Friday, April 3, 2009

Getting Organized with Workboxes!

It's been a week since we started using Sue Patrick's Workbox System, and I thought I'd post some pictures!

She strongly advocates using shoe-box style bins, but we didn't have the space for that, so here's what I opted for instead:

That's in our kitchen! The tower drawers can be easily added to, another plus for me! We have 8 right now, but I think we really need 10-12 to be able to break things down sufficiently, yet still throw in some fun stuff :-). (After all, the fun stuff is what motivates!)

Here's a close-up of the drawers fully loaded and ready to go:

I debated whether to go with the velcro numbers--I was afraid my 12-yo might think they were a little childish. But, since the drawers are not easily-removable like bins would be, and the visual of seeing that work is getting done and being able to tell at a glance where you are & how much is left is an important part of the system. I had to at least try! So I was VERY careful in how I introduced the concept to him. I said, "Wouldn't it be nice if you could just look at the drawers and know without opening a bunch of them where you were working and how much you had left to do?" (Gee, Wally, that sure would be swell!) Well, he was sold then!

Here are the drawers in action:

So here's what they do--As they complete each drawer, they have to turn in any written work to a box on the kitchen table, and return any books or supplies (like their Bible or a reader, or their personal whiteboard markers & erasers for AAS!) to the drawer it came out of. THEN...and ONLY THEN, is that drawer finished. That's when they can remove the numbered velcro sticker and put it on their progress chart for the day--here's Zach's chart in progress:

The charts stay on top of the carts, which conveniently are a divided tray that fit their pencil boxes too.

I chose to put a few extra velcro stickers in 2 of the little boxes. We have stickers for:

Clean room/make bed (they do this before breakfast)
Music Practice
Family Service (assigned chores they do each day).

Here are Anna's stickers:

We've had a schedule for years, so this really hasn't enabled us to get more done in less time like it might for some. But I started it because we had occasional missing books, and because the kids would forget to turn in work sometimes (and I would forget to tell them, or I would forget to correct work that day...). So I really like this system for the accountability and organization it's given us, and I'm hoping it will be a good, long-term solution.

All done for the day!