It seems almost inevitable that at the end of each year I get a bee in my bonnet about “doing” homeschool “better” next year. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I’m sure this urge is related to the Seasonal Resolution Virus that just about everyone gets infected with right around now. So, I’ve decided that I’m going to get back to setting quarterly goals (or objectives?) and writing up quarterly assessments, at least for the older two Cubs. Although I've written assessments in the past, I’ve never really done formal educational goals with/for the kids, but I think the time is ripe for Brother Bear to begin participating in that process.
So, I pulled out my tried-and-true assessment form, which I originally took from Lynn Stoddard’s book Educating for Human Greatness. I feel it supports the TJEd approach, with its focus on developing the individual rather than pressing conformity to a system. Assessments have never been my strong suit, mostly because I have very little idea what to write, especially about my own children. But, this format gives me some basic areas to focus on, and something to think about. It still may take me a month to finish the assessments, but at least I’ve got some place to start.
If you happen to be looking for an assessment format, here’s the basic outline.
For the older students:
Directions: Please indicate how much you feel this child is growing in each of the categories listed below:
1. Self-esteem, self-respect, and self-confidence.
2. Sense of responsibility for his/her own learning and behavior.
3. Awareness and development of his/her unique strength, talents, gifts, interests, and abilities.
1. Kindness, trust, thoughtfulness, tolerance, and respect for others.
2. Social attitudes and skills; the ability to listen with understanding, express ideas, and get along with others.
3. Enjoyment and ability to express him/herself in writing.
4. Responsible citizenship, understanding of the workings of the democratic process, respect for environment and laws.
1. Enjoyment of learning.
2. Enjoyment of school.
3. Curiosity, initiative, self-direction, and independence in trying to learn.
4. Studying and seeking information from a variety of sources.
5. Ability and desire to read for recreation and personal growth.
6. Ability and desire to use knowledge to create, invent, think, and solve problems.
To this form, I’ve added the following:
Academic Goals/Progress: Last Quarter’s Goals, Progress, Next Quarter’s Goals
8. Physical Fitness/Health:
9. Domestic Arts:
For the younger children:
Directions: The parent or teacher is to read each question orally to the student, who then draws a smiling face, a frowning face, or an “in-between face” to represent his/her feelings about the question:
1. Do you do a good job of learning?
2. Are you good at some things?
3. Does your teacher like you?
4. Do your classmates like you?
1. Do you learn about the things you want to learn about?
2. Do you ask a lot of questions in your class?
3. Do you read outside of school?
4. Do you like to figure things out by yourself?
1. Do you get along with other students?
2. How do you behave in school?
3. Do other people listen to your ideas?
4. Do you get along with your family?
5. Do you like to write?
That’s about it. I feel like I need to add a "spiritual" category to the form, but not sure what I'd say about it. Regardless, hopefully I’ve started the process early enough I can get the assessments done, and some goals sketched out before we get “back to homeschool” next year. While I'm at it, maybe I need to set some goals for myself, too….