Writing A Year End Assessment

It’s the almost the end of our school year!! Do you hear the excitement in my voice? I’m not sure who’s more excited — me or the kids. With the end of the school year comes year-end progress reports, part of our state’s requirement for homeschooling.

photo courtesy of photoxpress

I used to be very clinical with my year-end reports, simply listing the curricula used with each child, then, using that curriculum’s scope and sequence to write out a bullet point list of what each of my kids had covered through the year. Then it occurred to me: nobody sees this but me (Yes, that’s right; we’re required to write the assessment, but we aren’t required to actually turn it in to anyone. Makes a lot of sense, huh?), so why not get more personal with it?

I mean, really, these are my kids and who has a better grasp of not only the breadth of their accomplishments, but also the depth of them?

For example, I have a struggling reader. If I put down some clinical observation of what he’s done, it may not look like much on paper. However, if I write a few sentences or a short paragraph about how far he’s come this year, the year-end assessment becomes a keepsake of my child’s progress.

Only I know what a big deal it is that he can now sound out, then, blend together with a great degree of accuracy, multi-syllable words. I know that just a year or two ago, sounding out words went something like: “/c/-/a/-/t/ Dog!” Now, it’s more like “/con/-/grat/-/u/-/la/-/tions/ Congratulations!”

That’s a big deal! And doesn’t it make more sense to detail an accomplishment like that, rather than simply a bullet point list of “edu-speak” to satisfy a state requirement that no one else is ever going to see?

Doing a more personal form of year-end assessments is also helpful for the days when I’m banging my head against a wall, wondering if we’re going to survive whatever new skill we’re working on at the time. I can pull out those wonderfully personal and detailed assessments and be reminded of just how far we’ve come and know that, eventually, this thing that is a source of frustration now will be a source of pride over a milestone reached.

What does your state require of year-end evaluations? Is there a way that you can meet the requirements while allowing your child’s personality to shine through?

Kris is the sweet-tea-drinking, classically eclectic, slightly Charlotte Mason mom to her three Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers and the woman who refuses to be Eclipsed by obesity any longer.

Kris Bales
Kris, who blogs at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers, is a homeschooling mom to three amazing kids and wife to her unbelievably supportive husband. She enjoys photography, running, and drinking sweet tea. You can connect with Kris on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.


  1. says

    I love the idea of making a year end report so personal. I live in AZ, and for now it’s one of the easiest states in which to homeschool. All we have to do, really, is give a letter of intent to homeschool to the superintendent by the time the child is 8.

    However, I think I’m going to make a year-end report anyway- for me! I was curious if you list your goals at the beginning of the year to compare?

  2. says


    I usually list my goals for next year on the year end assessment. Thanks for asking. I forgot to mention that part…obviously.
    .-= Kris´s last blog ..Guest Post: Lee Binz (Part 2) =-.

  3. says

    My state doesn’t require anything like that, but I have been thinking about how to keep some kind of record just for myself. I don’t want to fall into some kind of trap where I plan to make some kind of Super Awesome School Scrapbook Extraveganza! because I’ll never actually do it. But I kind of want to do something more than just chuck all the completed workbooks in a box….there must be a happy medium somewhere. I could probably manage a page or two.

    Thanks for the ideas!
    .-= Deb´s last blog ..Business Trip =-.

  4. says

    We have a very “easy” state here in Texas, too. You don’t have to do anything! Actually, there is something that says you have to make a valid (or something) attempt to teach them reading, math, something else, and good conduct. Something like that. :-)

    Anyway, I think it’d be a great idea for me to write a report! What a great way to end the year. And, like you said, it’s great for those times when nothing seems to be going right… I can just grab my “report” and see how far we’ve come!
    .-= Dana´s last blog ..3D Drawing with Mark Kistler…LIVE! =-.

  5. says

    I do this with my children too and add it to our homeschool portfolio. My portfolio’s aren’t really for anyone else to see, but have turned into a keepsake over the years. It is so worth the little bit of time it takes to document your child’s successes and struggles so you can see how much they grow and improve from year to year. I wouldn’t do it any other way. As always, I loved your post!:)
    .-= Tonya´s last blog ..Pink Palace Anyone? Here’s a Free Summer Membership! =-.

  6. Paula (Belgium) says

    Our Ministry of Education (Belgium) doesn’t demand an end year evaluation but plans visits for inspection. However, I like the idea of an end year evaluation. Last year I organized a year-book with photo’s, poems made by my daughter, little notes and big social events in pictures.

  7. Carine says


    I have homeschool my son this past year because the schoool here in Virginia is really horrible and the supperintendent wants a letter of progress from me i do not know how to write this letter would anyone know how to write this letter or give me an written ideal of how to.