Let my teaching drop as the rain, My speech distill as the dew, As raindrops on the tender herb, And as showers on the grass.
Deut. 32:2

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Monthly Learning Record Meeting

Bird is always good at giving a run down of what she's studied for the previous learning period.

My students are enrolled in a local charter school that allows the students to be home-educated. What I love most about this school is it's strong emphasis on parental choice, which means the parents choose the curriculum for their students. It is the best of both worlds for me.

Every student is allotted a specific amount of funds to use toward curricula, supplies, classes, lessons and other extra curricula activities. This has allowed my students the opportunity to engage in the fine arts via lessons and classes, that I could not otherwise afford.

My kids take art lessons, dance classes, guitar lessons (previously two years of violin), writing classes, and even history classes at Knott's Berry Farm! The opportunities are almost endless.

The requirements or trade off to this type of education, are standardized testing (this is not legally required for private schools or private home schools) and meeting with a teacher, called an Educational Specialist or ES for short.

We are required to have these meetings every 20 days. We bring in student work samples from every subject and verbally give a review of the learning that occurred the previous 20 days.

I've had the same ES for years now and we seem to have a good system going. We understand each other. She supports me in holding my students accountable for their own work and also supports them in their educational desires and interests. She's also simply a nice person to know. She home-educates her own two children with the same educational charter which is awesome. This gives her insight to the struggles and experiences we face every day as mothers and educators.

This kid loves our meetings because he loves playing with the library toys.

The meetings can be held anywhere the ES and parent agree to meet. I have always chosen to meet at the local library. It's convenient and gives us an opportunity to check out books for fun and for our upcoming lessons.

I hate accountability, if I am honest, but I do love the feeling of looking back at all my students have accomplished. Accountability in and of itself is not a bad thing. It's helpful at times to remind my students where they should be in a text book to keep up appropriate pacing.

My ES works to make it as simple as possible. She sends me a check list at the beginning of each school year that I can go through and check off standards and topics within each subject as they are learned and studied. Sometimes I can't figure out where a lesson fits in and she is great at using key words to figure out which standard it may fit into.

She asks the kids pertinent questions to assess if they are retaining the information. She always asks how I am doing personally, which is nice. She also gives me tips or curricula suggestions when needed and she has been a great support in navigating the high school plan for my oldest.

I know some people don't like the idea of having to answer to someone and give account of their child's educational progress. I can respect and totally understand it. It works for us. It's a small price to pay for the freedom and opportunity I still have to educate my children at home. I am grateful for the local charter school option we have in our state and community that allows me to have this time with my children. 

1 comment:

Cathy Hong said...

very helpful perspective!!