Monday, August 16, 2010


My neighbor, Kristen Burdett, showed me her workbox system for homeschooling.  She bought them for $30 at Sam's.

It's working for us.  Really working for us.  My son is first-born, strong-willed, wants to be in charge and doesn't always want to "do school."  These workboxes have totally changed our school day.  He is super excited about starting the day, he can't wait to see what's in the next drawer.  He zooms through the work in no time!

I'd seen the idea on other blogs and was dragging my feet about doing it.  My hesitation to jump on the workbox bandwagon was because I thought it would take years to fill up the drawers.  I mistakenly thought it would take lots of time for planning.

But I can usually fill the drawers in 10-15 minutes.

That time is so worth it the next day when we're doing school.

What do I fill the drawers with?
Comm. Central stuff.  Sometimes disguised.

- I made a booklet by typing the first paragraph of his poem then copied it 2 times, each time removing more words.  The last "sheet" I typed: "recite from memory."  Cut the paper into 4 strips then staple together.

 - We are recording highs/lows of the weather (and eventually we'll chart them).  In the drawer, I've included a clip board and a pencil - because Kristen says that you want to have everything in the box needed for the activity so the child doesn't have an excuse to wander.

 - Chores (unload dishwasher, pick up toys in your room, play with sister)

 - Exercise (10 minutes outside, jumping jacks, sidwalk chalk, etc.)

 - Puzzles, coloring sheets

 - The sky is the limit!!

One of the great things about the boxes is that you can put something your child will enjoy just after something hard.  For example, my son does not enjoy handwriting.  But when he pulls out the handwriting box, he can see that next will be a game or something tactile, fun, or cool.

You want to keep them guessing as far as the order of activities, because after all, YOU are in charge - they are not. I don't let my son rummage through all the boxes.  He has to wait until he's finished each box completely before he's allowed to look in the next one.  And he has to put everything back in the box (clean up) before moving to the next activity.

Kristen, my neighbor, did a webinar to learn more about the ins-and-outs of the workbox system.  She highly recommended it.

1 comment:

  1. Never thought about using a workbox system. Good way to keep materials together as well.

    like the idea you gave for the poem.