Keeping track of you child's progress - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 17 Old 05-23-2012, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
sk8boarder15's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 727
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

How do you keep track of your child's progress and what they've learned and the degree of mastery they have of it?

 

What about those of you that don't use curriculum? 


- Mom to Baby Mark (9/18/10) and 4 wonderful dogs!
sk8boarder15 is offline  
#2 of 17 Old 05-23-2012, 04:03 PM
 
onyxravnos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
Posts: 2,619
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I keep a portfolio. I keep work samples and pictures of things we do that don't produce work samples (like pics of taking water samples at a pond, or making the letter A with his body, etc)

Other important things go in... stubs from the  museum or a concert. any certificates or events he's attended etc..

Frequently I will find skills lists for his age group and check them off just to see that he is in the right range but the portfolios not only serve to track progress but are great keep sakes.


transtichel.gifAk Hippie mama  ribbonpb.gifYamia  DSD '03 blahblah.gif  DS '07 ribboncesarean.gif  DS2 '09  hbac.gif & DS3  uc.jpg '12

homeschool.gifwinner.jpgfamilybed2.gifnovaxnocirc.gifcd.gifgd.gif

 

onyxravnos is offline  
#3 of 17 Old 05-23-2012, 04:12 PM
 
onatightrope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 305
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I've let go of the idea that it's an important thing to do.  I have the kids around most of the time, so if I want to know what they know I can ask them, but I don't feel a need to chart their achievement over the years or anything. winky.gif  I think recordkeeping is important in school where kids are transferred from one teacher to the next year after year, but in homeschooling I think the records are less crucial. I also think records can be misleading because they tend to be presented as "what the child knows" when they tend to actually be "what the child was taught" and those are often quite different.

 

We do test annually for a range of reasons, but I don't use that for record keeping, it's more for getting another piece of information about where they are, so we can make changes where necessary.  

onyxravnos likes this.
onatightrope is offline  
#4 of 17 Old 05-23-2012, 06:14 PM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,615
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)

I make a narrative report of progress in learning. I agree very much with onatightrope, except that I do see nostalgia-value in some sort of descriptive paper-trail. In my case it's about 2 pages of parental bragging about where I've seen growth and enthusiasm. For instance, this is what I wrote about my then-8-year-old about science:

 

 

"She is very enthusiastic about sciences. This year she has done a lot of birdwatching and (naked-eye) star-gazing. She loves using iBird to identify species she sees and compare their songs and calls. She's also discovered that playing the calls quite loudly on the iPad can create a conversation with the real-life birds. She very much enjoyed the guided "edible wild" hike she was able to take part in and continues to be very interested in foraging. She has developed several herbal tea blends based around wildcrafted ingredients and successfully packaged these for sale at the community market. She completed the BC Science 6 textbook and workbook program this year. She watches lots of nature documentaries, and has chosen to watch some specific episodes from our DVD series like Life of Mammals and Planet Earth in order to complement the curricular learning she's done. I often find her Googling the answer to some question she has been pondering."

 

So really I'm mostly telling the story of our year through these reports. I have to submit something to our umbrella school, and they seem happy with this type of document. As for documenting mastery, well, my kids are exhibit A for that. If they mastered something, I can see that they can do it, any time.

 

Miranda

sk8boarder15 likes this.

Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#5 of 17 Old 05-23-2012, 07:13 PM
 
4evermom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: PA
Posts: 8,929
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

I don't really see the importance of keeping track of progress. I see that there is progress. I can tell how confident ds is in a skill by how his requests for help decline. It's difficult to know what he does know because he is oddly private about his learning. I notice when he no longer needs help or when he drops clues in conversation. I don't believe kids all need to learn the same body of knowledge the way school is designed, so there isn't so much to keep track of that we need a method. Also, ds has always been a bit asynchronous, not developing skills in all areas at the same pace. So the idea that he should be progressing evenly in similar ways to other kids is something that has gone by the wayside. 


Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
4evermom is offline  
#6 of 17 Old 05-23-2012, 09:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
sk8boarder15's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 727
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks guys! We aren't homeschooling yet (my son is too young anyway), but it was just something I was wondering about. I was thinking it would be neat to have some sort of journal where we just jot down what he's interested in and what he's been learning, nothing formal. We're past the baby book stage and I don't scrap book, so besides being helpful with "schooling" I think it would be a neat thing for all of us to look back on. 

 

More answers appreciated. I want to learn as much as I can about homeschooling since I see it at least being part of our future. We know we aren't doing any public or even traditionally modeled schools, but once we move there will be a multitude of Montessori, Waldorf, and even "free" and "democratic" schools available and we may or may not use one. Time will tell. 


- Mom to Baby Mark (9/18/10) and 4 wonderful dogs!
sk8boarder15 is offline  
#7 of 17 Old 05-23-2012, 09:50 PM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,615
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
I blog about our family life, which is rather indistinguishable from our homeschooling life, and that has served our nostalgia purposes admirably. I've been blogging since the1990's and I ended up getting the first five years or so profesonally printed up in a series of hardcover journals. My kids absolutely love browsing through them.

Miranda

Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#8 of 17 Old 05-24-2012, 06:36 AM
 
Daffodil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Vermont
Posts: 3,607
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

I submit a portfolio every year to our state Dept. of Ed., but if I didn't need to do that I would probably not put much effort into tracking or documenting progress.  For areas like science or social studies, it doesn't necessarily make sense to think in terms of "progress."  It's not like there's a set order to learn science concepts, or a clearly-defined set of concepts everyone needs to learn, and it's not like learning a concept is a one-time thing you can check off after doing a unit on it.  Kids (and adults) learn things and then forget them and then maybe come across an idea again and remember or re-learn it, and eventually the things they've spent enough time thinking about become more-or-less permanent parts of their knowledge base. 

 

With my kid who struggles with reading fluency, I have found it helpful to give her fluency tests and compare her results with where they "should be" for her grade, and to know the reading level of books she reads.  That way I know whether or not she's far behind other kids her age, and I can see whether or not she's making reasonable progress.  DIBELS has free reading assessment materials available online and the Scholastic Book Wizard is nice for looking up reading levels or finding books at a particular level.  I have another kid who's an excellent reader, and I've also given him fluency tests and kept track of what level books he's reading, but that's mostly out of curiosity and so I'll have some information for the homeschooling portfolio. I don't need that information at all.

 

For math, I have a general idea in my head of the concepts the kids need to learn and I can see how well they know them by giving them problems and seeing when they reach the point where they can do them without help.  With my older kid, I've found it helpful to give her some sample math questions from my state's standardized test.  That helps me see how her knowledge compares to the expectations for kids her age in school and also helps me recognize whether there are types of problems she hasn't been introduced to or hasn't had enough practice with.  I save samples of math work for the homeschooling portfolio, but I don't really need those for myself.  I can keep track in my head of what my kids know and don't know.

Daffodil is online now  
#9 of 17 Old 05-24-2012, 06:50 AM
 
4evermom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: PA
Posts: 8,929
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

If scrapbooking or blogging don't fit your style, some people order those photo albums every year picking out their favorite digital pictures. Probably some are set up so you can add captions... We are a camera happy family so photos are going to have to suffice to jog our memory of ds's childhood...


Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
4evermom is offline  
#10 of 17 Old 05-24-2012, 01:08 PM
 
LitMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 291
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I have to track several things in NY. I write something brief about what we've done for each subject on our quarterly reports. ("X studied life cycles this quarter, looking at frogs, insects, fish, birds, and mammals and comparing how they grow and reproduce.") That could apply even if what we'd done was looked at tadpoles, bugs, etc. on nature walks and read a book or two, although I use a curriculum.

