I’ve finally finished compiling my annual reporting for our government registration people. Bear in mind that I don’t believe we should be “creating” any form of assessment or paperwork solely for a bureaucratic organisation. If something isn’t useful to myself as the educator of my children then I won’t do it. For this reason I did not follow the reporting outline that is suggested. Instead I collected the items that I had used for myself to record the year and created a copy to share with the registration team.
I record throughout the year as an aid for future planning, a record or memory of Ethan’s progression and also as a document to share with my husband and significant family who might like to see Ethan’s achievements. So this is not something that I sit and write at the last minute before the reporting deadline. I collect notable work and reporting documents as they are completed and file them in a display folder. There were items that were completed at the end of the year but mostly the tasks were spread over the year and did not take up a large chunk of time. As my reporting is also a memory document I have taken care in my presentation but that’s just one of my quirks. I’m a very visual person.
Rest assured the registration team does not require anything of this nature. This is my individual reporting that suits my needs. I’m sharing it to show various ideas that you could utilise in your reporting and not as an example for others to follow, nor as a guideline for what is expected.
The registration team’s requirements are minimal. They only require you to collect and share 2 samples of work (an early sample and a later sample) from three subject areas (two of which must be Maths and Language). For each sample you are required to provide annotations in the form of answers to basic questions and checklists which they provide. I have provided the team with some work samples (narrations and reading) but only samples that I found significant in my own reporting process.
The government department sends you a display folder clearly outlining their suggested reporting format but you are not required to use it. They specifically state:
There is no obligation to present your report using these guidelines or format, but whichever format you use you are reminded that you are required to:
* Provide a written report on your child’s educational progress; and
* Your information must reasonably demonstrate the educational progress being made by your child.
The actual legislation says:
The report must include qualitative data to demonstrate the monitoring of the child’s performance. This data must include –
1. Information about the educational goals set for the child
2. How the child performed against these goals
3. Records or diaries of learning undertaken and completed; and
4. Examples of the child’s work that demonstrate the levels at which the child is working.
In the registration package there is one line that I found highly amusing but offensive at the same time –
You may be interested to know that of the 243 reports that have come through so far, all families but seven have used this format.
Do you get the feeling that they want you to tow the line and report in their style?!! Looks like they’ll have eight of us branching out this year.
Yes some people will complain that I’ve done too much and this may set the bureaucratic expectations higher. But to alter my reporting, whether in quantity or style, for the demands of the bureaucrats or the demands of disgruntled homeschoolers would defeat the purpose of my reporting – to create a tool that informs my planning based on the information I gather about what my child is now able to do.
Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for…my report:
*This is the pretty cover…or should I say “handsome”
This is the blurb that explains what I have included and why I did not follow their format (I don’t like to miss an opportunity to educate the bureaucrats on how very different schools and homeschools are). I also gave a summary of what I had included in the reporting.
* This is my Photographic Homeschool Journal on disc. I have my own printed version but I wasn’t wasting paper on printing a second copy.
Here’s an enlarged view of the title pages I created. They give a little explanation as to what the proceeding document is and any background information they might need. They also make the presentation look spiffy.
* These are the term summaries that I included. There is one for each term. They are overviews of what was completed each term and thoughts about what we would do in the following term.
* This is the Goal Checklist that I created. I listed all of the goals I had selected for each subject and checked whether Ethan was working independently/achieved, developing/with assistance or not yet developing/not ready. I also added a comment about each goal. I found this document to be the most personally valuable, aside from my journal. If I was forced to share only two things I would include my journal and this checklist.
* This is my Content and Skill chart where I listed all the topics, contents and skills we had covered in the year. This will be helpful in identifying areas that are lacking and need further attention in my planning.
* These are the four narration samples I included. I included them because they show marked progression over the year.
* This is a writing sample that I included. We are “supposed” to include drafts with our writing samples but I had to explain to the registration team (whose experience is only in school environments) that it is not necessary for a child to wait for correction of their errors if they are working in a one on one situation with their parent. Errors would be corrected as they occurred or better still spelling would be discussed before it was written. In this way you would not have a written copy full of errors that may then become a visual memory to be later repeated.
* This is the dvd of Ethan’s two reading samples. I would highly recommend that people video tape their children reading aloud. It’s a precious memory and a great tool for seeing the progress your child has made during the year.
* This is a specific reading task that I completed with Ethan. It is officially a “test” (shock horror) but to Ethan it was just another worksheet to complete. I assigned the task as it’s a good indicator of reading ability.
* Yes another “test” but this time a Mathematics one. But once again it was just a review task to Ethan. He has no idea what a “test” is. It was also completed over several weeks and at no point did I leave Ethan to flounder on any areas he was unfamiliar with. He also decided to complete some of the tasks on the computer, adding graphics to illustrate his answers. So I have a stack of printed pages stapled to the “test”. I hope these alterations from the norm don’t panic the registration team too much…but then again I hope it does open their minds to thinking outside of the box.
* I’ve skipped a photo here as it include a copy of some of the certificates that Ethan earned this year. (They contain too much personal information to include a visual of.) The certificates recognise community participation.
* Finally I included Ethan’s self-evaluation of the year. It was just a series of “what do you like and dislike” questions for each subject. I also asked him for his ideas about what he wanted less and more of for the following year (which was really a wasted question as of course he wanted less bookwork and more trips to the beach!
So that’s my reporting for this year. Now to send it and hold my breath to see if it’s “approved”. I’ll keep you informed.