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Families Again
Saturday, 24 October 2009
Sue Patrick's Workbox System - Why We Love It!
Mood:  happy
Topic: Homeschool Product Review

Since we first began to homeschool, I have been looking for a method of homeschooling that would work for us. At first, I would sit at the table and teach John Allen one on one. Then, when Joshua began kindergarten, Sarah would sit on one side of the table with him and John Allen would be on the other side. Unfortunately, Sarah and Joshua were too much of a distraction for him, and so that had to change. Later, when Sarah's ministries with her ladies increased, I took over homeschooling both of them. I would give John Allen an assignment and then begin to work with Joshua. If John Allen had a question, he would either have to wait for me to finish what I was doing, or I would have to interrupt my one on one with Joshua to help him. Neither solution worked. Either John Allen would become frustrated or Joshua, whose attention span was short anyway, would suffer. But, still, we struggled on. 

When I was first selected for the homeschool crew, I noticed that one of the things that we were going to review was Sue Patrick's Workbox System so I did a little reading up on the idea. I immediately realized that this could be the answer to our problems and couldn't wait to recieve her book. I was not disappointed. The workbox system is exactly what we needed.


As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I was sent the ebook edition of Sue Patrick's Workbox System's User Guide free of charge to try out and then write a blog review of our experiences. One of the first things that I read was the philosophy of her system and knew that it fit our situation "to a T". According to her ebook, the seven points to the Workbox System's educational philosophy are to provide:

1. Structure
2. A firm foundation in discipline
3. A clear and visual presentation of their
4. A way to present expectations for their
curriculum in a clear and logical way
5. Fun and interesting materials
6. Important educational repetition
7. An expectation of greater independence

Two of the points struck me right away. Joshua certainly needed the structure, and John Allen needed to learn to work independently. 

The Workbox System is very easy to use and to set up. You simply put all of your child's work in numbered boxes (or in our case baskets) with everything they need to do that assignment and a piece of paper telling what is to be done. You always put his core subjects in the boxes as well as a few supplemental but fun assignments. The student then works through his 10-12 boxes in order. That way, he can see the fun things that are interspersed throughout, and is more motivated to work diligently in order to get to those fun things. He also has a clear picture of what he has accomplished and how much more he has to do until he is finished. There are always certain things that need to be worked on with the teacher, but you wouldn't believe how many things can actually be done independently, even in the younger grades, with a minimum of parental help. 

The first day we tried the system, both boys loved it. Joshua was indeed motivated to work diligently and stay on task because he knew what to expect, and had everything he needed right in front of him. It was amazing how John Allen got down to work and was able to do many things without asking for help every two minutes. I was also thrilled at how much got done! Now, I won't say that every day using this system has been that easy. The newness of the system eventually wore off, and they aren't always as eager as the first day, but the core philosophical goals are still there.

There are other things that you do that make the Workbox System very easy and effective to use, but I won't divulge all of the secrets because I want to encourage you to buy Sue Patrick's ebook. But, I do want to reemphasize that it does work! Sue encourages you to try to do things exactly the way that she has written to do them, but sometimes that is impractical for some families. We were not able financially to purchase all of the things that she recommends to begin the system, but we still go by the basic principals of her system and love it. I would encourage you to buy the ebook and try to implement the system the way it is to be done, with the understanding that if you need to tweak it to fit your children's (and your) needs, then you can.

But, by all means, purchase the ebook! It has totally revolutionized our homeschool for the better. It sells for $19.00 for the ebook or $19.95 for the hard copy version. You can access her website by clicking here, or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. The website has all kinds of other items that will assist you in implementing her Workbox System, so have fun exploring. As usual, you can also check out what the other TOS Crew Members are saying about this product by clicking here.

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Posted by tink38570 at 9:18 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, 26 October 2009 9:37 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink | Share This Post

Thursday, 29 October 2009 - 10:34 AM CDT

Name: "CookieMonsterKatrina"
Home Page: http://onemomsfunjourney.blogspot.com/2009/10/sue-patri

You know what I love about your reviews, Tim?  Your male perspective!  I struggle with fleshing out the main points, but you present them easily, succinctly, and effectively.  An author's tone or feelings don't ruffle your feathers.  It's refreshing.

Thursday, 29 October 2009 - 7:58 PM CDT

Name: tink38570
Home Page: http://tink38570.angelfire.com

Thanks, Katrina, for your compliment. I try to do a good job, but,when I read some of the other TOS reviews, sometimes I wonder. 


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