بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
It's that time of the year that most of the homeschoolers worry, panic, wonder, ponder if they have really taught the kids what they should know! I get many email from different sisters as to how I evaluate Maimoonah each year.
While evaluating is something good I do not agree with putting kids into a great stress by making them sit exams. The kids learn very less by studying for an exam, but they learn pretty much more by just doing a project which includes researching, writing, experimenting, learning as well as exploring!
Yes I hear you! But what about grades, marks reports!!!! True some of you may be living in places that necessitates grade certificates for each grade or you may be convinced that you should have certificates ready in hand in case you had to send the kids to a formal school at any given time. If that is the case I am afraid you may have to go through a program that could give you the certificates each year and choose what is best for you and your kids.
As for us we do not need evaluated certificates for each grade as I have chosen Cambridge as our curriculum which consists of Primary, Secondary and GCSE Ordinary level right up to GCSE Advanced Level. Even though this Curriculum is purely catered for schools, using this for homeschooling is not a big issue. You do not get an opportunity to get a certificate for each grade or level, but GCSE can be done privately at any age and you can get the Cambridge Certified Certificate for all subjects, plus you do not have to sit all the subjects one shot rather you can choose when to sit what subject.
In my opinion and experience, for kids younger than 5 there is absolutely no need for any kind of evaluation, test or exams. They learn every moment and they will continue to learn as long as you have been consistant and have been facilitating the right materials and environment,
But the feeling and issue becomes a bit deep when the kids are getting older. You seem to stop and think how do I know if my kids are been taught the right thing!!! I have this feeling too, so to get over it this is what I do now. (While Maimoonah was younger I did not do this at all).
I download papers that go along with the Cambridge Curriculum online and end of the year give Maimoonah to do. She thinks its part of her work and keep doing. And I ask someone else to correct it for me just to see if we have covered everything and we are on track.
Alhamdulillaah this works for us and I am able to understand the weaknesses, mistakes and strengths, Here are some links from where you could download resources for free.
- SAT UK Papers - English, Mathematics and Science
- More SAT Papers
- National Curriculum Assessment Papers UK
- Education.com - This an American site and they have some nice workbooks for each grade downloadable on monthly or yearly subscription
- For Arabic and Islaamic Studies I make my own revision papers to go with what we have covered for the entire year.
Any other links and resources to download past papers? How do you evaluate and get over this in your homeschooling joaourney? Please share by commenting!