In a previous Goates Notes, we talked about the importance of tracking our children’s academic progress with regular informal and formal assessments. Using the insight that evaluation provides, we can more easily address the following questions and move forward with positive action:
What’s working well for you and for your child?
Fantastic! Keep it up!
Is your child in need of additional support in Reading, Math, or writing?
No worries! There are lots of great resources and support available for you at CGA! How can we help?
Is your child struggling, bored, or unhappy with his, or her, current academic routine?
This can happen to all of us. Thankfully, we can all access and share great resources, experiment with new ideas, and tweak routines to empower him, or her, in their learning journey.
What isn’t working well for you or for your child?
Once you can identify this, then simply seek knowledge and support and adjust what needs to be changed, improved, or more-supported.
Here’s an identifying experience that a dear parent-teacher friend shared with me…
“Something wasn’t working. After honest evaluation, our home learning experience wasn’t going as I hoped it would, but I couldn’t determine how to improve it. I didn’t realize that I was trained and ingrained to believe that the only way to do school at home was to mimic the traditional public school classroom. This included things like a firm by-the-clock schedule, task-driven seatwork, always raise your hand before you speak, teacher-prepared and directed lessons, and a strong emphasis on exceeding State grade-level proficiency standards. Phew! Each day at home was too calculated and exhausting!
I was becoming bored and burnt-out with our demanding routine, and my children were too. I reached out. I sought help. I checked out a book from my local library that was written by a homeschooling mom. She recommended creating more calm and flexible routines including learning experiences that were inspired by family priorities, learning engagement, and individual student accountability. What? These were revolutionary and liberating ideas for me. With some very simple changes, a beautiful transformation began in our learning home. We still gave many devoted hours to our education every day, but we did it in more familial, relevant, and meaningful ways– and the children thrived!
Here are just a few examples of improvements we made. We often forgot the clock when we became immersed in a shared learning project, like writing and illustrating a book together. If other work was missed because of this, it was okay. It would be completed on our allotted make-up day. My oldest children often joined in the teaching. They researched and shared their own passion-projects about things like Rockets, Robotics, or all the varieties of dogs and puppies, and which breeds made the best pets. The older children often helped tutor their younger siblings. When we welcomed a new baby to our family, all of our school work was done while snuggling on the family room couch together. We gracefully left-behind the stiff classroom and thoroughly embraced a real and genuine family learning home.
I believe this was the time when the joy of sharing lifelong learning really began to blossom for my children and for me.”
For my friend, discovering that there were better options for how they schooled, was the beginning of implementing a more student-driven, calm, thriving, and vibrant learning home.
What specific changes and improvements can we implement today to replenish and enhance
learning joy and progress for our children?
With thoughtful action, using informal and formal assessment methods, we have the ability to design our learning days, prioritize and focus effort on what’s most important, and empower our children to flourish in relevant and meaningful ways and to be accountable in their educational journey.
You G.O.A.T. this!
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