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Friday, May 31, 2013

Planning: Evaluating Prior Year

It is time to start thinking about/planning the next school year.  Planning strongly influences the flow of your school and family life.   There are a few steps I go through for planning.  First, start with an overall evaluation.  The key areas evaluated are academic, social, character, habits, and family cohesiveness.

1.    Evaluate the previous school year. 
o   Did everything run smoothly?  If not, why? 
o   What worked?
o   What didn't work? 
o   Discuss with your children/spouse their thoughts for the year.
o   If there is time have them complete a questionnaire.

2.    Evaluate each child.
o   What areas need improvement?
o   Where did he/she shine last year?
o   What habits do they need to work on?
o   List curriculum used and decide whether it is worth using again or scratching.
o   Use resources to gain insight of where your child should be.  I typically use The Well Trained Mind as my guide.

3.    Evaluate time.
o   Did we manage our time well?  Look at each week, day and the overall year.
o   Did we playing catch up most of the year?
o   Did our days seem relaxed or stressed?
o   What activities did we participate in?  Were they worth the time spent?
o   Was there time for them to explore new things, be bored, play games, etc.

4.    Evaluate yourself.
o   Decide your strengths and weaknesses.
o   Did you take care of yourself and not just the family OR too much on yourself?
o   Were you approachable by your children? 
o   Did you feel stressed or overwhelmed?  If so, can you pinpoint why?  
o   Did you use your time wisely?

This overall evaluation should not take long.  It is just taking a quick glance at the year and what stands out.  Do not be too critical.  This process helps you begin to think about what is going well and changes that you might need to make. 

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