Re-working the new system, yes already

I can’t tell you anything about how my new system is working for our family; sadly because I can’t get the system to work.  The system itself, the physical mechanism.  The boys seemed to like the modified work box system I created the one day we “ran it”.  However, practically speaking it fell apart and I have already seen things I’d like to do differently.  I have been trying different approaches to make it work (they physical stuff, not the ‘system’):  so this has remained a work in progress and is still not up and running. 


  • The glue did not sick well; the lamented labels came off the magnets the first time Big tried to “choose” something off of the TO DO side.
  • The lack of reading made the choices not really independent (he could not choose one and go to it alone). 
  • I quickly had a 4th ‘subject’ I’d like to be able to rotate into the boxes


  • First I took clothespins and glued magnets to them, hoping that they will hold up to being used.  The labels can be clipped in to them.  I like this in theory – but the magnets (craft ones) I had did not glue well and even when I got them glued, they didn’t really hold the clothes pins to the gun safe – the cards made them too heavy and if you brushes them no matter how accidently they fell.  They all feel off the safe each time Daddy opened it.
  • I remade the labels and I added clip art that the boys can use as a guide.  The choices that correspond to a box (Math, Phonics, Fine Motor, Handwriting) I made 2 of the label so I can clip on to the TO DO board and the other to the box.
  • I glued clothespins to the boxes to that the label can be changes based on what I want to make an option that day.  However, again, the glue did not hold the clothes pin and any time there were touched they fell off.

A 2nd try at fixing things:

  • I realized we have a magnet from the Zoo in Jacksonville that is nothing more than a big clothes pin (have 2 actually).  Magnetic clips like to hold notes on a fridge would be perfect.  I searched for magnetic clips – and YES found just what I need. 
  • The laminated TO DO and DONE signs would not glue to the magnets, so I think, for a time anyway, I’ll just put up with magnetic clips also.


Challenges I am still working on:

  • The labels for the boxes.  I have not found glue that will hold clothing pins (wood or plastic) to the front of the drawers.  I would just use clear packing tape and put the labels on, but I have 3 drawers and 4 subjects I want to be able to rotate though; and I am sure I can think of more too, so I did not want to be limited in what the drawers could hold.


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7 responses to “Re-working the new system, yes already

  1. carolyn bledsoe

    You are amazing Aimee… I don’t know how you do all the things you do in your home, but then you take time to blog about it – you are a superwoman!! Good ideas about the “work box” – you’ll find a way that works for you and the boys. Been following the sickness your sons have had – I hope they feel better today, and I hope you don’t catch it! Have a wonderful day..

  2. Crystal

    you always impress me.

  3. gorilla glue. if you find you need better magnets in the future I can tell you where I get mine. I use special adhesive on them.

  4. Have you tried printing your PECS symbols (or whatever you are using) directly onto inkjet magnet sheets?
    (spray the ink w/hair spray to keep it from smudging after it dries). We used this for our picture schedule (on the fridge which is a nice big canvas and gave plenty of room… side of fridge would be similar to your gun cabinet). Charlie is starting to out-grow his need for this type of picture schedule at home (we do have a laminated binder-based portable one we use if we are away from home more than 4 hours, because he’s more anxious about ‘what’s next” away from home or school. We used the at home magnet picture schedule more during summer, but then I usually only homeschool during summer/school breaks, Fridays and if hte kids are home sick or for winter weather.

    Walmart or Office Depot carries the full-page magnet sheets (on average about $8 or so for a package of 10 sheets.) Depending on the size you make your PECS you can get 12 to 18 Pecs per sheet or so. You can always print onto paper and reduce the size using a scanner to fit more per sheet or make multiples of ones you use a lot and not any of others that are non-applicable. Personally I really liked to size mine 1 icnh by 1 inch and printing to paper, cutting them out and gluing to cardstock then scanning them to reprint my way/my needs reduced amount of magnet space between PECS that went to waste, as did reducing the printer margins.

    Using the magnet sheets directly to make the PECS and hair spray to set the ink there was really nothing to fall apart. Only problems we had with it was the kids swiping the PECS to use as regular magnets to stick artwork to the fridge and puppies chewing on them if the kids left them on the floor (not a problem for everybody… we just have a lot of puppies around here, so constantly in a state of teething whelps.)

    • That is a great idea!!! (also ve do use some of the PECS system for Little since his commuciation is still limited, but mainly i use the images for schdules and so on — rather than the ‘real’ use)

      great idea!!!!

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