One of the things that most experienced homeschoolers will recommend is doing a mid-year evaluation. But what should you evaluate and how? There are many ways. It doesn’t have to be fancy or formal if you don’t want to but it is good to evaluate a few things mid-year so you don’t get too far off track.
There are many online sources for analyzing preschool skills. If you are doing a preschool program, it is likely there is a mid-year or year-end evaluation available. However, if you do not find something you like, make sure you evaluate how you are doing and what progress you have made. You can compare to a beginning of the year evaluation. If you did not do one, that’s ok, just do one now evaluating skills your preschooler has been working on and then you can evaluate at the end of the year what you have accomplished.
Elementary School and Middle School
Many elementary programs have evaluations or a syllabus that states what you will be learning throughout the year. You can use these as a basis for a mid-year review. There are some online resources available as well, that can help you analyze and evaluate where you on with skills for your elementary of middle school student. However, the most important step for a mid-year evaluation for your elementary and middle school student is what is working and what isn’t. This is the best time to make sure that changes are made if necessary.
With high school, you will probably want to make sure that you are evaluation according to your high schoolers long-term goals. If he or she has sights set on college, you will want to make sure you are on the right track to meet college pre-requisites in addition to making your way through personal goals for accomplishments. In many cases, your high schooler can complete a self-evaluation to help you out first. Again, it is important to evaluate the curriculum or plan you are using during this mid-year review and make any changes necessary.
If you are using a Charlotte Mason style of education in your home, you will likely be doing an end-of-term oral exam. This is an excellent way to evaluate how your student’s skills are developing and what needs additional attention. You will also be able to judge if they are comprehending the material and know whether you need to slow down or speed up on your material.
As a classical educator, you may wish to have a mid-year exam to see where you student is in his or her studies. Keeping track of these exams can help your child see what he or she is accomplishing and help you figure out if there are areas that need additional attention.
Many other homeschooling methods have mid-year evaluation built into their programs as well. If yours does not, there is no reason you cannot make your own. This does not mean you need to give grades or worry about getting to a specific point in your curriculum if your student isn’t ready. It just gives you some guidelines to work with and helps you see what you have accomplished so far this year.
One of the most important aspects of a mid-year evaluation is to evaluate what is working and what is not. If you have tried a new methodology or curriculum, how are you and your student enjoying it? Are you progressing? Have you hit a standstill? Is there something that is a fight every day? If you are fighting through a particular subject every day, is there another program, curriculum or method that might work better for your student?
Your mid-year evaluation is an excellent time to make changes and see what needs tweaking. It’s also an excellent time to give your kids some much needed accolades for what is going right. If you don’t give grades, a mid-year review is a good way to give a certificate or reward for good work to help them continue to be motivated.
Here are some online resources that you might find helpful in putting together a mid-year evaluation.
What do you do for a mid-year review?