Wednesday, March 11, 2009


On a couple of the message boards I read, including the one over at HomeschoolShare, the Workbox System is getting a lot of attention. As I understand it, you have somewhere between 6 and 15 boxes that you fill with the days activities. Then your child can work their way through the boxes, some independently, some with help. While I doubt I will be making this a part of our homeschool, there are a few things that appeal to me about it.

First, the fact that Kiddo would be able to see what he needs to do for the day. I could add games and crafts, etc. to our already fairly stable daily routine. I also like the variety it would add to our days. Changing the boxes daily would make each day different. Finally, it would hold me accountable. If it is in a box, we should be doing it.

But, there are also some things that either would not work for us, or I just don't like--at least from what I have heard. First of all, the boxes. I don't have the space to have a rack with boxes set out on it. 12 boxes (which seems to be the number of boxes that is most common) times 2 kids is 24 shoebox size plastic boxes out and about. I have no place to put that. There is also great mention of setting time limits for open-ended activities (like playdough). One of the things I like about homeschooling is that I don't have to have limits on those things. Kiddo can play for hours, if that is what suits him. And, I am not sure how it would work for following Kiddo's lead. At times, Kiddo will do more than I ask him to. He might get on a roll with math and decide to do 3 or 4 pages instead of 1 or 2 There are many days when we get reading a book and have to stop and look up something on the computer, only to have that lead to another question, and more research, etc. We usually get through our basic stuff, but some days we don't. Some days we spend so much time following trails that we never get back to what we started. And that is fine with me. Finally, I am not sure how motivated I would be to fill 12 boxes each night.

I haven't had an opportunity to read the book, and at this point, I can't see myself spending the money on it. Still, I can see myself taking some ideas from what I have read. Kiddo would get to more if I had it ready for him the night before. I can see myself setting up a weeks worth of stuff I'd like to get to, and then doling it out each day. I would have to build in some flexibility so that we could follow our little paths as they pop up. And I will not set a timer for Kiddo. There are very few things that have to be done in a specific amount of time, and he has plenty of time to learn about time limits. Right now I want him to learn about exploring and learning all that he can from every activity he does.

Do you have a system that works particularly well for you? Tell me about it! I am always looking for ideas to draw upon!

1 comment:

Brenda said...

I read the book today and am really thinking about how I will use these in my homeschool. I want to use them, but the author is very structured and scheduled and that is so not me. Perhaps I should be more like that...but I hear what you are saying. I'm not about my 5 year old "getting done" with 12 boxes as the be all end all of my day.
To be fair, you don't have to do 12 boxes. The more I think about it, the more I realize I could bust up what I plan to get done that day into many different boxes quite easily, throwing in some fun stuff that we dont' usually get around to.
Well, I'm still thinking about it all....
Sister and I talked about using 5 boxes during the summer to make sure we cover some things we want to get done (like handwriting for her PS daughter who isn't being taught cursive) and throw our summer theme fun stuff into boxes too. I think it's very adaptable.