Get homeschooling advice and support on Crosswalk.com.. Christian homeschooling resources and tools for your homeschool education, school needs and student resource center. Find resources to help you homeschool your children according to the Bible and Jesus. On Crosswalk you will also find great resources on parenting and Christian college.

David and Laurie Callihan - Christian Homeschooling, Home Education

Staying the Course - Part 2

  • David and Laurie Callihan Authors
  • 2003 8 Aug
  • COMMENTS
Staying the Course - Part 2

Once you are satisfied that continuing to homeschool is not in question, you need to reassess how you and your children are doing.

One method you might use to monitor how well-rounded your program is (and how well-prepared your students are for any possible direction) is to evaluate your program regularly. We did this at least twice a year in our homeschool, though we never had an official evaluation form. We regularly looked at our children's progress, their eventual goals, how the methods we were using were working, and how our homeschool was functioning as a whole.

We were never afraid to ditch a whole system or curriculum whenever we felt the need. There was even a year when in March we determined nothing was working, and we dropped everything. We were under a tremendous amount of family stress related to jobs and moving, and quite frankly, we couldn't handle anything more than the basics of life. One day, we sat down and announced that all scheduled bookwork was off for the rest of the year, and we unschooled. The children read, did crafts and cooking, watched educational programming on television, played games, and helped out with the farm and housework. It was the break everyone needed and did not slow their eventual progress one bit. Other times we have just needed to switch a math course for one child. That's the beauty of the homeschool, you are free to be flexible and pragmatic; you need only insure your own children learn, not a classroom of 30.

It might be useful for you to have some measurement tool to determine your overall progress toward the end goal of college and career. So, to that end, we offer a set of surveys for self-evaluation at different levels. The intent is to check yourself to be sure that if your child announces at some later date a drastic change in plans, your program will have been well-rounded enough to support their choices.

We suggest you fill out these surveys yourself, though you may obtain information from the student. Then, file the form in the child's file, look at it again in six months or a year, and file another updated form with it. You may feel free to reproduce these pages as needed. (This information may look familiar to some of you. It is in our Guidance Manual, and we now include it in the Parent's Guide to the Christian Homeschool Planner.)

Use these surveys to focus your attention on areas that are progressing well and those that need attention. Make adjustments in curriculum and subjects as the need arises. You may find a pattern emerge after filling out several of these forms over a period of time - we suggest at least twice a year - that will help you and your child determine a good route for the future.

Ages 8-11 Child's name __________ Date ______

Spiritual Growth

We are satisfied/unsatisfied that he/she is desiring to follow God.

We see the following fruit of the Spirit emerging (Gal 5:22):

We need to work on the following disciplines:

What service opportunities have we encouraged?

Our spiritual goals for the following few months are to:

To accomplish our goals we need to focus on:

To accomplish our goals we need to change how we:

Special thoughts or comments:

Educational Growth

What subjects or activities does this child especially enjoy?

What subjects or activities are especially troublesome?

What was the highlight of the past few months for this child (in school or otherwise)?

Have any new interests surfaced? If so, what?

We were so proud of our child's accomplishment in the area of:

We wish he/she would work harder at:

Math skills are on target for his/her age, yes or no?

Writing (composition) skills are on target for his/her age, yes or no?

He/she would __________ all day if we let him.

How does he/she feel about reading?

He/she would like to be a __________ when grown up.

We recently participated in the following activities with others:

Our educational goal for the following few months is to:

To accomplish our goals we need to focus on:

To accomplish our goals we need to change how we:

Special thoughts or comments:

Age 12-14 Child's name __________ Date ______

Spiritual Growth

We are satisfied/unsatisfied that he/she is committed to Christ.

We see the following fruit of the Spirit emerging (Gal 5:22):

We need to work on the following spiritual disciplines:

We have noticed a spiritual gift of (see I Cor. 12-14, Rom. 12:1-8, Eph. 4:1-16, I Peter 4:10-11):

What Christian service opportunities have we encouraged?

Our spiritual goals for the following few months are to:

To accomplish our goals we need to focus on:

To accomplish our goals we need to change how we:

Special thoughts or comments:

Educational Growth

What subjects or activities does this child especially enjoy?

What subjects or activities are especially troublesome?

Have any new interests surfaced? If so, what?

We were so proud of our child's accomplishment in the area of:

We wish he/she would work harder at:

He/she would like to __________ after graduating from high school.

He/she is involved in the following extracurricular activities (clubs, sports, music, work, etc.):

We know he/she is ready for high school since (check those that apply):

_____ There is evidence of mastery of arithmetic and pre-algebra.

_____ There is evidence of mastery of writing (composition, research, report) skills.

_____ He/she is able to research a topic and record the findings in a written report.

_____ He/she comprehends silent reading well, and reads aloud fluently.

Or . . .

_____ He/she is not ready for high school level work in all subjects yet.

_____ He/she is working on high school subjects only in (name subject, French, math, etc.):

Our educational goal for the following few months is to:

To accomplish our goals we need to focus on:

To accomplish our goals we need to change how we:

Special thoughts or comments:

Age 15-18 Child's name __________ Date ____

Spiritual Growth

We are satisfied/unsatisfied that he/she is committed to Christ.

We see the following fruit of the Spirit emerging (Gal 5:22):

We need to encourage him/her to work on the following disciplines:

We see him/her beginning to be a part of the Body of Christ by exhibiting the following spiritual gifts (see I Cor. 12-14, Rom. 12:1-8, Eph. 4:1-16, I Peter 4:10-11):

What Christian service opportunities has the student taken part in?

What commitments to purity has this child made in character, relationships (dating, etc.), convictions?

Our spiritual goals for the following few months are to:

To accomplish our goals we need to focus on:

To accomplish our goals we need to change how we:

Special thoughts or comments:

Educational Growth

What subjects or activities does this young person especially enjoy?

What subjects or activities are especially troublesome?

Have any new interests surfaced? If so, what?

He/she is planning to __________ after graduating from high school.

He/she is involved in the following extracurricular activities (clubs, sports, music, work, etc.):

He/she has demonstrated mastery of basic self-sufficiency skills (cooking, laundry, working, communicating with adults, etc.):

He/she has made the following accomplishments or earned the following awards:

We know he/she is ready for adult life since __________ or not since __________.

How many more credits and in what subjects does this young person need for graduation?

Our educational goal for the following few months is to:

To accomplish our goals we need to focus on:

To accomplish our goals we need to change how we:

Special thoughts or comments:

Feel free to make up your own evaluation forms; these are only our ideas.

David and Laurie Callihan are authors of The Guidance Manual for the Christian Home School: A Parent's Guide for Preparing Home School Students for College or Career, and the brand new Christian Homeschool Daily Planner (with their Grand Plan built right in). Learn more at www.davidandlaurie.com. They are regular columnists on Crosswalk's High School page.