Homeschooling 101- Workboxes



Homeschool 101

Part 4- Workboxes
(Click here for Part 3- The Curriculum)

In Part 3 of our Homeschool 101 series, we took a look at the many options for curriculum that are available.  Our choice for curriculum over the years has been an eclectic sampling of many different styles and philosophies- choosing to use what worked best for us at a particular time rather than committing for years to one individual curriculum.

The one constant that has stayed with us through our homeschooling journey is our dedication to using Workboxes.  We first came upon Sue Patrick’s workbox system sometime in our first year of homeschooling and although we have never used the system exactly as directed, we have used a variety of workbox options throughout the years we have homeschooled.

So what are Workboxes?  Workboxes are a structured system of presenting lessons to children that allows them the independence of self-directed learning with the bonus of clear visual stimuli that encourage self-motivation and allows the teaching parent to step more into a secondary role during the actual learning time.

Let me share with you some of Sue Patrick’s words describing the Workbox system:

Sue Patrick’s Workbox System has two very important components.  The first component teaches you how to optimize the benefits of homeschooling.  One of the reasons we home school is to provide the best teaching and learning environment for our children.  I will show you how to present your child’s work with purpose and fun, and allow you to be more systematic with appropriate materials.

I will explain how to make your current curriculum and work “make sense” to your child.  Often a child’s ability to succeed simply depends on having the material presented in smaller pieces that are especially tailored to him.  Also, presenting his material throughout the day with variety and enhanced teaching “angles” will make sure he truly learns.  While this is great for all children, I can address teaching low functioning children as well as gifted and distractible ones.

The second component is the physical structure of Sue Patrick’s Workbox System which will allow you to teach your child more effectively, and at the same time help you to better organize your school day.  Children using this system stay more focused and are more successful in learning and completing their school work independently.  With as little as one day’s work in restructuring your classroom, you will provide better organization for you and your child.  It will then be easier to set up a school day of curriculum, variety and fun, while steering your child toward independence and greater focus.

Here are a few examples of Workboxes at work:

Basically- when using any variety of the Workbox system, the teaching parent will plan the child’s lessons for the day and place them in “boxes” that contain numbers directing the child to complete each box worth of lessons and when they have finished the boxes they have finished their work for the day.

This has been a great help for my very visual special needs homeschooler- he sees exactly how much work he has for a day and he knows that if he stays focused then once he has completed the work in his boxes, he is done for the day.  He loves having control over when and how he completes his work and having all components for each lesson in the box helps him focus instead of looking all over for a particular book or workbook (or calculator, pencil, folder, etc).

Here is a post about one way we have tweaked the Workbox system to work for us in the past.

Here are some great links for additional Workbox resources and ideas for how to use them:

Working the Workboxes

Workbox Info


The Workbox Blogroll

This is just a tiny taste of the options you have when using Workboxes.  I will be posting soon about our newest Workbox system and how it’s working for us soon.

Up Next- Homeschool 101- Part 5- Charlotte Mason

We have many years of homeschooling experience and we are hoping to be able to share our trials and our triumphs here in our Homeschooling 101 series.  We will walk you through the basics and answer our most commonly asked questions.  We hope this will be a good resource for those just beginning their journey and an encouragement to the more experienced homeschoolers.


6 thoughts on “Homeschooling 101- Workboxes

  1. I love this system! Just started using it in my first year of homeschooling as a working parent. My husband and I teach our kids and this makes it easy for him to take over and my other home helper to do so also. Everyone is on the same page. I’m glad you told us how long you’ve been using it.

  2. I love, love, love workboxes. I use for my 4th and 7th grader and (my husband who co-teaches with me, lol). It keeps us all on the same page. I tweaked mine so I only have to fill my boxes 1 time a week.

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