Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Recently I discovered an interesting concept for organizing a homeschooling day. It is called Workboxes. A homeschooling mom named Sue Patrick developed this system of visually organizing the schoolwork into individual clear boxes with one subject per box. Therefore both the mother and the child can see exactly what needs to be done to finish school that day. She adapted this from another system in order to help her son organize his day. He has autism and needed additional help.

I am planning on using this system with some adaptations this school year. I would say that Sue Patrick's website doesn't explain the system well, but there are many blogs that do. Here are a few that I find the most helpful:

The types of things that can go into workboxes are numerous. One can schedule music pratices, art lessons, math, hsitory, science, exercise, etc. Each box is labeled with a velcroed number that is removed and placed on a corresponding chart when the contents are completed. Mrs. Patrick has her son, who is autistic, totally remove the box from the shelf and place it in a large bin. This gives additional visual clues of how much work is left to be done. There are other cards that indicate that a particular box should be done with mom or that the student needs help. Her son also "checks in" to school each day with another card. On the other hand, the mother has a visual clue to show her that she needs to prepare for the next day by loading the boxes. Boy do I need that cue!

From what I understand, this system works for preschoolers to high schoolers; from those with limited budgets and space to those with more generous resources. Browsing all the blogs on this subject, I was surprised to see all the adaptations.

I think you could start with without buying Sue Patrick's book. I did purchase it and I intend on using my own variation. I have starting purchasing Sterilite drawer units that stack. They will be more space saving than the wire shelf/plastic shoebox idea. A more space saving idea is to have a manila envelope system or even envelopes with just the lesson assignment hanging on the wall. Look for more posts on this idea. I will post pictures soon.

1 comment:

Milehimama said...

I'm excited to try workboxes, too. I think it will help the kids be more organized - I hope!