Thursday, July 15, 2010

Homeschool Village ~ Self-Evaluation

This week’s Homeschool Village topic is Self-Evaluation.  Personally, I’d like to shy away from this one!  But, I’m going to try to answer the prompt questions shared this week ---

1. If you were to "grade" yourself on homeschooling this past year ... what "grade" would you have earned? What if your children were grading you? Take time this week to sit down and ask them what grade they think you deserve! You might be surprised ~ sometimes we are harder on ourselves than necessary!

I would definitely give myself a rather low grade for this past year.  My oldest daughter is away this week, and I think Gracie would be too kind to give me a bad grade, but I do feel like I deserve it.  I came out of this year feeling like a bit of a failure.  However, my kids learned!  Gracie had to be tested this past year (PA law) and she passed with high scores.  So, if that is any indication, I must not have done quite as badly as I think, right?

I spent a lot of time with my friend Sue this past year.  I don’t regret that time in the least.  Ashley did comment to me a few  times that they (my kids) were missing out on school while Sue’s kids were not (they attend public school).  I wonder, though, if my kids weren’t actually learning more during those days when I was with Sue and they needed to fend for themselves.  I know a lot of life lessons were learned this year – things that can’t be taught with textbooks.

I do feel, though, that I spent too much time working and not enough time actually focusing on my kids (even though I may have been in the same room, sitting at the same table).  So, that’s something I need to work on for this next year.

2. What have you learned about yourself because of homeschooling? Did you realize you have a special gift, talent, or passion you hadn't realized before?

I’ve learned that I love homeschooling!  I love learning (but I already knew that!)  I’ve learned that it is a blessing to have this opportunity to be home with my kids, learning alongside them and/or facilitating their learning on a daily basis.  I know so much about my kids – their learning styles, personalities, hopes and dreams) that I feel I probably wouldn’t know if they were separated from me each day. 

3. What area(s) do you feel you need the most improvement for the upcoming school year? What steps will you take to make those improvements?

I touched on this at the end of my answer to question #1 – but mainly it’s an issue of better organizing my time.  I know what I need to do – it’s just a matter of doing it.  So, for this year, the plan will be to get up early enough to do my Bible reading and a few hours of work before the kids even get out of bed.  Then, we’ll spend the later morning and early afternoon on schoolwork.  If I have more work to do that day, it’ll have to wait until school is completed for the day.  I need to discipline myself to turn off the computer!

See, I know I have a problem with nosiness – I’m afraid if I turn off my computer I might miss a work-related e-mail that comes through.  But, I’m also learning that those things can usually wait a few hours until  I have time to deal with them.  And I think that if my attention is focused on one thing at a time, that we might actually complete things more quickly anyway. 

Something I learned back in my days with Home & Garden Party was the motto - “God first, family second, work third” – it’s a good one and I need to put it back into practice around here. 

4. What are your goals? What are your children's goals - do they have any?

My short-range goals:

  • To get started on this next school year sometime in the next few weeks
  • To get settled into a routine that works for all of us
  • To take more field trips throughout the year and do more hands-on activities and read-alouds
  • To find something more structured to do with Ian and actually do it, but not be tied down to it

My longer-range goals:

  • To graduate Ashley (only 2 years to go)
  • To help her decide where her strengths lie and what she might want to do with her future
  • To choose curriculum that meets the needs of my kids in the years to come (this isn’t always easy when you have 3 kids with three very distinct and different personality, strengths, and weaknesses)

5. How will you reward yourself for accomplishing your goals?

Hmmm . . . a trip to Disney World?!  Truthfully, I don’t know.  I’ll have to think on this one.

If you would like to read what others have to say about how they make the grade, click here.


Joy said...

Yes, I definitely feel like I am a lot harder on myself than what my kids were. Excellent post! I enjoyed reading it!

K-tribe said...

Aww we all have our ups and downs but it's life!! You are great mommy for noticing these things.

Thank you for your honesty and post! ;)
Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

We have some of the same goals. I pray that you get all are accomplished. Thanks so much for sharing. You have such a beautiful family too.

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