Last August just before we started our new school year, I decided to give the Workbox system a try. I even wrote three posts about workboxes which you can find below (fall 2011). It's a great organizational system and I highly recommend it. Now I could have said that last year just from reading the different Workbox blogs. So what is different this year? Why am I revisiting the Workboxes? Well, because I actually got to meet Sue Patrick and attend one of her seminars.
What I found out by attending one of her seminars is that the Workbox system is not just an organizational system; it is a whole new way of presenting information. Sue Patrick came up with this idea because she had a severely autistic child. She used this system to begin teaching him basic things at the age of 12-18 months and on to the present at 17-years-old where he is a regular high school student with a drivers license and taking a Senior's course of study. Although, as Sue has said, if you only use the workboxes to organize your current curriculum, you will already be better better organized, the kids will work more independently and you will get more done in less time. But don't you want to do even more for your kids?
Sue made a statement that I just loved: "Don't asses them on their weaknesses but on their strengths." For example, if you have a reluctant writer (and in my case my son is dysgraphic) then don't put the majority of his assessment on writing. And that is exactly what the traditional school system does in testing our kids. So with the Workbox system, Sue is trying to get homeschool parents/teachers to think outside the box and be creative in finding ways to assess/teach our kids. In doing so, we not only assess our students more accurately but they too have a much better time with school and end up learning and liking it so much more.
In her seminar and book, Sue goes through how to improve your current curriculum to work better for your student. She shares what to put in your 'Centers' time which will reinforce learning and assist in assessment. I've taken her ideas and applied them to my own homeschool with my 3rd grader and 9th grader this year. In Part II, I will share a couple of those ideas.