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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? Eating better?
Homeschoolers may have another issue to deal with: is it working or not? The “it,” of course, is, well…it can actually be a number of things 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!There is not only value in, but a need for, mid-year assessment Click To Tweet
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!
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When “it” isn’t working, homeschoolers have the gift to be able to make a change! Click To Tweet
How do we go about creating a mid-year assessment?
Assessment = evaluation. So go into this with the mindset of determining what exactly needs to be adjusted.
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. And using a tool like this “End of Year Homeschool Evaluation pack“, from Life of a Homeschool Mom, may help you out with this both now and at the end of the school year! (Note: year-end evaluations are also a helpful tool to have around when you’re planning the new school year. No sense doing the same thing over and over if it didn’t work last time!)
4 Areas to Consider to Accomplish a Mid-Year Homeschool Assessment
Take a look at these 4 areas 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 downtime? 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 score 5 or more points you may want to consider making some changes in that particular area. 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 🙂
And, of course, if you’d like further assistance with this (or anything else homeschool-related), you can always
- sign up and get my weekly newsletter with tools, inspiration, and information to help you homeschool through high school,
- contact me about one-on-one consulting services, or
- head on over to my Facebook group Breakthrough Homeschooling and ask over there!
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!