What about your kids?
Are they smart enough? Do they measure up? How can you tell if you are doing a good job homeschooling? How can you tell if they are learning what they need to learn?
When I was a nurse, I had to take vital signs on all my patients every shift. I had to check their temperature, pulse, respiration rate, and blood pressure. This was just a quick way to check their overall health. If the patient in 202B had an infection, his temperature would rise. If my post-op patient was in pain, her blood pressure might be high.
As a mom, I like to assess my children’s academic health by looking at 5 key factors that reveal their academic progress. These are the tools of learning my child needs for a lifetime of success.
“Jimmy can you read this page aloud to me while I fix dinner?" I hand him a book that is a little harder to read than he is used to. This gives me a picture of his reading ability.
“Shine, did you like Wuthering Heights? Tell me about it." This gives me insight into her reading comprehension.
This is easy. When I grade their math work, I see how many answers they get wrong. I see if there is a pattern. Are they getting the same type of problem wrong each time? Are they making careless mistakes or are they missing the concept.
Can she explain the War of the Roses clearly? Clear verbal communication is a step toward good writing, as well as a valuable life skill.
“Katie Beth, here is an essay by G.K. Chesterton about the difference between the French and the English. After you read it, I want to talk to you about writing a comparison essay.”
Is Katie Beth able to write papers that are concise, yet vividly clear while being gracious and honoring to Christ? Reading my child’s original paper and her rewritten papers will help me assess her writing abilities.
“Julianna, let’s dress up like they did in the 1500s and let’s eat food from back then too.” Now I am expecting Julianna to research the 1500s for food and fashion. Does she know what books to look at? Can she find other sources of information besides just googling?
The ability to locate needed information and to apply that knowledge to practical life situations is a learning skill that every child needs. I often give my children assignments to see how well they are able to find and use data.
Assessing these five areas helps me to make decisions involving curriculum, assignments, and the focus of my teaching. Let me know if these tips help you keep your finger on the pulse of your student’s academic progress by commenting below.
If you are interested in learning more about these 5 key ingredients of learning plus 2 more, I encourage you to read my book, Seven R’s of Homeschooling. The print copy is available at Amazon and the E-book can be purchased at Powerline Productions.
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)