Workbox Weekly

Welcome! I am so glad to have you visiting here today. Have you visited the Workbox Blogroll yet? Are you listed over there? The Workbox Blogroll is a list of homeschool mamas who have incorporated the Workbox System (by Sue Patrick) into their homeschooling. Leave me a note in the comments if you are not listed on the Workbox Blogroll.

I purchased Sue Patrick’s Workbox system last fall and for me, I am glad that I bought it. It was a very quick and easy read, but it gave information about the reasons behind her method. I don’t agree with everything that she has to say, but I can relate to a lot of what she wrote in there (as a mom of a special needs child) and she has some very good ideas.

We started workboxes last summer and had a blast (they really “worked for us”), but we have taken a break from workboxes because we rearranged the way we were doing school (and we love the new system) and then we rearranged the school room (which is also the living room, dining room, and family room). We moved all of the cabinets from one side of the room to the other (well, my husband moved them – yeah for him, he is awesome!). So, the cabinets have been moved and everything is in roughly the same spot inside of them. I just need to re-evaluate how we need the workbox system to work for our family. Their is no point using the system if it does not work for our family (or yours).

In the interest of working the workboxes back into our school (and making them “work for us again”), I am revisiting the things that inspired me in the first place. One of my first views of workboxes was these beautiful fabric covered cereal boxes over on A Mother’s Journal.  I absolutely loved them. I continued on to read the blogs mentioned in her post (you should too!) and do my own extensive research, which resulted in the Workbox Blogroll. I also went on to write several posts about the Workbox System and I wish that I could share them with you, but they were lost in the major server crash of 2009.

There are so many different ways that people have set up their workboxes, here are just a few examples:

We have used magazine holders as our workboxes and they were kept behind closed cabinet doors because we have almost 2 year old twins. The twins will be sharing a Tot Basket which you can read more about if you like. This picture was taken before we rearranged the school room. These are the boxes that I will be setting up again this coming week.

I would love to hear what “works for you” about your workboxes, please leave me a note in the comments.

I am linking this post up with Wednesday Workbox Day and What’s In The Box Wednesday and Works For Me Wednesday.

9 thoughts on “Workbox Weekly”

  1. Hello there, I am stopping by from Works for Me Wednesday!

    I really like your cereal box idea! I am not a homeschooler, but a preschool teacher. I use a milk crate for each month of the year. And I use dishpans to corral materials for Center Time. Finally I have a filer folder (old ones discarded from an office that I flipped inside out) for each theme or topic, which contain ideas.

    Thanks for sharing! While you are hopping around checking out other entries stop on over and visit me at Free 2 Be Frugal.


    1. Hi Niki

      Thanks for visiting my blog today. Just to clarify, the cereal box idea is not mine (it is linked to the blog where the idea came from).

      Thank you for sharing your organizational ideas, I love them.

      I hopped over to your blog for a visit and look around. I tried to leave a comment, but I had some glitches.

      I hope you visit again.


  2. Oh man-hang in there if you can. I take breaks from it too-but mostly due to outside the house busyness. Sometimes, it is more of getting the time to plan and pre-pack the goodies so that when the day comes, you just pull out the stuff and load the boxes. Wish you lived closer-we could bounce the creative juices off of each other and motivate the other during the down times-lol. Guess we’ll have to do it the blog way as we’ve been doing. :0)

    Best wishes to ya there~
    .-= Sheri H´s last blog ..Oreo Cookie Moon Phases activity =-.

    1. Hi Sheri,

      I always love it when you visit. I would love to chat some time (with messenger maybe?) and bounce ideas off each other, as you put it.

      I loved your Oreo Cookie Moon Phases activity. That was such a creative idea.


    1. Hi Erica,

      I love your website. I am happy to link up to your What’s in the Box Wednesday. Come back and visit any time.


  3. My school-age daughter uses 2-gallon ziplock bags (with portfolios inside them for some support) inside a metal crate. Personally, I think that workboxes are overkill for most high schoolers, ‘though I know some people use them that way. (I don’t think they’re a problem for that age, just unnecessary.) Having looked at loooots of people’s pictures and read blog entries, etc., we settled on using a progression:

    -Toddlers will use “real” workboxes, partly to learn about counting and doing things in sequence, and because the original workboxes are more accessible for clumsy fingers. We will start with three and progress to six, but don’t really need more than that before reaching school age.
    -Young elementary schoolers (the stage my older daughter is at now) will use bags in a crate. This way they are somewhat more “contained” than individual boxes, but there is still the advantage of visibility (in the clear bags), the work can still “disappear” (behind a divider) as it’s completed, and it’s still divvied up, one item at a time.
    -Older elementary schoolers will “move up” to one of those “folders of folders” that some of the moms have been using – where there’s a folder for each assignment, but they’re all bound together and there isn’t room to put the actual books inside.
    -Middle schoolers (these ages are pretty vague at this point; this is not specifically a sixth grade or ninth grade or whatever grade break, just a general concept) will not use workboxes, but will have their daily assignments spelled out, individually and clearly.
    -High schoolers will have a list of assignments to complete within a set period of time, but will “schedule” them themselves.

    To me, this is a very logical way to progress from very concrete instruction and assignments to independent planning, little by little.

    So, for us, workboxes work for us by not doing them all the same way! My 2-year-old has a few “real” workboxes and the 7-year-old has a crate.
    .-= Rachel R.´s last blog ..Making Skirts Work (WFMW) =-.

    1. Hi Rachel,

      Thank you for visiting my site and taking the time to share how you use workboxes. I always love reading how other people do things. I love your idea of progression. Thank you for sharing it with us. I went to your site and found the pictures and descriptions you wrote – awesome! I love that people can take this system and tweak it to make it work for their specific circumstances.


  4. I am considering adopting this system as part of my preschool classroom and wanted to bounce some ideas off of those with workbox experience.

    I have no more than 12 students in the room at a time. I have a 3 yrold class and a 4 yr old class. My thought is to have boxes with the child’s photo on it. Inside would be baggies of specific activities I want them to work on. My thought is that this way I can differentiate based on the individuals needs. These boxes would be part of center time and be extra practice for those students that need it or a challenge for those high achievers. My centers include one on one teacher instruction, library, drama, blocks, etc. and this would be one station.

    Any thoughts or recommendations on this adaptation of the system? Thanks for the help.

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