~ act of ascertaining or fixing the value or worth of ~
What comes to your mind when you read or hear that word? Formal, dry, impersonal reports? A blur of letters and numbers of test achievements and scores? Something that makes your palms sweaty and your mouth dry up? Or perhaps it just makes you want to cry?
In our early years of homeschooling my evaluation method was as simple as keeping a portfolio of work samples, art work and photographs that my children had completed. Every now and then we would take out our folders, look through it all together, chat about the memories that came to mind and things that the girls liked and learned in the process.
In the third term of each year now, I work through the process of evaluating our year - in my mind I think through the academic, emotional, character, spiritual and physical aspects; on paper I concentrate mostly on the academic with the occasional side note to the other aspects as they apply to my report. The finalisation of that evaluation grows into my education/curriculum plan for the following year and that is what I send into the Home Ed Unit (Queensland) for our registration. As part of this evaluation and planning process I also put together work samples for English, Maths and one other subject as a report of the year to the HEU.
Throughout the year, I work from term to term. Towards the end of each term I pull out my curriculum plan and re-read it, comparing the plans with what we have actually done during the term. This is more an evaluation of myself, rather than my children. Through the process I can see how well I have been able to implement my plans and goals and how I am tracking overall with my part of homeschooling.
My children take part in this process as well. As I spend some time looking through their workbooks (and marking pages that I neglected during the term), writing books and reading lists, I might notice some things. Things they may be doing well. Things that keep appearing that require a bit more attention. I ask the girls questions about their work, and we chat. About how they feel about their work: Are they happy with the pace and type of work they are doing? What they are enjoying. What they don't like. Any struggles they may be having. And then we chat about possible changes or ways that I can help them out in the upcoming term/weeks.
Do you do any form of evaluating? What sort of things do you evaluate? Academic/emotional development/ character development/spiritual/physical, etc.
How do you record progress in these areas? Do you use any form of written evaluations? Are your children aware of this evaluation process?
QOTW: Aussie Homeschool