My H E U reporting has been sent and received. Phew! Complete again for another year. Although I haven’t been judged…I mean, “processed” yet but hopefully that will be all smooth sailing.
It always perplexes me – I’m the teacher in this school, right? So why is someone else looking at my student’s progress and assessing their work?? Hmmm….
I’m also the parent in this equation so why am I sending away my child’s portfolio to someone who is neither their teacher nor their parent.
Three is definitely a crowd in this equation but I play their game as it’s what is required by law.I looked at registration as a necessary evil.I get it over and done with and then move on to the fun stuff…the homeschooling.
Actually that’s one of the reasons I chose the Home Education Unit as our registration option (aside from the fact that they are free) – once the paperwork is done, they leave you alone to do your own thing.No visits, no term updates, no required outings.
Yes the paperwork is a real pain, particularly if you have more than one child. Actually, I think it’s quite restrictive if you have more than say…3ish children. Imagine writing up 8 learning programmes and 8 yearly reports!! I think I’d have to look at other options if I was in that situation.
Back to my reporting…What did I do? How did I do it? I know that’s what everyone wants to know. Well I didn’t do it the prescribed way. Maybe that’s the rebel in me “I’ll comply with your rules but I won’t play the game in a way that makes it easiest for you”. Hehehehe.
Actually the approach I choose is one that I find useful for myself.It would be pointless to do all of this work just for the sake of completing the paperwork.It has to be useful for my future planning otherwise it is just a waste of time.
My report consists of several parts:
– a checklist of goals which includes comments about each and the subject in general
(An example of one of the checklists. This is the reading checklist.)
– samples of work with a written summary about each piece (the summaries are mostly for the H E U’s benefit but the thinking process I go through to write each is useful)
– my homeschool photo journals on disc
The H E U’s desired format is not too dissimilar from what I send them.They require 2 samples from 3 different subject areas (Math, Language and a subject of your choice) that you can compare.They send you a display folder full of information to help you create your reporting using their guidelines.
I choose not to use their format for two reasons:
1) It is not totally easy to use. It’s easy to find two reading samples or two writing samples that were produced several months apart that can be compared in order to see progress. But what samples could you provide for say Math (bearing in mind that they don’t want you to use workbook pages) or Science or PE or Music. And who does two similar tasks that are easily comparable in say Science? Can you compare an electric circuit to a chemistry experiment? See the problem?? I find selecting samples to be the most difficult part of the process which is why I free myself from the H E U’s restrictive format.
2) They use this report to “judge” my child’s performance, bearing in mind that they have never met my child and know nothing about his strengths or weaknesses. In my thinking, two samples is just not enough information to form an accurate representation of a child’s learning. So I want to make sure they have more than enough information to make this decision. I also want them to know what I am doing to enable progress, particularly if progress is slow or outwardly unapparent at that time. Progress is not always overtly obvious so samples aren’t always going to give the whole picture.
This year I selected the following samples to include in my report:
Language: Two reading samples (video taped and included on disc); a story that Ethan wrote by himself earlier in the year; a report that Ethan narrated to me; several sentences and paragraphs that Ethan wrote using the IEW approach to writing and a few dictations.
Mathematics: Two data tables and graphs that Ethan created; two pages of word problems and their solutions; two dictated running records of conversations we had during real life problem solving situations; and a page of subtraction with regrouping algorithms.
History and Science: many narrations that we completed throughout the year; a computer created booklet that Ethan narrated and created on Viking; and a Powerpoint Presentation about the caterpillar to moth lifecycle showcasing lots of technology skills also.
Each of these included a written summary outlining how and why the sample was created and selected; a little overview of the skills that were utilized in creating the sample; hints towards Ethan’s strengths and weakness in the area; and may also note activities that were or may be completed in response to any needs resulting from that sample of work.
Now that the report is complete and in the hands of the powers that be, all I can do is sit back and wait. Hopefully it won’t take as long as it did last year. Last year I sent it at the end of January and my report was not processed until late July. Yes you read correctly. So don’t hold your breath waiting for my post on how my reporting went…it could be quite some time before I hear any news.
But for now I have to get busy preparing my 2010 Learning Programme. I also have to register Brayden this year. I soooo need a tantrum smiley to insert here. I know I know…a necessary evil. “Just do it and be done with it.” I keep tell myself this…how come it doesn’t help?!!!!