Making Workboxes Work

I first heard about Sue Patrick's Workbox System about two years ago.

We don't follow her system exactly, or even very closely, but the general idea has made our school days a breeze.  Workboxes allow us to have everything we need together and ready to go.  The days that I don't fill our workboxes up, I spend a ton of time trying to gather everything together and Josie spends a ton of time completely distracted.

Sue Patrick's system uses a cart and 12 boxes to hold all the child's work.  We don't need 12 boxes for Kindergarten so I just picked up a couple of these Rubbermaid drawers from Target.

One afternoon a month I sit down and plan out our lessons for the next month.  I list out the supplies we need for any crafts or unit activities and make sure I have them all in our closet.  Then, each night before a school day, I look at our planner and load up our boxes with whatever is needed for each assignment.  It takes about 5 minutes each night to set up for the next day.  Super easy.

During school, I let Josie pick what order she wants to go in.  Everything she needs for every assignment is right in the box.

We started really using this system about 6 months ago and it is working great for us.  

I love starting school knowing that all our supplies are ready to go.  I know that it shaves off a good 30 minutes to our school day.  I also really like that she has the independence to pick what order she wants to go in.  It gives her the feeling of being more in control of her day.  I also love that I don't have to answer the "How much more do we have to do?" question a billion times a day.  She can just look.  When the boxes are empty, she's done.

Eventually this will make it really easy for Josie to work independently.  Right now I still sit with her and help, but once she is a strong reader she will be able to get through most of her work without much assistance from me.

So that's how we organize our lessons.  How about you?  If you're a homeschooler, how do you prep for each day?


My name is Kristen! said...

I love your organization. You are what homeschooling is all about!! Mad props to you girl!!

Sarah said...

I've always wanted to do this but lack the space for all the kids to each have their own set of drawers...I do set things out weekly for what we need, but all the stuff ends up everywhere.

Pickled Pandas said...

This is pretty much what we do too. I'm about to add velcro to our drawers and apply subject tags for each drawer so, when Monkey is done, he can just remove the velcro label from the drawer and place it on his workbox card. This way, everything will stay in the workbox (so his younger brother doesn't run off with it and hide it somewhere) when he is done, and he can see how much work he has done that day.

Kelli said...

This looks like a really well-organized machine. My hat is off to you, my friend!

Jessica S. @Mother of Action said...

I love the workbox system!! Thanks for sharing and Happy Homeschooling!

Kristina said...

We sort of have a workbox system going on, without the boxes! Two shelves are dedicated to our daily activities so we can just "grab it and go." I also let my son pick what he wants to do next-- gives him a bit of control..

Sarah said...

Our days have gone much better since we started using workboxes too.