April 2020 Curriculum Club Newsletter
*This article was first published in our Curriculum Club Newsletter. Not a member? It’s easy to join! Simply Visit our page: JOIN THE CURRICULUM CLUB and great articles about educating your kids will arrive in your inbox every month as well as a deeper look at our curriculum, upcoming holidays and Member’s Only exclusives!
Self Evaluation By Mrs. Crabtree
At the Happy Hive I always felt it was important that because the kids were working on topics they chose, that they should be the ones to evaluate the quality of the learning that took place and decide if they were ready to move on.
Each day I asked them simple things like: What was your favorite part of our learning activities today? Why? What would you do differently, Why? Sometimes they would tell me they wouldn’t do anything differently – that was important too! What made that day’s activities work so well? These conversations led to choosing their best piece of work for the week to display and why other work wouldn’t be on display. Often they put more effort into things they were passionate about, but eventually learned to balance the less favorable assignments. I always kept the conversations focused on the learner and what was important to them. Every assignment doesn’t have to be done to the highest standard, at least not in our house. Balance was also important. Let me explain.
My son was born with vision issues. His penmanship never conformed to “traditional” standards. We never made it an issue. He answered the questions asked in the simplest manner possible. There were never extra words, and often it was correct, but messy. What would be the point of having him re-do work that wasn’t neat? Even when I KNEW he could do better? He really didn’t care how his writing looked, his goal had always been to just get the letter onto the paper because of those first visual challenges. He eventually learned how to control his writing and bring it into somewhat of a legible print. Cursive was learned, and he can do it, but he chooses print. He never liked how his writing looked, but also never chose to make it look better. It just wasn’t important to him, and that was ok with us! He completed the tasks given. He preferred to spend hours building book report scenes out of Legos. We’d get a scene from History, Literature, etc. We knew if he wanted to set his mind to a task, he could – and that was what was important.
The Boston Massacre in Legos.
As a High School Junior, his current Language Arts program of choice is writing a book. He’s using a computer thankfully! Simply allowing him to progress and choose his course and not make writing an issue has paid off. His writing is descriptive, his characters developed and he is writing so much more than the days of simply the basic answer!
I am here to mentor the learners in my school, not judge (grade) them. If they evaluate their own learning, they are better equipped to take more and more responsibility in the planning as they age. It’s a beautiful thing!
I’d love to hear how you evaluate work in your Homeschool. Feel free to send me an email!
– Mrs. Crabtree