23 July 2012

Monitoring natural Learning

I often hear other home ed folk freaking out about their impending 'monitoring' day.  I know this well as each time we have been monitored I have done the same thing.
How on earth can you show natural learning, conversations and observations?
I always have this image in my head of exercise books neatly filled in chronological order depicting the perfectly learnt year and think I have failed somewhere along the ride. The I remind myself that that happens on TV and in SCHOOL!
Last monitoring day we had was November last year and I know I won't be panicky for another 18 months at least but I am always aware of it.

Last time we were monitored I started to list ALL THE THINGS!   First off I went through our home ed group program and listed everything we had done with them.  Then I went through photos and made a list of places and events and so forth.  It is amazing how big this list can get when you do 'nothing' LOL  I must admit I was surprised with just how much we had achieved in a year.

Last year I was still caught up on doing the occasional work book.  I used the DK Learning math made easy and english made easy and took care to date the pages when they were done.

I also kept a folder with clear pockets for putting work, brochures and handouts in.

But, at the end of the day I probably didn't need any of this.  

Reason being that my kids are evidence enough that what we are doing is working. Sandra, who came to monitor us was a dream.  She instantly made the kids feel listened to and comfortable and they were keen to show what they had done and talk about their home ed experiences.  After the two plus hours I was amazed at what they had done LOL

This year I am keeping it even simpler.  A PHOTO ALBUM is all I am using as a record.  I take many photos every day and these are our visual record.  The kids have started journaling too and if they want to share this next time round they can do so.

Monitoring is the process that ensures we are actually DOING.  It is not there to judge how smart our kids are or to compare them to anyone else.  We are fortunate in Tasmania that natural learning is supported so strongly and we don't need to follow a curriculum to show what we are doing.  We simply need to show that we are facilitating learning in whatever way our children respond to.

Joining Owlet for Unschool Monday


Ingi said...

I now have yet another reason for wanting to move to Tassie!!! (I'm in NSW and the BOS is cracking down on poor recording...)

Sazz said...

The photo album is a great idea :) I like blogging and instagram for my recording :)