Monday, August 15, 2011

Our Version of The Workbox System

Since we started homeschooling 4 years ago I have seen many, many variations of workboxes.  I had always wanted to try it but space was always my issue.  I don’t have the space in my home for 3 shoe racks!  And sadly I am cheap and didn’t want to spend the money it would take to purchase all that.  I never bought the book either….again because I am cheap!   If you can afford the book and you aren’t cheap, I do suggest you buy her book.  When you purchase the book (from my understanding) you get all the number tags, subject tags, etc.  It just saves you time.  I printed mine for free from different blogs and then laminated them.  It took a little longer, but I didn’t mind.  It saved me a few dollars. 

Now, if you aren’t familiar with the workbox system, let me show you how it works….at least how it works for us =)
This is our little system:

Since the boys are younger and only have basic subjects right now we only needed 5 drawers.  I put their names on a little tag attached to each set of boxes.  Of course they know exactly which boxes is theirs!  
On top of their box is their flip chart that houses their numbers they pull off as they finish each box. 

This is Logan’s flip chart.  I used scrapbook paper and stickers =)

After they finish a box they attach the number to the flip chart.  If there is a blank spot in the flip chart they move on to the next box, but if there is a tag they do whatever the tag says.  For instance if the tag says snack they have snack, if it says Math game they play a Math game and so on. 

In each drawer is one subject.  This is Dawson’s box:

This is where Dawson's Journal picture would go, but I forgot to take a pic of it:)

I include little notes in their workbooks to give them reminders (mostly to READ the directions in their workbook!), telling them how many pages to do or how far to go…that sort of thing. 

So this is how we stay organized!  I am an organizational freak!  And this has made all the difference in staying organized.  It has also helped make the boys much more independent!  They don’t need me to constantly interfere.  I have each child set up so that when one is doing a subject that they may need help in, the other 2 are working on “easy” boxes, one they won’t need help with.  That way my time is spent evenly between them. 

(Here is 2 of the 3 "cool dudes")

It truly is a wonderful system.  I have tried a number of things to make things work for us and this is the first time I found something that actually worked. 

Depending on how you go about setting up your system it can get expensive, but there are many free resources online.  The only real expense I had was the purchase of the Rubbermaid drawers.  They are about $20.00 each, but I feel it was a sound investment.  And we can always use the drawers for something else later. 

If you decide to give it a try come back and tell me what you think! 


  1. We use drawers, but no numbers, and only one drawer per child. It works for us :)

  2. I love how versatile the system is. The concept works in so many ways =)

  3. I bought a 2 file crates for about $3.50 a piece at Walmart. I then put expandable file folders, in place of drawers, in each crate. Each folder is labeled a number and on the front of the crate I have velcro for them to place their number as they finish each folder. Like you, I'm limited in space. :)

  4. We've been using our workbox system for 2.5 years - and still loving it. I used Sue Patrick's original set-up and have just tweaked a few things (i.e., we use a number grid on the girls' desks now instead of the number strip). It really does help with organization and keeping things moving through the day. :^)

  5. I'm so glad you both love your systems. Again I just love how the system is so flexible =)

  6. I use workboxes, too, but I don't use number strips or a grid. I'm thinking I might implement that this year, though, because my son has a habit of not checking every box to make sure he's finished with all his work. :)

  7. Shepherding~
    The number strip has made ALL the difference for us=) I hope you find a way to make it work for you:) And be sure to come back and post a link to your blog. I'd love to read about it =)