Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Getting back to workboxing

I’ve written before about workboxing and you can read about it here and here.  I’ve done some tweaking here and there but overall I’m still doing workboxing, just not as completely described in Sue Patrick’s book.  I’m not using the strips anymore but that may change once I make up some for Bethanne but for now she is pretty much working one on one with me while Hannah works independently for some subjects then we all come together for some like, Mystery of History and Apologia. 

I’m still using the 6 drawer cart for Hannah (please excuse the dirt I forgot to sweep before taking pictures):

Each girl has an accordian file folder (I will be getting one for Christian later on) that has all papers filed for the week ahead.  On Friday or Saturday I fill this for what we’ll need for the week ahead.  This includes any mini-books for lapbooking, art supplies, etc.  These things really do hold a lot.  Hannah’s is purple and Bethanne’s is pink.


For Bethanne I use a spiral bound pocket/folder book that I found.  It has eight folders w/pockets.  The folders are great for worksheets and papers the pockets are great for holding cut out mini books and art supplies she’ll need.  I plan on adding two velcro dots one will be for a number scheduling card and another will be for a work with mom card but I haven’t gotten around to that yet – as I’ve said she works mainly one on one with me until she reaches more fluency/comprehension in her reading.

I use this instead of drawers because we live in 624 square feet and space is at a premium and if I had thought of these folders that is what I’d have done with Hannah’s as well.  We do tend to get school done faster when I have these filled on time.  The only that doesn’t fit in this is the lapbooks themselves but that is okay as I just put them on top of each other 🙂

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First week of school

I’ve decided to do a 4 day school week.  Why?  Well to be honest by Friday I want a break from teaching and just enjoy my children, it’s not that I don’t enjoy them while I’m teaching them but it’s nice to just enjoy each other without having to do math problems or science experiments.  We begin between 9 and 10 a.m and go until about 2 to 3 p.m. with a break for lunch so we do school for between 4 to 5 hours.  There will be times I’ll cram something in on Thursday that would be on Friday but that is okay.  This also leaves open Friday’s for our field trips, interest/co-op group or just family trips.

One activity Hannah and Bethanne had to do for Mystery of History Vol. 1 was to take playdough and create a person or an animal to see how hard it is, which also demonstrates how great God is since He was able to create everything with just the spoken word!  Even Christian joined but we didn’t get a picture of his.

Bethanne (‘created’ Eve):

Hannah (‘created’ snake and a person):


I’ll also be working on getting our timeline up so we can begin adding our figures to it.  I think the children will really enjoy that!  While at the Dollar Tree to pick up poster board for our time line and the lapbooking class Hannah will be doing at interest group I had an epiphany!  Since I’m needing something for Christian – I found a few educational ‘toys’ like stringing beads, a number foam puzzle with Disney’s Cars, a metal pan with some magnetic numbers to use with the magnetic letters I already have.  I added the stringing beads to a storage tub (plastic shoe box) and he had a ball and was so excited that it was all his!  He seems to understand it’s only to be out when his sisters are doing school.  I plan on adding one or two new things a week along with some coloring pages or worksheets that I print off.  Here he is with his tub:

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Our Workboxing

Some may remember my other post about getting started in workboxing using some ideas from Sue Patrick’s Workbox System and I wanted to share what we’ve been doing so far.   My original post with what I was planning but things have changed and we’re going about it a whole new way.  I found a 6 drawer cart w/organizing tray at Aldi’s and we have a perfect niche for it.   I put two velcro squares on the drawers one for the number card and another for the ‘work with mom’ card.  The intent is to put all the papers Hannah will need the next day in the drawers the night before – I haven’t gotten into a routine with this and usually end up doing the morning of.  It’s working for us though.  I have her place her finished worksheets in a manilla file folder which I then pull out and grade and file them in her portfolio.

Upclose of a drawer:

The organizing tray with the schedule strips, envelopes with extra cards and strips, pencil holder which I’ve since moved, and the box which was turned into a pinhole viewer.

Math worksheet, ruler, pencil (all of these were in the drawer) and her schedule strip.

 Hannah, hard at work on her workboxing 😀

So this is our workboxing, for now, I’m sure it’ll change at some point especially as I add the other children.  For now this is what works for us in our 675 square foot house though.  😀


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I’ve been doing it without knowing what it was but with the actual system you actually do more than what I’ve done.  Currently I’m using the expandable file folders, which is nice but doesn’t hold much more than papers and with the workbox system I’d actually be putting all the supples that would be needed for that subject.  To see more about workboxing, visit Sue Patrick’s Workbox System.  I have been told that tweaking is supposed to be a no-no but I am a tweaker – I tweak almost every curriculum I use, even math.


If I do workboxing for each child, right now I have three (that could change though Lord willing) I’d need 18 boxes for just the three I have now.  We have people, one dog and soon to be guinea pig in 675 square feet, there is no way I can have 18 shoe boxes in my house, unless I wanted to get rid of the kitchen table, a couch or the stove LOL so I cleared off a shelf on my book case and will be investing in some magazine file organizer things which will be for my oldest.  I’m hoping to get at least 6 on the shelf, so 6 less than the recommended 12 but that will give us a good idea if workboxing will work for us.


Why workboxing?  Freedom.  I am only half joking – workboxing will free up the time I spend with teaching Hannah so I can work with Bethanne and Christian.  Right now, Hannah is pretty independent doing grammar, geography and cursive on her own and I do science, math and art with her.  By using the workbox system I can put all the supplies and her art lesson in a box, she can pull out the art book read what needs read and do the art lesson.  I’ll still need to help with math but with science she can do the reading and her lapnoting on her own.  This will save me time and while she is working on her I’ll be working with Bethanne and Christian.


What about finished work?  I’m no expert and I’m waiting on the  Sue Patrick’s Workbox System User Guide I ordered last week to arrive.  From what I gather from other workboxer’s blogs there is a schedule and when that box’s contents are completed they remove the schedule thingy and move it to another area (okay I know that sounds confusing!) so they (and I) can see what has been done.  Once all the work has completed I’ll go through and do grading and put the next day’s assignments in the ‘boxes’.


As I learn more and as we get our system going I’ll post pictures and updates.  Hannah is very excited as am I.  I think it will make school more fun and provide Hannah with a sense of accomplishment as she finishes each ‘box’ throughout the day. 


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