comment:

  1. very innovative. i really like that about homeschooling-you are required to think of new methods, systems, approaches, etc. to teaching and learning and meeting the needs of your kids voracious minds!! how neat for all of you.