How to Evaluate Your Homeschool at the End of the School YearLeah Courtney
Whether you decide to continue your homeschooling into the summer or you take a break and follow a traditional school schedule, the time between ending one school year and beginning the next is a great time to stop and take an evaluation of how things are going in your homeschool. There are several components of your homeschooling that you can consider as you hold this evaluation.
Is your curriculum working for you? Are your kids doing well with it or are they struggling? Is your curriculum cost effective? Does the curriculum fit with your homeschooling style? With your teaching style? With your children’s learning styles?
It’s easy to fall into the trap of sticking with a curriculum just because you’ve been using it forever or just because a homeschool guru proclaimed it the best. Instead of automatically continuing with your present curriculum, take some time to evaluate how well it’s working.
Look at Outside Classes
It’s also important to look at the outside classes your children might be taking. Do you attend a co-op? Do your high school students take dual enrollment classes? Should you begin an outside class?
As students get older and their needs change, different types of outside classes might be appropriate. A co-op that has worked great through the elementary years might not be a good fit for middle or high school students. And even if the family has enjoyed the co-op, it might be time to make a change. Take some time to evaluate the outside classes your using to see if they’re still a good fit.
When our schedules are too full, we become burned out much more quickly. So do our kids. Take some time to evaluate your schedule to see if there are areas where you’re doing too much. Is one day of the week particularly hard? Are you finding yourself pushed to even get schoolwork accomplished because you’re out of the house so often?
Even good activities might need to be cut if your schedule is just too full. Sometimes there are so many good things available for our families that we say yes to everything and then struggle with constantly feeling overwhelmed. If your schedule is too full, cut a few things. Then your family will actually be able to enjoy the activities you do keep more.
Check a Scope and Sequence
It’s also good to occasionally evaluate what material you’ve covered already in your homeschool and what you should consider covering in the coming years. This can be especially important if you piece together a curriculum instead of using a boxed curriculum. What history topics have you covered in the past years? What haven’t you covered? Have you taught only one branch of science — biology, chemistry, or physics — and never even introduced the others?
It’s great to cover material that interests you and your children, but it’s also good to cover breadth of different topics, especially if you’re meeting requirements for college entrance testing or high school transcripts. During your homeschool evaluation, consider what topics you’ve covered and what you may still need to plan for.