Saturday, 6 June 2015

Resources for evaluating!

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.
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!


Story Twentyfour said...

Kids must be evaluated

Karina Reis said...

Assalamualeikum dear sister.
May Allah reward you with janatul firdaous for doing such a beautiful work with your daughter and sharing with us.
I greatly benefit from it as I homeschool my children too.
Could you please tell me...when you say grade 1, do you refer to it as grade 1 as in America(6-7 years) or do you mean year 1 as in UK(5-6)? Because grade 1 in America is year 2 in UK.
Just want to make sure I'm looking at the right resources for that years from your blog.
Jazak Allahu khair.
Umm Amar.

Umm Maimoonah said...

Alaikum salaam warahmathullaah sister. Aameen to your duaa. I am not too concerned about the grades or classes sis as the Cambridge curriculum is segregated into Primary and Secondary and so on and we go along with that according to her ability and pace. So sometimes in Mathematics she would be doing what 7 year olds usually do in school but in English she would be doing what 9 year olds do. So it is something not fixed. But as for your questions specifically when it is Grade 1 I think I mean Year 2.

Hope this clears Inshaa Allaah!
Baarakallaah Feekum

Umm Maimoonah said...

Story Twenty Four, I think my post is very clear that in my opinion and experience evaluating the way I have mentioned works well for us, but other households and kids may have a different school of thought!

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