We have been hard at it for four weeks now. If you missed last weeks post on creativity grab hop over to catch up now. This week I’m going to help you find ways to simplify your homeschooling or virtual schooling system. Get ready to teach, evaluate and repeat. It’s time to evaluate school in your home.
Why do we evaluate school?
While in college I had to take a course completely dedicated to criticizing my own teaching style. It’s actually a brilliant idea. I had peers that reviewed me, an instructor that reviewed me, and worst of all “self reflection”.
At the time I was not interested in this whole review of myself idea. But as time went on and I was able to take a step back I now know how important it really is. In fact, I think it might be one of the most important parts of educating kids.
How Evaluation Helps You Teach
Having taught in a public school setting for a few years I was able to really put the skill of evaluation to work. Let me tell you, self evaluation is more important than your child’s evaluation.
Why? Because if you cannot convey the materials to your child in a way that they can understand their evaluation will always be negative.
If you aren’t enjoying the materials or cringe when you take them out to teach them your kids pick up on that. If you dread it you are setting the tone for the day and they will not enjoy the lesson either. How you respond makes a BIG difference.
You have to find a way to break through these barriers if you want to be successful. Home schooling is hard enough without having materials your child cannot understand. So what do you do?
Step 1: Teach!
Yes that’s right teach just as you had planned. However I want you to take a few notes about yourself as you go.
Did you have trouble teaching the lesson? Were you clear in your expectations? Is there anything you could have done better? What worked well? What did your child respond or not respond to?
It’s a long list I know but you get the general idea. This is all about working on you so you can help your child learn easier or at least with more peace.
Step 2: Evaluate
After completing the first step it’s time to take a look at what we now know. It will be our first lesson in self-evaluation. It’s always a great idea to evaluate school and how it is going several times throughout the year. The more often the better.
Look at your list of responses and look at that same lesson. Now decide how you could have made it better using those new found responses. Could you have added a fun science experiment twist or read a different story that would be more meaningful to your child?
Look ahead to your next lesson and try to find at least two areas of improvement that you could make from today’s lessons experience. Keep those things that went really well for you built in and just take small baby steps toward a better learning experience.
Beware of The Teacher
One thing I always have to remind myself is to keep the next step simple or attainable. Don’t focus on HUGE things like completing an entire book if your child is a struggling reader. Believe me that is not going to help the process. Instead be thrilled if you can read one whole page without frustration or tears.
Celebrate those small victories! When my son and I meet a goal we have set, especially with reading which is his biggest struggle, we celebrate it. All the ‘Good job. I’m so proud of you. Aren’t you proud of how well you did?’ comments in the world need to be said to keep them thrilled that they did it.
Step 3: Repeat
Great you are teaching and evaluating. Now it’s time to add in that final step that keeps things flowing every day. It’s time to repeat the process.
It’s really very simple. For this step simply apply those new ideas to your next lesson and repeat your self evaluation. The best way to teach your child better is to know how you teach best.
I strongly suggest that if you are struggling with self-evaluation on a daily basis to try for at least once a week if possible. I like to do a simple daily evaluation at the end of the day or jot down a note when something is messy with a lesson right away on a post-it. This helps to keep that fresh in my mind so I can make a better option for the next lesson.
You Can Do It!
Home schooling can be hard so give yourself a break. Recess for parents anyone?
Follow these three simple steps of teaching, evaluating, and repeating the process. Through the three simple steps above you can evaluate school in your home and determine what is working best for your household. Do what feels right for your school set up.
It’s so important to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Our child’s education is very much the same way. Remember small improvements will lead to small successes which build mountains over time.
Happy home schooling!