One of the main reasons that parents choose to participate in homeschooling their children is the flexibility of what they can teach, how they can teach it and when they can teach it. It is always a balancing act between flexibility and unschooling versus structure and organization.
The Workbox System is the creation of Sue Patrick. All of the activities or lessons of the day are organized and labeled. Everything needed to complete the project is in the box from paper, to scissors, glue and any other details. If there is a text book it is in the box. Each subject would have its own box.
For example: The boxes for Monday may be math, bibles studies, reading skills, science steps and penmanship. Students simply take the first box, complete the tasks. They put the work back in the box.
It is a well thought out and very organized approach to homeschooling.
Every methodology has its pros and cons. Some of the advantages of the workbox system are fairly straight forward.
– Fosters independent work
Because everything that is needed is in the box, there is not a need to gather things or find anything. Just open the box on the desk and get working. If the educator is talking with another student finish up the box you are on and move to the next one.
– Saves time
Many students have items spread all over the house. This saves the time of looking for those scissors of the card stock that is needed for the assignment. It is in the box.
– Substitute teacher
This is a great advantage of the workbox system. Another person can step in and everything is well organized. It moves along with less instruction. Homeschooling educators find great success by “substituting” in another home and giving the students another view.
– Students know what to expect
Students can give the quick glance at the boxes and know what the school day will be about.
There are some things associated with the system that are disadvantages:
– Takes up a great amount of space
Having all the boxes in some kind of shelf or order takes a lot of space. Some homes simply do not have the room to make this work efficiently.
– Requires a great deal of structure
Some homeschool educators fight every bit of structure. They need a more free environment with the student dictating the direction of the class daily.
– Time restocking
Educators are planning, but setting up the boxes and transferring items does take a great deal of time each evening. If you do it a week at a time it takes even more supplies and boxes.
The price of sturdy boxes and labeling can get quite extensive.
Most homeschool educators wind up working with a combination of many ideas. Perhaps Tuesdays and Wednesdays are box days and the other days are less focused. It is at least worth the time of looking into how it works and see if it is something that would benefit your school.