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  1. #1

    Question How do you measure your students' academic progress?

    We all know that standardized testing is a terrible way for our children to demonstrate what they've learned. Given our ability to use any method of measuring our children's academic growth, what are some ways that you all measure your children's progress?

    Do you dole out tests? Do you assign a project? A fun quiz? Do you just engage them in discussion to hear what they've learned?

    I'm curious because we've been homeschooling now for almost a trimester, and I feel that I should "test" somehow, even if that just means a few days of review and discussion. But there has to be a more creative way!
    Paula

    Disneyland-obsessed homeschooling mama to adventurous Aidyn (9yo) and our new, huggable, lovable baby Jack.

    Writing Tutor/Workshop facilitator/Instructor Aide at a community college.

    To hear about our adventures/destination unit studies:

    Choosing Our Own Adventures

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    Senior Member Enlightened wendygrace's Avatar
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    I only measure progress in math and reading and that's minimal. With Math I use the end of unit reviews for ds and keep an eye on how they are doing on Khan. I also, about once a year, check with mindspring and see where they fall. With reading I just check to see what level of book they are reading/enjoying. I search the book to see what lexile it is and what "age recommendation" it is as well as use mindspring again about once a year.
    Homeschool mama to dd, 9 and afterschooling mama to ds, 11.

  4. #3

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    Portfolio assessment. I've been a strong believer in it for years.
    Want to read about my homeschool?
    http://farrarwilliams.wordpress.com
    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

    Want help homeschooling or sending kids to college?
    http://simplify4you.com/

  5. #4

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    Wendygrace-- What is mindspring? I've never heard of it.

    Farrar-- How do you do your portfolios? And how often?
    Paula

    Disneyland-obsessed homeschooling mama to adventurous Aidyn (9yo) and our new, huggable, lovable baby Jack.

    Writing Tutor/Workshop facilitator/Instructor Aide at a community college.

    To hear about our adventures/destination unit studies:

    Choosing Our Own Adventures

  6. #5

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    Farrar- Nevermind! I dug through your blog and found your portfolio-related posts.
    Paula

    Disneyland-obsessed homeschooling mama to adventurous Aidyn (9yo) and our new, huggable, lovable baby Jack.

    Writing Tutor/Workshop facilitator/Instructor Aide at a community college.

    To hear about our adventures/destination unit studies:

    Choosing Our Own Adventures

  7. #6

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    Idk. I live with them ?

    Honestly, I never understand how to answer this question.

    If I live with them, and work with them, I see the progress they make over time. I assume the pace of progress they make is good for them. Sometimes it's rapid, sometimes it's slower, sometimes I observe them get stuck.

    If they get stuck, I try to work out why and help come up with a solution.

    For me it's like watching their physical growth. I observe they are growing - getting taller, stronger, maturing. Same with their academic skills. Or their emotional skills.

  8. #7

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    Oh, yes, discussion is definitely a tool we use a lot. Discussion and observation. Hey, I came up with an answer!

  9. #8
    Senior Member Enlightened wendygrace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paula View Post
    Wendygrace-- What is mindspring? I've never heard of it.
    It's an online tutoring program but they have free assessments for math, reading and reading comprehension. All they tell me is whether they are meeting grade level standards or not but I use it just to make sure I'm reasonable close to having them "keep up". As long as they are at least "at grade level" then I'm good. I don't sweat the small stuff though. http://www.mindsprinting.com/
    Homeschool mama to dd, 9 and afterschooling mama to ds, 11.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Arrived dbmamaz's Avatar
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    i'm kinda w Stella. As the things they are doing become easier, I see they are ready for more. Its so much easier over time, you see them finishing a curriculum and ready for another, you see them writing better and more quickly, you see them getting concepts they've been struggling with.

    I think the reason for testing and assesments in school is so the school knows how ALL the kids are doing, but you know how your kid is doing. If they dont understand the math, you keep working on that concept until they do, you dont have to wait for a test to tell you they didnt learn it. If they are picking it up faster, you skip through it faster.

    Unless you dont think you are noticing how they are doing . . .or you have to tell someone else . . . jmo. but i wonder if I should go read Farrar's portfolio section. i am really lazy and dont do more than I feel is important to us, and I cant figure out why I would find it important. I want to know I have exposed them to science and history, and that they can write and do math, and that they feel prepared for what they want from life.
    Cara, homeschooling one
    Raven, ds 10, all around intense kid
    Orion, floundering recent graduate
    22 yo dd, not at home
    Inactive blog at longsummer

  11. #10
    Senior Member Arrived Avalon's Avatar
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    I like to keep writing samples. Even the kids can clearly see that what they wrote yesterday was much better than what they wrote last year.

    I'm not a huge fan of most school work. All those worksheets, lapbooks, crafts, coloured maps, etc... just end up in the recycle bin a few months later anyway. The things I actually care about are more subtle: like the types of books they are choosing, their comments about the characters or plot in a book, the insights they have when we talk about things (whether it's outer space or government policy).

    I am also greatly encouraged by signs of independence and maturity: being able to work more independently, knowing that they need to do laundry before they run out of underwear, choosing to look something up on the internet on their own, being able to plan a whole birthday party or weekend camping trip themselves, deciding to re-enact a story they read, etc...

    There is no test for these things, but if I observe carefully, I notice them doing things that they couldn't or wouldn't have done a few months or years ago.

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How do you measure your students' academic progress?