A big worry for many home-schooling parents is how to assess their child’s progress.
They want to know how to see that home-schooling is working and get some assurance that their child is progressing. Therefore, to help, we have enlisted a few tips and strategies for home-schooling parents.
Learn about your child's learning outcomes
Learning outcomes have been defined for every class and subject. Discuss your child's learning objectives and norms in plain language with the teacher. This is the starting point for participating in your child's home education. Find out what critical resources you need to achieve these learning outcomes, such as textbooks, worksheets, and electronic content (if you have digital devices). It is critical to find out what your child is learning. Therefore, discuss with the teacher whether there are any simple learning assessment tools that you can use to measure their learning progress.
Keep in touch with teachers
Establishing regular communication with your child's teacher can help you gain insight into his or her progress. Make sure you connect with your child's teacher to understand what your child is working on, what his/her achievements are so far and where improvements are required. With the teacher's help, you can easily prepare for your child's test at home. Additionally, they can keep you up to date on group study sessions or other opportunities for additional review that your child may benefit from.
Keep learning simple
Your children can access learning materials using books, radio, TV, or the Internet. In addition to learning materials, there are many other ways to help kids learn. Talk to your kids about what you do every day. Share positive memories of being a child. Explain what you enjoyed learning from your parents or other family members at school. Play counting games, wordplay, read stories aloud, invent new games or songs, discuss a big idea like what to do, speak of a family tradition, and more.
It is essential to emphasize the importance of progress over grades. Children often are frustrated when they are mistaken, or it takes time to understand a subject. In such situations, encourage your ward to consider their growth as they think about their day. Try to discuss how they think things are going. Have students complete a self-assessment to determine how they feel about their growth. This assessment can also require that they recognize daily and weekly growth.
The self-assessment sheet must contain questions on their growth. Ensure the questions are open so your child can explain why they think this way. You could ask many things about self-assessment, like what mistakes your child thinks they made that day and what improvements are needed. You can also set up a short questionnaire in which they evaluate the difficulty of a given task. Later, you can compare notes and work on topics on each questionnaire. If your child reports that a subject has become easier with time, your child has progressed.
Schedule One-on-One Time
It can be troublesome for parents with two or more children to assess each child individually when home-schooling. It would be best if you spent some one-on-one time with each child. Since it is natural for you to know your child well, you can quickly notice their progress and difficulties in lessons. However, having at least a short one-on-one time with each child in a week is vital.
During this time, you can do whatever you see fit. Such as a conversation with your child about their progress if they are old enough. Ask if there is any subject they struggle with regularly. Did they recently overcome a struggle and turn it into a strength? Such sessions will help you understand how they feel about their academic journey. This one-on-one time might bring something to your attention that you were unaware of, so it is very beneficial to schedule this time and make the most of it. This one-on-one time is also an excellent opportunity to watch your child work.
This may seem strange, but the best way to determine if your child understands a lesson is to have them try it. It is a fun activity to try out with your child because you can evaluate if they understand the concept. For example, you may have your child give a math lesson on multiplication. Your child should explain how to deal with it from beginning to end as a teacher. It is a great way to identify their mistakes along the way. If the child is confident and thorough in their explanation, they can safely understand the concept.
If the child hesitates to explain the equation, they may need more help.
Make a Portfolio
Another better way is to put together a portfolio of their progress. It is a fun way to keep up with your child's progress. You can make a single portfolio with all their work or make distinct portfolios for each topic. For example, you can build a wallet with all their scientific work. Get started with their first article for the year. You can place all assignments in the portfolio or ask your child to choose a few of his favourite assignments. The last portfolio entry must be the latest assignment.
This portfolio should reflect the progress made by your child during the year. Your child can see better writing, for example. They can also see how their thoughts have grown more complicated. It may be challenging to recognize the progress made right now, but a portfolio forces us to see the growth over time. It is also a fun way for students to see their work.
Maintain a logbook
One of the easiest ways to assess your child's progress is to keep lists that you can add to every month or term and then review them. You may include a list of book reads, games, and activities to be done for educational purposes. Moreover, you will be surprised to discover how much content you covered with your child(ren) when you review such a list!
Have realistic expectations from the child
Praise your child when he or she behaves well, and be realistic about what you expect. Children's work is essential, and as parents, it is essential not to forget to appreciate the child's work, school work, age-appropriate domestic activities, and creative activities such as a new drawing, a new song, or a story they have come up with. Encourage them to take an interest in new topics – reading, singing, dancing, drawing, making toys or models, cooking, looking after plants and animals, etc.
Utilize Digital Media
It is common to find your child giving an oral presentation or performing activities in front of their traditional classrooms to learn the skills of public speaking and reporting. Such activities are treasured; however, for children, home-schooling these days can utilize digital media platforms and hone their skills in real time.
Have your child record kid-friendly videos on specific lessons or learning activities and post them on YouTube, put together a short-but-informative TikTok, or even make an iMovie-style presentation to show family and friends. This will help them learn skills and let you observe their progress when you compare their videos.
As a home-schooling parent, you are probably much involved in the minutiae of your child's learning process, but that might mean you unintentionally insert yourself into their education more often than you should.
It is better to allow your kids to have their own learning time and struggle with challenges, whether solving a tricky word problem or reading a book above their usual level. Let them resolve such challenges and intervene only if they cannot; they may be too reliant on you—and you will learn how well they are mastering the material you are teaching them.
Do you have any tips for parents? If yes, drop it down in the comments.