You look to be doing great. Many dogs do focus on the object of the tea ball because it is a visual indicator. That is perfectly fine at this stage, and expected.
I also see her already developing an ‘alert’ (which comes in lesson 2) which is looking at you after she finds the target. Yes, she is waiting for her treat, but it is a distinct change in behavior, or as we call them, COB.
I would say, yes, go ahead and start with the boxes. Because you feel Zoey is using visual cues as opposed to olfactory senses, I would like you to watch the video with Heidi doing the basic box hides a couple of times. Notice how Stacey walks Heidi down the line. If she doesn’t inhale or hit in any way on the correct box, that’s okay. Do the circuit again. I suspect that may happen with Zoey the first couple of times. It is completely fine, and normal.
This is where the connection between scent and the desired behavior really solidifies.