Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday's Tidbit

Many of us have heard of this wondrous system known as the "workbox system."  Last spring, several moms hosted a seminar on how they use them.  Jenny Bischoff, one of those moms is sharing today on how workboxes operate for her family.  Jenny and her husband, Paul, have three kids--Kate (Lower Middle School), Georgia (Primary), and Calvin (Jr. Kindergarten).  This is their sixth year at SLOCA and Jenny is also the Wednesday NOL (Nice Office Lady).

For more information about workboxes, check out Sue Patrick's website.  Thank you, Jenny for sharing.

I started using the workbox system in January of 2011, after hearing about it the previous summer. We had had a rough fall trimester trying to "get it all done" while enjoying the learning process and maintaining some level of sanity. It wasn't happening. I was homeschooling a 5th grader, a 1st grader and a rambunctious 4 year old. One daughter was constantly distracted and never knew what she was supposed to be doing, the other daughter complained about her work and wanted to play all day, and the youngest (who hates to be alone), wanted to be in the middle of whatever we were doing, while jumping off of the furniture and singing at full volume. I was ready to try anything to help us get organized, stay motivated, and simplify our school day.

It was a remarkably easy transition to implement workboxes, and all three kids took to it beautifully. My oldest keeps her boxes in her bedroom, next to her desk, since she does most of her work independently and likes a quiet space. The other two have theirs in the school room where they can work with me. Now that we are using them, my oldest can easily see what she needs to accomplish for the day and when she is finished. No more wandering around the house forgetting what's next. My other daughter gets a break after each row of boxes to play for 10 minutes, which is enough motivation for her to complete those 3 boxes with a good attitude. She also loves knowing when she's done for the day, and enjoys looking forward to some fun activities that may be ahead in one of the boxes. The biggest improvement of all has been with my 4 year old, who now has his own set of boxes and school work that he can complete either with me or on his own (I give him some of each). He can still be in the same room with us, but is busily engaged most of the time, instead of distracting me and his sisters. He is learning the routine of completing tasks, and enjoying learning.

It's so versatile, those who are creative could really have fun thinking of things to include in the boxes. The time to prep the boxes the night before is well worth it, because our homeschool days are much smoother and more peaceful. My mental strain is greatly reduced - I don't have to juggle everyone's grids in my mind because everything is laid out for the day, ready to go. Even when we have an interruption in our day, it's so much easier to get back on track. We still have our occasional grumpy days and bad attitudes (mom included), but there is a great peace of mind that this system has brought to our homeschooling experience. It has given me a lot more confidence going into this next school year, and I love it!  I'm happy to talk to anyone about more details, or answer questions - jenbischoff@pacbell.net

 SLO Classical Academy is not affiliated with Sue Patrick.


Cozy's Corner said...

We are going to give a "faberized" version of this system this year. Looking forward to it!

Susie Theule said...

Theule's are in with a version too. Still hammering out details, but looking forward to getting it worked out!