Ashley Campbell, SPED Homeschool Blogging Partner
I have never met anyone more passionate about their child’s education than a homeschooling parent. I have also seen how these same parents stress themselves out to the point of losing their peace by not remembering why they started the journey in the first place. Do you remember why you began this journey?
I have been homeschooling for the last fourteen years, and I want to share what I have learned for tracking my children’s achievements and goals. I hope this gives you encouragement as well as a reminder that you are more than qualified to teach your children. You were made in the image of God, and He has given you the authority to rule and subdue the earth. Influencing the lives of your children is the first step.
So, how do you track your child’s achievements and goals?
Let’s look at both words – achievement and goal. The word achievement means to accomplish; finish successful (Webster Comprehensive Dictionary). It is different from a goal which means, “a point toward which effort or movement is directed” (Google definition). One is the end, and the other is the means to that end.
Here are some questions to consider when considering goals and achievements:
What do my children know?
What do my children not know?
What is their age?
What content do I expect them to learn?
Is what I am expecting what I expect for someone else?
Is this realistic for them in the context of what they do know and what they still need to practice?
What do they need?
What resources are needed to fill that need?
I use end-of-year testing to see what my children have achieved and what goals we need to set. If a score is REALLY LOW, that is an indicator I need to set a goal for them. The goal is for them to know more than what they demonstrated on the test. I will then get resources that will give them what they did not have. When they test again, and the score has increased, they achieved their goal. Of course, not all qualities that are taught can be tested. One example is I focus on character building and living by values. I have yet to see that on a test.
Another way I track is to separate subjects into skills and content. Skills are what can be done. They are reproducible and take repetition. Content is more information-based. This is more comprehensive when the questions of who, what, when, where, why, and how are considered. I will track their achievement depending on what I am assessing: skills or content. As far as skills, if they write poorly in terms of letter formation or struggle to read because they don’t know the letter sounds, I will make it a goal for them to practice their handwriting and learn the letter sounds. I will know they achieved it when I can read their writing and they can read BOB books. With content, I find out where they were low in science or history and just YouTube it! After we have gone over the information long enough, I ask them questions and, if they can answer them, I know we are in the process of achieving our goal to know what we did not know before.
“Do you remember why you began this journey?.. Let your reason you started this journey be the passion you have to spark the life inside your children.“
I encourage them for what they know and give them resources for what they don’t. I set goals that will fill in the gaps of what is needed. When the goal is met, I praise them for that achievement.
If you homeschool, you must establish why you decided to homeschool and, as your children grow older, find out what their interests are. This will make the homeschooling journey enjoyable for you and your children. You will have peace knowing your motives and spark their hearts to finding their purpose. There are skills ALL children should know. Listening, reading, writing, speaking, and math are all foundational. These are skills useful in finances, careers, and relationships. Other subjects like history and science can be more interest-driven. What are you interested in? Let your reason you started this journey be the passion you have to spark the life inside your children.