 

I have to track how many days or hours we've done, which I do in a journal app on my phone. I write "Day XXX:" and a little list of what we've done that day in very general terms. Here's a typical one: "Day 153: Review photosynthesis. Work on Science Fair experiment (plant growth and light). Math-polygons, quadrilaterals. Independent Reading 30 minutes-Zoo Borns by Andrew Beiman and Danielle the Daisy Fairy by Daisy Meadows. Spelling plurals with s, es, ies. Violin practice." I use that stuff to write the quarterly reports.

 

I also do a photo book every year just for us with photos of what we've done, and scan in a bit of writing and math and art from beginning and end of year. DD loves to look back at them, and it's a nice record. Most of the photos are of she and I doing science experiments, field trips, her doing sports, etc. I don't think it'll matter in terms of education, but it's a nice thing to have just for the fun and bonding of it. 


Book loving, editor mom to 2

LitMom is offline  
#11 of 17 Old 05-24-2012, 06:14 PM
 
domesticidyll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 221
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We need a fairly detailed record for our charter, so I use this journal. Each week has six boxes across and five down.

 

http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/sku/017347/1af4bffc70ba00a8a0e9dcb5

 

The point is more to jog my memory about all the interesting things DS has done than to ensure that he does interesting things, and to have a formal way of sharing what we do with DH and the charter teacher.

 

As far as checking how much learning is going on, we also have regular testing through the charter, but the clearest thing is just seeing the observations he makes and the connections he draws. Talking about how I know he is learning and how much he remembers is hard to explain to someone who isn't homeschooling--at least, I find that I need to watch to not sound careless or boastful about my process, but he just does learn, in not a huge amount of time, learn a substantial amount, and the depth of it more than balances out any specific (arbitrary) pieces of the second-grade curriculum we haven't happened to cover this year. I think most homeschoolers in my circle have the same dynamic; record-keeping isn't so much knowing your own self what your child has done as finding an efficient way to remember and formally store it all.

 

Heather

domesticidyll is offline  
#12 of 17 Old 05-25-2012, 09:43 PM
 
SundayCrepes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,745
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

We're unschoolers and don't have to report to the state so I don't do any formal tracking. I'm very much into child-led learning.

 

That said, I think it is my job to provide my kids with opportunities they wouldn't consider themselves. So I have the entire set of Living is Learning Guides. I can see what others consider appropriate content for kids to learn at certain times. Then I can decide if I agree or not and if I want to present it to them. So, when I saw counting by twos was an example of possibilities, I started counting by twos out loud in front of my son.

 

http://www.fun-books.com/books/living_is_learning_guides.htm

 

The webpage says: These guides are put together by Nancy Plent, founder of the Unschoolers Network in New Jersey and a long-time homeschooler. She reviewed the scope and sequence charts and curriculum guides of dozens of schools in various states, then combined the highest standards of elements from each to create these guides. Why purchase these curriculum guides? 1) They may help you to fulfill your state's legal requirement to provide an educational plan 2) They allow you to see some of the highest standards for schools at various grade levels, just in case you are curious about what the schools expect or are anxious about what you are doing 3) They provide record-keeping space that can help organize a portfolio.

Besides providing a checklist under each subject, Nancy offers suggestions on how to translate real-life experience into curricula goals. She also lists resources from a variety of companies. Each guide covers two or more grade levels. The first four are in comb binding, while the high school guide is in a 3-ring binder.


Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

SundayCrepes is offline  
#13 of 17 Old 05-26-2012, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
sk8boarder15's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 727
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Do you have any other exaples of what is in those books? They seem pretty cool, but I cant afford to waste 18 bucks if I don't end up ever using it. 


- Mom to Baby Mark (9/18/10) and 4 wonderful dogs!
sk8boarder15 is offline  
#14 of 17 Old 05-31-2012, 07:18 PM
 
heatherdeg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Everywhere... thanks, technology!
Posts: 4,888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)

IL is one of the loosest homeschooling states in the country, but I'm from a state just one step looser (NJ) and both have "equivalency" statutes (IL is more detailed than NJ and lays out specific subjects that have to be covered).  Because I have now seen at least 3 children in 2 states ordered into school (the most recent was a child not even removed from home and not even evaluated before being ordered into a local public school so bad the state took it over :/ ).  So I actually do keep track in case someone knocks on my door one day.

