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If you haven’t heard of Sue Patrick’s workbox system, you are seriously missing out on something.

The system is essentially an organizational tool to help you get through your day and organize your time and subjects better. So simple is it, that many people who read the book, or see it done think, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

How Workboxing Works: The General Idea
The idea is that you have clear shoeboxes and you divide your child’s time up into these “workboxes”. The system is very visual, and so the child moves from one workboxing session to the next.

It is supposed to promote independence in work. As the child moves through his day he can physically see the boxes disappearing. It was developed for use with special needs kids, and I’ve heard that it does work very well with those types of kids.

Sort of Workboxing (Or Do I Really Have to Do Exactly As She Says?)
If you are frugal and don’t want to buy the book, technically speaking, you don’t have to. There are all sorts of people out there blogging on this at this point, and so you could likely garner the information without actually reading the book.

Should you buy the book? My answer is yes. . .for a couple of reasons. First, I think it’s important to support fellow homeschooling moms when feasible. I would buy the book (I did buy the book) for no other reason than that.

Secondly, while there are many people “tweaking” the system successfully (including yours truly), there are a whole host of people who have said, “Gosh, this doesn’t work.” And the reason it didn’t work for them is because they failed to fully grasp the concept because.. .you guessed it. . .they didn’t read the book. I suspect that for myself, along with other who are tweaking successfully–it is successful because the philosophy behind what we’re doing is fully understood.

Will you read the book and think you could’ve/should’ve/would’ve thought of that? Probably. It’s not earth shattering revelation. But I didn’t think of it.

My Personal Experiences
As I mentioned, we have tweaked the system to fit our needs. We have space issues (900 sq. ft. house. . .7 people. . .’nuff said), and so getting 12 shoe boxes for each kid was just not going to work. I have one bookshelf (which I already owned) and my older kids actually prefer a to do list. So there stuff is lined up in accordance with their to do list, and they move from left to right throughout the day. For my younger children, I am using Ziploc containers, and baggies. It has worked just as well, they can see what’s in there, and they can watch it disappear.

Has it revolutionized my homeschool? No–but it has improved it allowing me to bring in other stuff that I previously didn’t have time for. It caused me to think about the most practical way of getting in one on one time with each child. . .and when to schedule that. It’s also helped us to incorporate our preschoolers more into the mix.

Does the Workbox System work with anything? Yes, it does. That’s the beauty–any curriculum, and any style of teaching will work with the workbox system.