When a school year comes to an end, it’s normal to reflect on the year and evaluate your homeschooling progress. As homeschoolers, your “report” of the year may look different from the normal school report card. The way we evaluate achievement and learning will be different. But the main point is to celebrate progress in any shape and form. This post will help you do that.
Evaluating your homeschool progress by different standards
Part of the whole point of homeschooling for many families is to be less bound (or completely free) from standardized testing and continuous assessments that limit the child or don’t match up with how the child learns.
Depending on where you are in the world and your country or state’s regulations regarding home education, you may be obliged to compile a portfolio of assessment anyway, but don’t let that spoil it.
But since education is a serious responsibility and duty, most parents feel reassured to have a guideline of some sort by which to evaluate their progress. For most homeschooling families, this guideline is based on the family’s homeschooling goals with regard to not only learning subjects but also growing in other areas such as sports, character development, communication, life skills and more.
So why not create your own review that suits the kind of progress you are working towards? Here are some questions to help you map it out.
What progress would YOU like to evaluate during your homeschooling year?
As mentioned, what are your goals in homeschooling? Be sure to add whatever is not suggested below.
- Scripture / important life principles learned and applied
- Character traits developed
- Life skills learned (practical and/or relational)
- Physical abilities
- Joy and fun
- Memories made, experiences, excursions
Keep a logbook
As homeschooling parents, we can (and must) create systems that work for us. One of the easiest ways to do this is to simply keep lists that you can add to every month or term and then review by the end of the year. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover how much content you actually covered with your child(ren) when you review such a list!
Suggested lists to keep for review:
- Books read (you can divide this by subject, like History, Geography, Astronomy, or by style such as non-fiction, fiction, classics, biographies)
- Games played
- Documentaries watched
- YouTube vlogs followed (divide by subject/topic)
- Projects done
- Interests explored (online and in-person via clubs, lessons, job shadowing, online tutorials, etc.)
- Personal achievements (based on the child’s and your personal goals in homeschooling)
- Physical exercise/activities done
Evaluate what worked in your homeschooling setup
Here’s the other beautiful part about doing your own homeschool review. You don’t end up with a simple “failed” or “passed” that says nothing about the effort, time, fun, development, and challenges overcome along the way.
Once you’ve enjoyed reviewing the incredible amount of content you’ve covered in the lists above, consider what worked and what didn’t.
- What approach worked best for each subject? Online, offline, outdoor learning, hands-on experiences, tutoring, etc.
- What time of the day did your child(ren) learn best? Can you adjust the routine for this?
- What was my child(ren)’s biggest motivator for learning this year? Why? How can I use this to continue next year?
- Which curriculums worked or didn’t work for you for different subjects? Why and why not? What other options could address the gaps?
- What apps helped my child to learn?
- Which books were the favorites to read and why? Highlight those and look for more of them next year!
- What were my child’s favorite activities? Why?
- How did my relationship with my child grow during homeschooling?
- What is my child interested in?
- What are the top three highlights of the year to celebrate?
How to plan your homeschooling for next year, based on your evaluation
The answers to all the above points and questions can now help you plan your way forward, what difficulties to address by exploring other options and resources and give you confidence. The questions are your map, and your goals are your compass.
- Use the answers to the questions above to create a new little list called: “Do more.” Add your child’s interests to this as well.
- Whatever didn’t work, list under “Do less/don’t.”
- Add an additional list for “challenges to address”, if you like.
Want to get a Homeschooling Progress printable with all the above questions that you can just fill in? Sign up here!
Create a homeschooling progress summary
Lastly, it can be fun to create a scrapbook or photo book of all the fun you had in homeschooling this year. It gives you something to show those skeptical friends and family who wonder what you’ve been up to.
Congratulate yourself and your child on getting through the hard days, the tough subjects and projects and the moments where it all felt overwhelming. You did it!
How do you like to review your family’s homeschool progress? What do you do differently and why? Share in the comments below.