Last year this time I was just beginning to think about wrapping up our first homeschool year. Here in the state of Ohio we must notify the state each year of our intent to homeschool. At the end of said year we can either choose a homeschool evaluation or have our student take a standardized test. I chose to have my four kid’s work evaluated by a local licensed teacher and here’s how that went down. (Hint, there’s a lot of hand wringing and pukey stomach stuff involved.)
Homeschool evaluations shouldn’t leave you feeling nauseous.
I’m not here to tell you how to organize for having your kiddos work looked at by someone else. (Although I DO love organizing & have some fun printables you might want to use if you’re the kinda’ person who calms themselves by organizing!!) I’m here to be your cheerleader! You can do this! Yay you!
Before I had a kids I was an art teacher. I have my Masters degree in Education. I am the daughter of a teacher. I’ve seen the school system from the inside out. I know most teachers out there are doing their darndest to love on and teach these kids despite being part of a broken system.
Crazy brave? Or just crazy?
When we started this journey I was full of ideas big and small. This awesome brave feeling of leaving behind the path most travelled filled my brain on a good day. We were doing this!
OHMYGOSHOHMYGOSH….What if we ruin them??
What if forget to teach something major? Certainly anything they don’t know will be because they are homeschoolers. Public school kids never have that happen, right? When random strangers or family members ask trivia questions just to test what my kid knows they probably do that to public school kids too, right?!?! And when my kid looks at them with a slack jaw, a drop of slobber runs onto their shirt, and they mumble into their own lap, well, that’s probably pretty typical too. Right??
The “what if’s” will kill you!
This range of emotion goes through my head daily. Depending on the time of day you ask my feelings range from “bravery and accomplishment for saving my kids from the system” to “despair at failing to make them productive humans.” It’s a roller coaster.
Enter… the homeschool evaluation
So along those same lines let’s pack up a years worth of work for four kids, put it in a number of crates and let a total stranger tell you if what you and your children accomplished is “good enough” to count as a years worth of work.
That’s not scary at all, right??
“Am I doing enough?”
“Did I forget anything?”
“Are my kids going to end up watching YouTube in the basement into their adult years?”
All those fears are about to be put to rest by the dear licensed teacher that is to do your homeschool evaluation. Either that or you will be outed as a complete imposter, as I feared I would!
But, rest assured, I wasn’t pointed at, laughed at, or made to feel less than!
My evaluator looked at my kids work, provided encouragement, and a few suggestions along the way. It was short. Painless.
(Except for the part when I burst into tears when she congratulated me for taking a huge leap of faith and doing a great job!) Compliments have a way of bringing me to tears. Whyyyy? No idea.
Anywhooo… gather up all that hard earned work and head to that homeschool evaluation confident in the fact that you, as a mom, know what’s best for your kids and your family. You know what you kids are capable of and how hard to push them.
The less than perfect year…
You also know if your year didn’t go perfectly (and whose did) that it. Is. Okay. Public school kids miss days too. They have movie days, and weeks in a row with random subs that aren’t sure what’s happening.
Kid learning at home are constantly soaking up what priorities are important. Sometimes helping family trumps math. There are days that building someone up is more important than improving time on flashcards. Those big lessons cannot be neatly organized into binders (darn) but they DO count!
But…some lessons can be neatly organized and some weird part of me is soothed by things all neatly in their place.
When I went looking for cover sheets for my binder with subject names on them it was easy to find. Unfortunately for my two almost teen boys they had cartoonish writing or cutesy elementary themed images.
I couldn’t find any that I liked so I made up this set! They are simple and suitable for any age level! I12 different subject all available in one printable PDF file for you to print and use!
“You are equipped to teach your child.”
Those are powerful, uplifting words that we all need to hear, no matter how long we’ve been homeschooling, how well (or poorly) our year is going, or how confident we are. The funny thing is, I wasn’t feeling down or particularly in need of encouragement when I stumbled upon your post, but your words brought tears to my eyes just the same. Thank you for sharing this post! I shared it with my readers so they too can be encouraged. 🙂
Thanks for sharing Rachel. This homeschooling gig requires a little encouragement now then, doesn’t it?!?