Step 2: Evaluate Your School Year

Use this checklist or make your own to see what went right and what went wrong this year so that you can adjust for next year.

This needs to be done now, while things are fresh in your mind!

You might want to discuss these items as a family and/or do a private interview with each member to get a complete picture.

Be sure to include your husband and each child for their individual perspectives. You will need to adapt the questions for each one (e.g., Dad: Do you know what our children learned this year? What would you have liked them to learn that they did not learn?).

Please do not let this evaluation discourage you! Rejoice and thank the Lord for what went well and learn from weak areas so that you do even better next year.

General

__  What did you like best about our home school this year?

__  What did you like least about our home school this year?

__  What did you learn?

__  What did you not learn that you would have liked to?

Academics

__  Were basic foundational skills of reading, language, and math improved, mastered, reviewed, and practiced enough?

__  Were specific facts connected to the big picture of overall knowledge through the use of a globe, maps, timelines, charts, and related information?

__  Did we use a variety of teaching methods and materials, (e.g., textbooks, workbooks, unit studies, hands-on activities, computer software, library or supervised Internet research, field trips, oral and written reports)?

__  Were thinking skills taught and encouraged by the types of discussions we had (e.g., comprehension, knowledge, analysis, synthesis, application, and evaluation)?

__  Were various educational resources available and their use encouraged and modeled (e.g., reference books, videos, audio tapes, educational games, software, and supervised Internet use)?

__  Was there enough good supplemental reading done as a family or independently?

__  Were there time, resources, and encouragement available to pursue individual interests?

Spiritual

__  Did your family read God's Word and pray together daily?

__  Were Bible knowledge and Bible study skills increased?

__  Were Bible reading and memorization given at least as much importance as academic studies?

__  Were subjects taught from a Christian worldview?

Character Development

__  Was character development an important part of our school (e.g., honor and obedience to mother and father as teachers and parents; kindness to siblings; diligence; truthfulness; and attention to details in studies)?

__  Was child discipline maintained in a simple, straightforward, and kind manner? Were the rules and consequences clear and consistently carried out?

__  Were there enough positive motivations and negative consequences?

Life Skills

__  Were life skills included in our training and related to academic subjects (e.g., budgeting, cooking, shopping, driving, cleaning, organizing, scheduling, repairing, maintaining a house, yard, and car, voting, finding information by phone, letter, or supervised Internet use)?

Logistics

__  Was the schedule realistic and easy to keep? Too strict or too lax? Was doing schoolwork a regular, daily habit (along with chores and personal grooming)?

__  Did we have a good balance between group and independent study?

__  Were the classes we did as a group interesting, and did they allow each student to learn?

__  Was mother available for individual help when needed? Was there a need for alternative activities or procedures when she was busy with another child?

__  Did we care for our toddlers and babies in the best way for them and for our studies?

__  Were the settings for our studies appropriate and conducive to learning (e.g., dining room table, couch, individual desks)?