By Vicki Bentley
Note to leaders:
This is a great activity for the last support group meeting of the year! Go to www.HomeEducation101.com for a printer-friendly PDF version of this activity sheet with more space for written responses, and for a general facilitator guidelines sheet. If your group is larger, you may wish to divide into smaller groups of about ten with volunteer facilitators in each group. Go through questions orally, one at a time, and gently encourage sharing, but do not insist. Allow time for them to think about each question, jot notes, and swap stories! You may wish to leave time for closing prayer within each small group to encourage the families.
Home Education 101 includes a goals planning sheet and suggestions for use (see “Beginning the Incredible Journey”). This can be helpful in preparation for questions #4-7 and 24.
Just as you might refer back to the map on a long journey to evaluate your progress, check your timing, hunt for rest stops, determine if you need help with our directions, etc., you’ll want to pause to evaluate your family’s progress in this home education “journey.”
Consider from where you started—how far have you come? Are you still traveling in the direction you intended? Is this where you expected to be? If not, was this a deliberate shift or a missed turn? Are you happy with where you find yourself today?
What will you do again next year, and what will you definitely change? This family evaluation stays with you; we will discuss only what you would like to discuss about your journey this year. This is a tool to help your family, so be honest with yourself. As you evaluate where you ended up, remember: (a) Do not panic, (b) Do not condemn yourself, and (c) Don’t compare yourself to other homeschoolers.
- Am I satisfied with how our year progressed? Why or why not?
- Is my spouse satisfied with how our year progressed? Why or why not?
- What improvement would I like to see for next year?
- Did we set goals for our family this past year?
- Did we meet our goals (intellectual, physical, spiritual, social) this year?
- Were our goals were realistic and achievable?
- Thoughts about our goals:
- Was our home/space adequately organized?
- I need a notebook/planner/calendar to keep our schedule.
- I need to define/refine our routine.
- The children need more supervision in accomplishing tasks.
- I need to de-clutter our space.
- I need some additional organizing tools.
- I need to have more realistic expectations of our household.
- I need to set up learning or working centers for various activities in our home.
- Thoughts about home organization:
- Have I spent time learning what is important to my child?
- Have we enjoyed being a family? Why or why not?
- Have we spent time learning more about God and His plans for us as a family and as individuals?
- Have I spent time quietly with the Lord to refresh my spirit?
- Do my children see my joy in this home discipleship/education?
- How have I motivated my children to learn this year?
- Have I been consistent in establishing clear standards of behavior and following up with appropriate consequences for compliance/non-compliance?
- Have my children mastered the foundational skills they need at this level to progress further? Thoughts on this:
- Do I understand my children’s strengths and needs?
- Do I understand their learning styles and my teaching style?
- What life skills have our children learned this year? What are they ready to learn next?
- Have we grown in character?
- Were our materials consistent with our worldview?
- Were our materials consistent with our goals?
- Were our materials consistent with our children’s learning styles and ability levels?
- What do my children enjoy in their “spare” time and how can I utilize this, if appropriate, to help them learn? If not appropriate, how can we work on that?
- Of the educational materials, resources, games, reference resources, etc. we have provided this year, which have we actually used? What should we obtain or use more? What worked and what did not?
- What I Will Do Again Next Year
- What I Will Definitely Change!
- Our Family: Before and After
“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” Galatians 6:9 NASB
“Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans shall be established.” Proverbs 16:3 NASB
“May the God of peace. . . equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
© 2003, 2011 Vicki Bentley | Excerpted from Home Education 101: A Mentor’s Manual | www.HomeEducation101.com