Keeping Track of It All

Tracking Learning

I realized the other day that I was feeling rather discombobulated – as if I wasn’t really keeping track of what we were learning on a day-to-day basis. I mean, I have the Excel spreadsheet of Learning Goals (taken from Rebecca Rupp’s Home Learning Year by Year: How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool Through High School) in which I check off the item learned, and I have this blog which often discusses the highlights of our homeschool experiences, but was that enough?

I decided it wasn’t.

Me and my projects – I’ve always got to add another ball into the air.

But these days I have more time on my hands. As we edge into fall and then winter, there is little gardening to be done (see my Gotta Be Honest post at The Deadly Nightshade for details on that), my housecleaning biz is down to just 1-2 cleanings per week, and there aren’t a ton of classes to teach or homeschool events to go to.

So I added a worksheet section to the Excel spreadsheet. You can click on the picture to get a better close-up…

My thought is that if I just summarize what we have learned on a daily basis, and include the categories it covers – math, language arts, et cetera – then I can get a better idea of what our progress has been and what I need to work on more.

Until she is seven years old, we don’t really need to have any kind of tracking system in place. It simply isn’t required by the state, but I feel better having it, nonetheless. Perhaps it is a holdover from a more formal school setting, I couldn’t tell you for sure, but for the moment it makes me feel better.

It also doesn’t seem like much – which helps me to recognize several things –

  1. You don’t have to spend hours and hours teaching your children
  2. Learning is more than just facts – and the facts can be discussed over a period of hours, days or weeks (we have had quite a few discussions about the composition of planets in our solar system since reading a book on the subject – mostly started by Emily)
  3. It isn’t necessary to touch all of the subjects each day, as long as there is an even spread over time

I may add the daily diary entries to some of my posts – just so you can see how our learning patterns ebb and flow over a week.

Teaching Science

I’ve also made a decision to teach Emily science after all. At least for now.

Each week I get the “experiment of the week” from Steve Spangler Science. And each week I have been forwarding it to my husband with the note “in case you want to try this experiment with Emily,” hoping he would take a hint. But with work amping up the pressure (his workload has intensified dramatically since he began working there) and fall college classes threatening to overwhelm him, he has quietly ignored the science.

And that’s fine – the school year is just beginning and I’m here day in and day out with her. This is an opportunity I need to seize and own – at least until Dave has a chance to breathe (with our luck that will be next summer!).

Please Comment

I wrote up a big post in The Deadly Nightshade on how I really would like to hear from others. If you read my blog, please comment. You don’t have to comment every day, but it really means a lot to see who is reading what I’ve written, that I’m not just surrounded by spammers who want to sell Viagra and Cheap Cameras Online, and that I am making a difference. You don’t have to agree with me, hell, you don’t even have to like me, but talk to me.

After a full year plus of blogging, I realize I will never make any money at it, but I still like doing it, for one reason – YOU. Otherwise, I’d just mark this blog private and be done with it. However, if I never hear from YOU, never know that YOU exist, than who am I writing this for? A crappy bunch of spammers (I get up to 30 spam comments a day)!

So please talk to me. It will take a while for your comment to show up (see the post on TDN for details), but it will post IF you are not trying to sell something like cheap wedding dresses or penis enlargement (Why oh why do spammers think that I need a penis enlargement?!).

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