As the end of the school year approaches it may be a good time for you to evaluate your ability to teach your children before you start making plans for next year.
We homeschool year round, but I like to take the time each year around now, when many other homeschool families are winding down, to ask myself a few questions.
I document these questions in my planner, a 3 ring notebook, filed under “Mom’s Evals” so that I can track my progress from year to year at a glance. I use the book Evaluating for Excellence: A Handbook for Evaluating Student Progress by Teresa Moon, for many kinds of generic evaluation forms.
Here are some of the questions that I ask myself:
Am I confident in teaching my children?
By honestly answering this question for each subject, I am admitting what areas I need help in and whether or not I need to pull from some sources outside the home to help me.
Am I successful in planning ahead?
The answer to this question lets me know if I need to schedule in planning time more often. If I am not taking the time to plan as I should, I need to ask myself why. Has something come into my life that is more important then homeschooling? Does life keep happening? How can I prepare for life to keep happening so that I can maintain a steady school pace?
Am I meeting each child’s individual needs?
This takes me a lot of time to get through each child as I look at the goals that I set for the year for each individual child and mark off whether the goal was met or not. I keep each child’s goals in my planner under their names, so that I can look at them periodically throughout the year.
How am I managing my home so I can school efficiently?
As a homeschooler we wear many hats and one of them is managing our home. I personally have a hard time with doing both simultaneously. But instead of flunking myself in this department, I try to give myself objective criticism by brainstorming on ways that could work and trying to repair the things that aren’t working. Many times, by asking other moms how they manage their homes gives me ideas.
Am I finding joy in homeschooling?
The joy of homeschooling is right there with me every day in the eyes of my children. Some days I forget how blessed I am and I need little reminders to take the joy that has been given me, so that I can inspire my children to want to learn.
Things like nature walks, trips to a nursing home and reading Shakespeare plays to our chickens as an audience are all moments that brought joy into our homeschool days this past year. I have jotted those down in my planner to remember them.
By answering these questions, and others that you come up with, you are taking the time to check your progress as a teacher.
This form of accountability may be just what you need to get your next homeschool year on the right track.
photo taken by Liquene
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