Sunday, December 28, 2014

Assessing Our Path- Gearing Up for the Next 12 Weeks!

It's almost time to start back in our Community and begin hitting the school routine in full swing again.  So for me, that means it's time to assess things.  Am I still on the path or did I end up taking a left turn somewhere?  These are the things I think about over my break.  It's part of my gearing up for the next twelve weeks, so I can hit the ground running that first full week of January.  Here are some of the things I do to help me assess:

Survey the Curriculum

I take a look at what the next twelve weeks are holding for me.  Since we are doing CC, then it's perusing through the memory work and figuring out what I want to delve into and what I want to expand upon at home.  It's also when I am doing my Wonderful Wednesday organizing and round up.  I survey our math and figure out how many lessons I think we can cover and where I want to end up.  I also look at the various other subjects we are tackling like Bible Study, Latin, Spelling, Handwriting, IEW and Essentials.

Make My Checklists

I make my checklist for my daughter.  She does best with a check off sheet that I laminate and she uses a dry erase marker to check off as she goes.  It helps her maintain focus as much as possible and feel like she knows what is expected each day.  She is a list checker, so she likes marking off the list as she accomplishes each task (don't know where she got that from?).  I tweak what we've been doing the first half of the year and we usually pick up the pace the second half of the year.  I make her a new check off sheet that indicates what pace I think we need to maintain to get to our end of year school goals.  I'm also making a checklist for myself of things I need to accomplish this next half of the year.

Memory Master

We always do Memory Master.  So now is the time we do our half way point, full practice tutor test.  We go through the first twelve weeks of memory work and I place a pencil mark next to any questions she has difficulty with or needs my help.  I focus in on those areas until they are mastered, retesting her in a few weeks, after steady practice.  We cover weeks 23-24 during Christmas break, since our testing begins around week 23 for our Community.  Find out when your Community will be testing and consider adding the last two weeks into your memory work review, if the testing time warrants it.  The second half, we also ramp up our review to more consistency and range, focusing in on areas of hesitation or needing helps.

Consider Changes Needed

I try to take an analytical look back over our first twelve weeks.  Sometimes there are areas that I find we didn't meet the mark I had intended or we finished up something I thought would take longer.  I look at how the first twelve weeks went and tweak things going forward.  If there were things that we never got to, then I consider why and how I can adjust our schedule for the next twelve weeks or next year.  I look at extracurricular activities and things like field trips as well.  Analyzing how the first half of our year went, can help me regain focus for the second half of the year, by making small adjustments.  I also am looking forward at this point, to next year and what I feel God's calling is.  Many extracurricular activities and even CC, have their open enrollments in January -so it's something to consider at this point.  I'm considering what path we are on, if that still meets with my child's educational needs, our family's dynamics and prayerfully consider where God would have us for the following year.


The last thing I like to do as I gear up, is consider where do I need to give my child kudos for her efforts (not always the results).  What did she exhibit a good attitude in, try hard things, put forth extra effort, score better than I anticipated, study harder than I expected, show interest in an area I didn't expect, etc.  I then go back and sit down and talk to my daughter with these things in mind and have her analyze her efforts and year so far, with me.  I give her encouragement and accolades where they are due, to help spur her on and gear up for the second half of our year.  I also add personal achievements or efforts, like helping feed the elderly etc.

How do you gear up for your second half of the year???  Feel free to share your ideas and comments below I would love to hear what others are doing at this point in the school year. =)


  1. I like your idea of a checklist that is laminated and erasable. My daughters would respond well to that too.

    1. Thank you for stopping by! I hope the checklist blesses your family! Colleen :)