Preview: Learn about the benefits of homeschool evaluations and how to make time to assess your homeschool progress.
How do I evaluate how our homeschool progress?
I’ve heard a variation of this question from many homeschool parents. Sometimes it sounds like:
- How do I know we’re doing enough?
- How do I know my child is learning what he needs to know?
- It feels like we’re so far behind! How do I know how far we should be?
- How much should I expect of my children?
I get it. We feel responsible to ensure that our children succeed. We want them to be prepared for college, vocational training, or life in general. Not to mention that it is natural to compare our homeschool with everyone else’s.
So how do you know when you are meeting your homeschool goals? How do you evaluate your homeschool progress?
In this post, you’ll learn about the benefits of homeschool evaluations and how to make time to assess your homeschool progress.
In episode 70 of the All in a Homeschool Day podcast, I provide an inside look into how I evaluate our homeschool progress. Learn how you can be confident about your homeschool’s progress and your child’s development.
Benefits Of Homeschool Evaluations
1. Evaluations remind me to look beyond academics.
It is important to teach our children the three R’s (reading, writing, and arithmetic), but there is so much more to education than academics. Educating the whole child also includes training in life skills, habits, character, and discipleship. We should help our children develop a love for learning and strive for excellence.
2. Evaluating our homeschool progress helps me take a step back and see the big picture.
Sometimes I need to tweak our curriculum or change it completely. Other times our schedule or habits might be causing stress that affects our learning time.
Open-ended questions help me look at the bigger picture and evaluate areas of strength and weakness in our curriculum, home environment, schedule, and habit development to achieve our homeschool goals.
3. I can evaluate my strengths and weaknesses as a homeschool teacher and facilitator.
Let’s face it, we, as the parent/teacher, set the tone of our homeschool. If I am struggling to maintain my habits such as timeliness or joy, I will probably see similar issues in my children.
Reflection questions allow me to celebrate what I am doing well and identify areas I need to improve. This has been helpful and also a great encouragement! We can identify our faults quickly but often struggle to identify our strengths. When I answer these questions, I am prompted to look at both.
4. Homeschool evaluations provide an opportunity to celebrate our successes.
We do not always accomplish as much as I think we should but we can celebrate what we did achieve!
For example, instead of finishing the book, we had deep discussions about ideas in the book that led to further study. Instead of clipping along in the math curriculum, my daughter camped out and mastered some concepts that had been a little shaky. These are huge accomplishments that we should celebrate!
If I were only evaluating test scores or checking off assignments, I might miss these achievements we can celebrate.
5. Evaluations help me formulate practical action steps for making changes.
The practical, Type-A side of me loves this last benefit of homeschool evaluations. It’s great to look at all of these great benefits and be reminded to educate the whole child, but if I don’t do anything about what I identified, what good will it do?
As I work through the questions, I am prompted to identify specific changes I want to make. After completing the evaluation, I can make a list of these changes and determine how best to implement them into our homeschool.
Questions To Assess Your Homeschool Progress
When I assess our homeschool progress, I ask myself questions in the following areas:
- Our homeschool
- My children
- My family
And I think beyond the obvious questions related to academics. I also assess our schedule, strengths and weaknesses, and how we feel at the end of the day.
In The Homeschool Roadmap, I provide a five-page resource with questions you can ask yourself to evaluate your homeschool progress. Examples of the questions are:
- What was your overall impression or feeling about the term?
- What academic accomplishments has your child made?
- How does your child feel at the end of the school day?
- What are you doing to invest in and care for yourself?
- Do you need to make adjustments to your schedule?
How To Make Time For Homeschool Evaluations
Making time for homeschool evaluations may feel overwhelming given everything else you need to do as a homeschool teacher. Still, it is an important aspect of your role as the facilitator of your homeschool.
I learned that if I want to make sure something happens, I need to schedule it. I accomplish homeschool evaluations by scheduling homeschool teacher workdays. On my teacher workdays, I plan term exams, evaluate our homeschool progress, and plan our future term or school year.