Measurement is THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP in the whole process. If you do not measure you will not know whether you are making progress or not ! You will not know if you moving forward or backward. Measure or evaluate or check or assess….everything! From the everyday math sum your child does, to the big picture progress on your road to character development. To be able to measure one needs to have something to measure against – that is what all the previous steps are about.
Measurement is a specific action one does at a specific point in time. In business you measure for quality control purposes. It can however be done formally or informally. It is a good habit to establish a rhythm for measurement eg. Check daily work done every day or end of the week, evaluate whether quarterly goals are met at the end of the quarter, do a yearly analysis at the end of each year. It is not difficult to do but must be done regularly.
The one thing to remember about measuring your homeschool effort is that you want to ensure that your children are getting an education and do not just ‘do school’ for a qualification ! One can always get any qualification if you have a proper education. Education is about understanding how to learn, being a self learner, loving to learn from in real-life context. A qualification is a piece of paper reflecting how good you’ve done at writing tests and exams and it usually does not reflect if you are really educated. Be careful not to overestimate a qualification.
What to measure:
The easy things to measure include all content in all subjects :
· listen to narrations and correct/help them as necessary · discuss books read or require book reports and read them · listen to your child whenever he/she talks
· read their written work and correct, help · mark the books – see what they are doing · mark assignments and lessons, and let them correct their work
· mark tests and give feedback
· check accuracy (especially in maths)
The more difficult things to measure include :
· Character and moral development - honesty, reliability, self-discipline etc. · Spiritual growth · Development of a love of learning
How to measure:
· The first step in measurement is to check daily what the child(ren) has done against what they should have done on the schedule. Just checking off their daily work is already a way of measuring. But just checking off that they have done work is not good enough, as you should also check the work itself eg. Mark Maths sums, let them tell you what they read about, let them do the Spelling test as prescribed, read the content of the curriculum you bought, let them show you a science experiment they said they did etc.
· Another good time for measuring is at the end of a longer period such as monthly or quarterly, when one can see how you’ve done i.t.o. reaching your goals as planned in your Schedule. See the previous Step5 to understand more about Plan and Do.
· Lastly you can measure progress i.t.o. moving towards your vision by doing an annual review every year. For this you will look at your vision as defined in Step1 to measure how you are doing.
When you measure have a place (like a notebook) to make notes or comments to remember what needs to be adapted in the next step.
Reward goes hand in hand with measurement. On the lowest level, a reward can include verbally praising your child for work well done or for an act of kindness or good behavior etc. With little ones a sticker in the book works well. On the next level a reward can include something like a book price for a certain number of books read, or an outing with you when (s)he has completed a certain amount of work especially if the work has been a challenge. At the end of a year rewards may include certificates or a rapport on work for the year. The important thing is not really what the reward is, but the fact that one should encourage a child on the progress made. The rewards should therefore always be appropriate and timely, and not given out of context. Rewards do well in encouraging a child to continue and grow.
for all the info
on each step
for your use
For an example of what we have done Go to Step 6 Measure and reward personal
For more information on the phases click on the relevant link