Workbox Wonders

Workbox Wonders! The Math-U-See Box

To me, being organized is extremely essential as a homeschooler.  I would not be able to survive a day without a calendar, paper, and a writing utensil to cross things off my list.  I first stumbled over the concept of a workbox system when we began homeschooling. I originally thought it was too complicated of an idea, so held off doing it. I couldn’t have been further from the truth. This year with officially starting preschool with Xander, I was really struggling with how to keep things in order. I needed to find something to help our days run more smoothly, so I could maintain my sanity.  I than read a post by Erica, over at confessionsofahomeschooler.com, where she wrote about how she is using the workbox system with all 4 of her kids.  She is one of my favorite bloggers, so I decided to give it a try. I fell in love immediately and its amazing how easy it is to customize the system to fit your individual family needs. For us, we currently have two towers. I got one at Micheals with a 60% discount and the other on Black Friday at Menards.  I have heard that you can also get them at Jo-Ann Fabrics.  The name of  the tower I use is Recollections 10 Drawer Rolling Organizer. DSC03743 One tower is strictly for Caleb and the other is shared by Xander and Wes.  I’m positive that in the near future, we will be getting another one so that each boy will have their own. For now this works.  Caleb has ADHD and OCD, so everyday is an adventure. Some days are extremely good and some are bad in terms of how we progress through his subjects.  For me,  it’s just easier to update his boxes daily. I than do Xander and Wesley’s tower weekly. First, I would like to show you how I do Caleb’s boxes. His first 3 boxes are filled with his subjects he does daily. (Math, English, Writing/Reading) The remaining 5 boxes are filled with subjects that we touch 1-3 times per week. (Art, Caleb’s Choice of Topic, Science, Social Studies and Piano). Caleb really needs structure for him to stay calm and focused. The workbox system is AWESOME for that because it allows him to be independent without feeling too overwhelmed.  He knows to start each day with the first box and we than work our way down the tower.  The bottom 5 boxes I rotate around depending on which subjects we are going to be working on that day. DSC03747 His first box is for math. He is currently on the Gamma level of Math-U-See.  I put everything in there that might be needed including a pencil and eraser. I can’t begin to tell you how many times we have wasted 15 minutes or more just so Caleb can find a new pencil. This way every box has a sharpened one, so if it happens to break he knows exactly where to locate a new one.

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The instruction manual for me to teach his lesson, student booklet, and test booklet are included in this box.

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Whatever manipulates that are needed for the lesson that we are currently on are also thrown in.

I laugh at myself for not getting on the workbox system bandwagon sooner because it really does work. It has completely changed the way we run our school day.  It did take me a full afternoon and evening to originally set it all up. Of course, there were hiccups the first couple days until we worked out all the kinks. Now it takes me less than 15 minutes to update Caleb’s tower daily and weekly no more than an hour to do both. The time put in at the beginning really does pay off during the week.  I completely adore the workbox system and truly, TRULY believe that it can benefit everyone.  Check out Sue Patricks Workbox System website www.workboxsystem.com , she has great information to help you get started. Also, take a look at www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com to see how Erica is doing it with her kids.  She does an amazing job showing how each child’s tower is broken up. Like I mentioned before, no two homeschoolers are the same. So just get as much information as you can and then use trial and error until you find out what works best for your family.

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