Collecting Samples of Children's Home Educating Progress
© Beverley Paine
Collecting samples for any subject can be relatively easy once you realise that most subjects are related in one way or another, plus get into the habit of using the camera or tape recorder to record children's activities. This ultimately provides a superior record to that teachers in schools are capable of, and children enjoy looking back on their homeschool records later. Many families now use the internet to record progress - uploading photos and short videos to personal websites/blogs.
I would collect any scrap of writing my sons did and put them in a scrapbook. At first I had scrapbooks for different subjects, but then we just had one big scrapbook for each child. I would date the 'sample' and write some evaluative comment (examples are in my book Getting Started with Homeschooling) . Or I would record in our diary a description of what the child had done.
For example: three weeks after a trip on a tram my son build a LEGO tram and tram station in great detail. This activity reflected learning in Society and Environment, Technology, and Art. All I had to do was write about how his skills and understanding had increased in each area. I could write a page on that activity alone, date it, stick it in his 'scrapbook' and if I took a photo, add that too. He could add a couple of sentences.
Because this activity covered learning in many areas it can be used to illustrate progress in any one of those areas by comparing it with more recent insights or skill acquisition. It could be that a couple of months later my son might have had a conversation with me comparing trams to trains and asking why we have both (and why one is electrified and one is diesel). This conversation could be recorded in the same way as above, and covers increasing understanding and knowledge in both SOSE and Technology.
I wouldn't record everything my children did, just the activities I could see were packed with new learning. We all know when our children cover new ground with their questions and activities.
Flipping back through the scrapbooks and diaries would provide me with two samples that showed progress. Often just a drawing or a scribble in the scrapbook, or a photo, was enough for me to remind me of what the child learned that day and I could ramble on for a couple of paragraphs. Dating records is important.
I did all this recording not for the benefit of getting registration but because it built my confidence as a competent educator. On the days that I felt I was a hopeless educator the diaries and scrapbooks said otherwise. I also kept them just in case when my children grew up they'd accuse me of not teaching them at all, because we unschooled - those scrapbooks were going to my defense! As it was, we never needed them.
Was this article helpful? Was it worth $1.00 to you?
Your gift of $1 or more helps to keep this site operating
and reassurance to families
better outcomes for their children.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
"You've been an inspiration to me, I love the way
you really listen to people." Vanessa
"Whenever I read your writing I always come away
with increased confidence in my ability to provide and
share a wonderful learning journey with my family!" Davina
"Your guidance, understanding, support and words of
wisdom changed our lives. We now offer support and
organise many homeschooling events for others." Lesley
"Thank you once again for your prompt and friendly service.
I am convinced that your books are going to add
quality and peace of mind to my journey of teaching my kids
at home! Just from studying your website, until almost
in the morning, I 've been encouraged!" Louisa
"Thank you for all your many,many reassuring words
over many, many years. You probably don't know exactly how
valuable you are to the Australian Home Education community.
I've been reading your stuff for maybe 8 years or more now.
And I'm very grateful." Gythaa
I am currently giving this site a much needed facelift!
If you experience difficultiess accessing any page can you
please email me the link? Thank you.
Welcome to the
World of Home Education
and Learning without School!
We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
The information on this website is of
a general nature only and is not intended
as personal or professional advice.
This site merges and incorporates
'Homeschool Australia' and 'Unschool Australia'.
Advertise with The Educating Parent
Without revenue from advertising
educational suppliers and Google Ads
we could not continue to provide information
to home educators. Please support us by letting
our advertisers know
that you found them on
The Educating Parent. Thanks!