Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sue Patrick Workbox System--The Beginning

Somehow summer vacation has faded into the sunset. As it  has for many of you, the beginning of our school year has arrived. Lesson plans have been made, curriculum purchased (or created), supplies acquired, and our school area organized. It was about six days until our scheduled first day of school that I had this wild idea to implement the Sue Patrick Workbox system into our school. Now I live in North Carolina very close to where the creator of this system, Sue Patrick, lives. I’ve heard those in our homeschool support group talk about using the workbox system. In fact, Sue was at our bookfair this past July and gave several seminars explaining her system, but I was unable to attend the seminars. In fact, I didn’t even think I was that interested in her system at the time.
I believe what started it all was trying to figure out how to get my oldest son organized and able to work in a bit more streamlined fashion while communicating to him what he should be working on independently. I had purchased a planner for him. I tried writing out what he needed to do on a daily basis and it just wasn’t working for me. Hmm,what to do? Time was running out before our start date. Then while cleaning up the school room, I came to the goody bag from the bookfair and again reviewed the materials from Sue Patrick. It got me thinking. Hmm, maybe...
In short, what is the workbox system? The workbox system as developed by Sue Patrick is a way of setting up your school and going through all your work in an organized way with your subjects broken down into easily accomplished tasks. Everything needed for each assignment/subject is placed in one plastic shoebox/workbox and the student works through each box until he is done for the day. I’ll go into more detail in the next blog. 
The first thing I did was visit Sue’s website. It gives you some basic information on what the whole workbox system is all about and ordering information for her book which explains everything fully. In purchasing it, you are also allowed to log into her website for free downloads which are helpful in setting up your own workboxes. Well, I knew I didn’t have time to read her book. I wanted to have everything set up in the next couple days. Thank goodness for the homeschool blogosphere. (I am planning to attend a seminar later this month and buy the book eventually.)
I began searching blogs. Homeschool moms who blog are wonderful. They want to share what they’ve learned and share pictures. This was especially helpful in figuring out the practical side of setting up the workbox system in our own home. How could I feasibly put this together in a matter of days for low cost in the space we had? Well, with the inspiration in these blogs I came up an idea that works for both my 8th grader and my 2nd grader.
If you are considering the Workbox system, I would advise you to look at some blogs too. Here is a great place to start. This is a collection of blogs explaining the workbox system and how it worked for them. This page also has some downloads made by homeschool moms to use with the system. Very helpful!
Next Time--I’ll share how we implemented the system into our school.

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