Assessment. Data. Evaluation. These can be some intimidating words. In the homeschool world, they are associated with standardized testing and state assessment requirements — something we HAVE to do to be able to school our children at home, but evaluating your student can be extremely useful. You can learn a lot:
- You will learn if you are complying with your state requirements.
- You will learn if your student is progressing at grade-level or not.
- You will learn if your student will do well on state assessments.
- You will learn what your student is retaining.
- You will learn what your student is not retaining.
Who is the one learning from assessments? Right! We are! The teachers! Assessments provide us with valuable information on the effectiveness of our teaching. They can tell us if we need to use a different teaching method, add supplemental lessons, add more reviews, change-up how they show their learning, increase their engagement, adjust their sensory input, create a goal plan, etc.
Assessments can take many shapes and forms. They don’t need to be time-consuming or disrupt your school day or week. Many curricula have traditional tests and quizzes built-in, but assessments don’t have to be so formal; they can also be recording your observations about your student’s interaction with the lesson. You can evaluate your student’s learning through worksheets, projects, reports, and presentations. Assessments can be oral: ask a few questions or have them teach the material to a younger. Play a game centered around the lesson material. The opportunities to show learning are endless. Record your findings.
Most states have requirements to prove your student is actually learning. If you are required to create a portfolio or demonstrate your student’s progress, you can use your chosen assessments to show it. If you are required to take state assessments, you can ensure your student is successful by using the common core standards as a guideline or checklist to compare/contrast the information you got from your assessments to see what material your student has and has not learned.
We are no longer afraid of assessment, right? I would like to hear how you evaluate your student.
Till next time,