Workbox Warmup

I have been waiting (very patiently, I think) for the book, Sue Patrick's Workbox System, to get here! Meanwhile, I have been (unofficially) trying the system out. I have five children that I do school with from ages 2 - 13. My Totschooler (age 2) and my Preschooler (age 4) share one cart, so they each have 6 boxes.  My three older boys each have their own cart with 12 boxes each.  Since I have not read the book and my printer is out of ink (from all those lapbooks!) I have not implemented the whole system, however, I can say it has been a fun challenge filling the boxes! And it has already been a blessing to be so much more organized!

The first night I was up to midnight filling the boxes, but it was great to see the kids get so excited over the boxes! They told me they liked it the first day. They loved having school laid out before their eyes - they are visual like me!  They liked knowing what they had to do and it motivated them to keep working, knowing that something fun was coming up.  I told them the system incorporated breaks, playtime, etc. so they are really excited for that.  I love it that our day went so much smoother because I was prepared!  I also liked that I was more creative in coming up with ideas of "what to put in the box."  Here is my first time filling the boxes. (I didn't fill all 12 boxes . . . yet!)

So what's in the boxes?
  • Bible and notebook to journal what they read or learned 
  • Memory verse copywork/lyrics to Sing the Word cd
  • Activity and supplies for a Homonyms, Synonyms and Antonym book they are working on
  • Grammar songs activity or Easy Grammar worksheet/assignment
  • Minit books for a lapbook they are working on
  • Learning to Read series leveled reader
  • Free reading choice
  • Explode the Code book
  • Notebooking page for science
  • Geography lesson on Antarctica - map work and reading
  • Italic handwriting books
  • Writing Strands lesson and journal to write in
  • Math workbook
When I first saw this idea, I thought there was no way it would work for 5 children.  I didn't think we had room for more stuff.  Carissa's post here, led me to many wonderful blogs showing how the system is working for them (including lots of ideas of what to put in the boxes). It was great to see so many ideas and links to even more sites! Leslie's post here (then scroll down) gave me a great idea of how they could work for us.  Seeing the boxes set up in her dining room made me think that we could make this work!

Here are the boys assembling the carts and a pic of the box for people like me (Leslie had posted a pic of the box on her blog and I was grateful to remember it when I was looking for it at Target).

I will share more about what I put in the box for my Preschooler and Totschooler in upcoming posts. I'm off to fill some boxes!


  1. Ok, that looks amazing!

    I'm still not sure if I am jumping in yet. I'm praying if this is the way for us to go in the fall. Not sure where I would store that unit in our house with 8 children.

    Thanks for explaining it so well too. Carisa and Leslie are so helpful too!


  2. Jill, units for 8 children would be a challenge . . .

    I originally thought of using a raingutter book system instead of boxes, with sections (the brackets that hang the gutters act as a divider). Then each item would still be visible, faced out, and the gutters are off the floor and on the wall. This is great for little ones. The tallest would have to be on top! :-)

    You have a beautiful family! I pray your family and homeschool are blessed!

  3. I would be really interested to find out how the system works with your two littlest. We are going to "officially" start preschool soon and I NEED some way to get organized.

  4. Great job Michelle!!! I'm so glad some of my posts were helpful too. It's just rejuvenated our days (and me!). I hope you'll continue to enjoy and be blessed by using it. (And I hope your book comes soon too.


  5. I got my book and have read it... which lead to completely reorganizing our school stuff, rearranging where we do school so the boxes could be closer, and making the schedule strips, etc, and some learning centers. I hope to share soon what is working for us!