 

I just look at my day, figure out the educational value of stuff and log it into HomeschoolSkedtrack (free online tool).  Today is my arbitrary (but consistent) last day of the school year, so I'm printing out "course reports" to just keep for the next year (just long enough to have a full year's worth of data at all times).

 

Call me paranoid, but I've seen the alternative first-hand.  I don't need to be the next one.


Heather - Wife , Mommy  & Health & Wellness Educator, Speaker & Consultant 
 
Dairy, soy & corn free with limited gluten... yes, really. And journeying towards peace.  Blogging about both.
 
Let me guide you to find the food and lifestyle choices...
heatherdeg is offline  
#15 of 17 Old 05-31-2012, 08:12 PM
 
onatightrope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 305
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherdeg View Post

IL is one of the loosest homeschooling states in the country, but I'm from a state just one step looser (NJ) and both have "equivalency" statutes (IL is more detailed than NJ and lays out specific subjects that have to be covered).  Because I have now seen at least 3 children in 2 states ordered into school (the most recent was a child not even removed from home and not even evaluated before being ordered into a local public school so bad the state took it over :/ ).  So I actually do keep track in case someone knocks on my door one day.

 

I just look at my day, figure out the educational value of stuff and log it into HomeschoolSkedtrack (free online tool).  Today is my arbitrary (but consistent) last day of the school year, so I'm printing out "course reports" to just keep for the next year (just long enough to have a full year's worth of data at all times).

 

Call me paranoid, but I've seen the alternative first-hand.  I don't need to be the next one.

On what grounds were the children ordered into school? 

onatightrope is offline  
#16 of 17 Old 05-31-2012, 08:19 PM
 
heatherdeg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Everywhere... thanks, technology!
Posts: 4,888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by onatightrope View Post

On what grounds were the children ordered into school? 

 

"Educational neglect" with no other charges (child wasn't removed from the home because there was no other "danger" present).  Ordered into school before the child was even evaluated to determine neglect.  The family has extremely competent and experienced representation with both homeschooling and working on local CPS cases--so it's not a matter of not having adequate or knowledgeable representation.  The judge didn't care/want to hear it.  It's an active case so who knows if they'll be allowed to resume homeschooling.  I'm not sure I can say much else given the situation (I haven't said anything even remotely identifying so far, so it's fine)


Heather - Wife , Mommy  & Health & Wellness Educator, Speaker & Consultant 
 
Dairy, soy & corn free with limited gluten... yes, really. And journeying towards peace.  Blogging about both.
 
Let me guide you to find the food and lifestyle choices...
heatherdeg is offline  
#17 of 17 Old 06-01-2012, 08:39 AM
AAK
 
AAK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Eastern Washington
Posts: 3,049
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

I blog about our family life, which is rather indistinguishable from our homeschooling life, and that has served our nostalgia purposes admirably. I've been blogging since the1990's and I ended up getting the first five years or so profesonally printed up in a series of hardcover journals. My kids absolutely love browsing through them.
Miranda

That is just cool.  I never thought about turning blogs into hardcover journals!

 

As for progress, we don't keep much record.  I take pictures of fun stuff (field trips, experiments, dissections) and anything they are particularly proud of.  We save bigger projects, some of their creative writing, some drawings, etc.  That is all from a nostalgia viewpoint.  

 

For progress, I know where they are.  I do frequently review certain concepts to make sure that they are still understanding.  The review also helps as an intro to deeper/further study of an area.  This is usually about math.  

 

Amy


Mom to three very active girls Anna (14), Kayla (11), Maya (8). 
AAK is offline  
Reply

Tags
Unschooling , Education , Homeschooling

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off