To-resolve or not-to resolve? Word of the Year – or not? January is the month that most of us are dealing with these questions. Do we commit to losing weight? Learning a new language? Getting more organized?
Homeschoolers may have another issue to deal with: is it working or not? The “it,” of course, is, well…everything! Is the curricula working? Are we over-committed or under-committed? (Ha-ha!) How do we need to tweak our calendar and/or our schedules…or do we? Everyone happy and learning? If not, why not…and how can we fix it? There’s no reason you have to stay in a mid-year slump, just because you may find yourself there right now… Homeschool assessment is “just” one of those things that can keep our homeschool running smoothly!
As homeschool parents, we have the benefit of being there day by day, watching our kids’ learning process, tweaking our methods and materials, determining learning styles and adjusting our approaches.
But sometimes, for various reasons, we stick with something far too long. It may be because we’ve spent quite a bit of money on the books, or have committed to working with another family or co-op class. Whatever the reason, it’s critical for us to remember that when it, whatever “it” is, isn’t working, we have the power and ability ~ and the gift ~ to be able to make a change!
How do we go about creating a mid-year assessment??
Well, there’s good news and bad news here. The good news is, there’s no set formula for making a change – it depends on what the problems are. It’s not really rocket science to determine what may need to be adjusted, but it’s a good idea to put some notes in writing and then have them on hand to talk about with the whole family together. Definitely include the children, as they are a major part of who is affected by the turn of events.
The bad news, on the other hand, is this: there’s no set formula for change.
Which means there are no hard-and-fast rules or recipes.
4 Areas to Consider to Accomplish a Mid-Year Homeschool Assessment
There are, however, 4 things to consider when evaluating how or if you need to tweak things mid-(school)year. Grade each area below on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being “smooth sailing” and 10 being “crisis time”…
- Assess your family’s stress level – Consider things like the kids’ behavior, how you and your spouse are getting along, what kind of conversations are going on at the dinner table…or even IF your family is communicating with each other.
- Assess your family’s margins – Is everyone getting personal down time? How ’bout family time? Are you managing to eat meals together at some point during the week – or are you all too busy? Studies have shown that children who come from families who eat together are more likely to do well in school and among peers, and less likely to get involved in drugs and other less-than-savory behavior.
- Assess the kids’ academic growth – You may not need or want to consider actual grades per se, but use your “mom sense” to gauge how they’re doing in their school work. Are they giving you a battle in any particular subject? This may be a good time to sit down with them one-on-one and hear their viewpoint on certain subjects/books/curricula, etc. Also, this is the time of year to start considering standardized testing, if you need/want/have to do that, so one way to assess growth would be to pull out the last test results you have and see what areas needed some work then, how they’re doing now, and move forward from there.
- Assess the personal growth of each family member – Is everyone finding time to enjoy hobbies, pursuing personal interests and growing emotionally?
On a scale of 1-10, if you average 5 or more points, you “may” want to consider making some changes. Which particular areas are more of a struggle than others? Braindump and then brainstorm and work together as a family to smooth out the rough spots and start rollin’ again 🙂
How are things going in your neck of the woods? Have you done, or are you considering, a mid-year assessment? Share your questions OR encouragement in the comments below!
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