Sue Patrick's Workbox System has helped me bring order to my day. As a laid~back, Charlotte Mason homeschooler, I sometimes lack order and focus. I was in need of a system that would help me stay on track with the day-to-day items that need to be accomplished. I had heard of the Workbox System and wondered if it would help me with my daily schedule? Would it fit with my CM style? Could it bring order and focus to my days? Yes, yes, yes...the system works and it's easy to implement into any homeschool style!
Sue Patrick, a homeschool mom, developed the Workbox System out of necessity when her son was diagnosed with autism. She has helped countless families, that have children with developmental disabilities. She now offers the Workbox System User's Guide, $19 [ebook] on her website, to help ALL families implement her system.
The Workbox System User's Guide is a 122 page manual that includes 12 helpful chapters like...What is the Workbox System?, Who is this System For?, & How a Day Works to name a few. The guide does an exceptional job of detailing all you need to implement Sue's Workbox System in your homeschool. The guide includes great pictures and you will also receive basic forms to download, when you register your purchase online. Her website has lots of good information on it.
My children enjoy seeing the work in the boxes and knowing what they will need to accomplish during their 'seat work' time. They each have 6 boxes to work through. They have also enjoyed the file folder games and the individual centers that I have incorporated into their daily learning. As a former public education teacher, I know the value of centers, but I forget to include them in my lesson plans. With theWorkbox System it's easy to plan the activities into their schedules! Another thing that the children enjoy is our new science center. I set up a science area and once a week [or more] I set up an experiment and they go to the center to complete the experiment and record their findings. It's fun, new, & adds excitement to the classroom.
One thing that I do not like about the Workbox System is the fact that it puts a big emphasizes on 'school time'. I believe that ALL we do everyday...every minute is tied to learning and we do not 'have school'. I follow Charlotte Mason's philosophy and most of our learning is gained through reading and discussing good books. Time spent on the reading couch...well, you cannot put that in a work box! So there are a few things in the User's Guide that I will not follow. For example, we will not 'clock in to school'. Life IS school! Also, the system puts a huge emphasizes on 'independence'...where children are to work quietly and on their own. One thing that I absolutely love about homeschooling is the fact that we are all together...talking, laughing, and learning together! It does not bother me for my children to talk to me, and each other, while working. It does not bother me if they ask for help. And it does not bother me if they help each other or work together. Independence will come~ I want to cherish these fleeting days that we can all be together.
I do like that this system is easy to tweak and use according to your homeschool needs. Overall, the User's Guide is a great resource. It has helped me be consistent and intentional with the day-to-day items that need to be reinforced [math, spelling, copywork, etc...] and by incorporating review via file folder games and centers. I feel more focused, & on track with my children's learning. If you are looking for a system that will add structure and consistency to your day...try theWorkbox System!