Saturday, April 23, 2011

Workbox System Revisited

I have been using Sue Patrick's Workbox System for a few months now.  I loved the premise of the idea when I first learned of it through other homeschool blogs.  In reading her book, "Sue Patrick's Workbox System: A User's Guide", I found even more to enjoy about this method.  For those who are unfamiliar with it, here is a brief glimpse at how it works. 

The system is based on the TEACCH method used as a therapy for special needs children.  Ms. Patrick is a homeschooling parent of an autistic son.  She saw the benefits of the TEACCH method and incorporated it into the homeschooling.  She recommends having 12 clear bins, numbered 1-12 that you store on shelves or a rack near the child's desk.  In each bin you place 1 assignment or activity with all the needed supplies to complete the activity.  This could be a workbook, worksheet, art project with the art supplies, book to read, etc.  The idea is that the child can visually see a beginning and an end to not just the individual assignments, but to their schoolwork also.  As they see the bins being emptied or set aside into a "completed" box, the child is motivated to continue on and finish their work.  It helps to foster in the child the ability to work independently.  There are numerous blogs online that show examples of how the families are implementing it in their homes.  You can also find Ms. Patrick's book on her website.

I am working out the bugs in how we have been doing the system.  I am finding that I have 2 areas to work on.  I need to be more organized in the record keeping.   In Oklahoma, we don't have to keep a lot of records but I choose to do so anyways.  You never know when the information may be needed.  I am tracking not only Abbie's lessons and progress, but Micah's therapies and preschooling activities.  As I find a system that works well for me, I will post about it.

The other thing that I am working on is how to use the system in limited space.  Having a set of shelves for each child with the bins to store their daily work in can be hard to accommodate in a small home.  I am considering 4 different methods.  Again, I will post when I have come up with a solution.  My goal is to have it all worked out by June when we start our next term.  We are choosing to homeschool year round, so our school year will be starting at a different time than most.