Monitoring Your Child’s Progress

This is post #6 in the series “How to Be a Great Parent-Tutor.”

Parents may be scared off tutoring their child because they think they’ll have to test and report the child’s progress. Don’t worry. Even if you are a home-school parent, you should not be expected to create the kinds of records and reports a school teacher is required to do. What should you do, then?

  • You can jot down simple point form notes in a notebook after each tutoring session (which is handy to refer to before the next lesson, and also handy to take along to the next parent-teacher conference).
  • If you like, you can take snapshots of the projects your child creates, or you can save examples of your child’s work in a folder or scrapbook (or have your child take the snapshots and create the scrapbook/portfolio; many children enjoy this).
  • You can use these simple records as you and your child look through them together, talk about the child’s learning problems and successes (always ask the child’s opinion), and together set new goals. Don’t worry about percentages, letter grades, and formal reports!
  • Some Distributed Learning (DL) school-at-home programs (run by public or private schools) have stricter requirements about how much they expect you to “report.” If you want to (or have to, due to provincial or state laws) use one of these programs, try to find one that fits with your home learning philosophy, and allows you to spend more time learning together with your children and less time “reporting.”

How can I tell if my child is learning well enough? If you’re not sure your child has mastered a concept, you can invent some simple evaluations–preferably practical, hands-on, enjoyable activities that the child does not see as “tests” but that will show the child’s understanding and progress and provide you with ideas for future planning.  These activities might include reading aloud, discussions on a topic, artwork, creation of a video, role play, use of a computer or table game, practical use of the concept in real-life activities, and so on.  As a parent tutor, you do not need to give traditional quizzes, assign short essay questions (unless it is time to learn that skill), or have the child take tests similar to the tests faced in the classroom.  After you’re finished these simple evaluations, just go over them with the student, praise the student for successful responses, and help with continuing problem areas.

  1. Why children need parent-tutors
  2. Important activities parent-tutors can do well
  3. Building a Good Parent-Tutor and Child Relationship
  4. Learning Styles, Intelligences, and Behaviours
  5. Developing Individualised Tutoring–Tips for Parents
  6. Monitoring Your Child’s Progress
  7. Some Basic Learning Goals
  8. Home Tutoring Resources
  9. Suggestions for a Tutoring Session at Home
  10. Specific Suggestions for Primary Grades
  11. Specific Considerations for Intermediate Grades
  12. When to Consider Hiring a Tutor
  13. Costs of Tutors and Alternatives
  14. All Kinds of Learning Activities

Questions and Responses: Which of these reporting and evaluation methods would work well with your child/children? Do you have other tips on how to keep track of your family’s learning? Please share your thoughts in the comments. Thank you!

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