I learned  one day both of my boys really enjoyed receiving a progress report for their homeschool!   Who knew? They actually anticipate getting a “grade.” And they especially enjoy working through the process together, which has evolved a bit each year. Do your children enjoy the reward of a grade, too?

With this in mind, we added a progress report into the Student and High School Editions of our homeschool planners.  A word of advice, we encourage you to meet with each student individually to discuss a progress report. This lets you focus on the progress made throughout the semester without comparisons.

Here are several tips for an end-of-year wrap up:

Before the meeting

  • Review through the whole semester In the past, I have been known to judge a homeschool semester on just the most recent weeks or even days.  Make sure you flip through your comments and notes from each week in their homeschool planner to get a broader picture.
  • Update all record keeping forms. As you look through, you should feel good about all that was accomplished in that semester!
  • Fill in all the grades and notes ahead of time. This will give you some talking points as you go over each subject.
  • Take them somewhere special, one at a time. My oldest loves to go for coffee and my youngest this year decided a blizzard from Dairy Queen would be his choice.  It has become special to us to have that one on one time at a place they each enjoy, and doesn’t cost a lot.   Remember, all you should need to bring is your homeschool planners! If you have a large family, pack a picnic, you could let the kids play and just pull them aside one by one.

During the meeting

  • Talk about their effort. Sometimes we can get wrapped up in the final product, but remember that their effort is important too. We feel it is so important that we have a column for it on our progress reports here at A Plan in Place. It is a great opportunity to compliment their character and hard work through the semester, but also point out some areas for improvement.  Many times, the grade is reflective, but sometimes it isn’t.
  • Prepare to listen. I make sure that this isn’t a lecture time.  They each get to have input on how they perceive the information I compiled.  In the earlier years, when grades are more subjective, I have even been known to make some changes!
  • Fill out what worked and what needs improvement together. Use the sandwich technique which always starts with the positive and ends with the positive.  In the middle are some suggestions for improvement.
  • Put a plan in place for 2nd semester or the next year. If it is the end of the first semester, fill out the Goals and Study Plan for 2nd semester together.  Make sure to adjust your plan from the beginning of the year if needed.  If it is the end of the year, get ideas for the next year by brainstorming together while school is fresh in their mind!  Let them know what they have to look forward to.

After the meeting

  • Keep a record. Don’t forget to file away some of that semester’s schoolwork samples in the pockets of their homeschool planner.  You will be on your way to organizing your homeschool a bit more efficiently!

I hope these tips will inspire you to end the semester or year well with each of your children.  Homeschooling is so unique in that we get to be our kids’ teacher, principal, and primary encourager all at once.  Take advantage of all of that!

Happy Progress Reporting,

tips for great homeschool progress reports