Resources for Assessing Your Child’s Progress

By Sharon Haag

Coming to the close of a school year? Maybe you don’t give “final exams,” but this is a good time to evaluate your family’s education issues, so you can plan effectively for next year. How might you do this assessment? Following are some areas we think it would be helpful to assess each year.

What Should I Assess/Test?

Children’s Progress

  • Academic progress
  • Study skills development
  • Life skills development

Impact of Educational Option on Child, Family, and Ministry

  • How have the educational options I’ve been using affected my children’s well-being in areas other than academics (social, emotional, physical, spiritual)?
  • How are the options impacting family relationships?
  • How are the options impacting my ministry assignment-related goals?

Five–Year Plan

  • What are three areas of focus for next year for each child, and how do I plan to accomplish those goals?
  • Looking at the next 5 years, what transitions/changes will I and my children need to deal with/plan for? If changing schooling options would be indicated, how are we preparing for that?
  • How will I use furloughs to build home-country adjustment and life skills?

As you examine/discuss each area, make a list of the items with which you are most satisfied and give thanks! Then list the areas in which you would like to see improvements or changes. Brainstorm and list your ideas for making those adjustments, and/or ask for input from appropriate people who could be of help.

  • Which two or three changes are most important to you?
  • What steps will you take to implement those changes?
  • How and when will you evaluate whether they are making the differences you hoped for?

How Do I Mark This Test?

What standards do I evaluate against? Do I have well-defined family and educational goals? Are there any resources I could use to help me set expectations? Am I leaving “gaps” anywhere?

Following are some resources that may be helpful in stimulating your thinking, better defining your goals, and measuring progress toward those goals. Items with an (*) have access/ordering information at the end of this article.

Academic Progress

  • Standardized Achievement Tests from your home country or the schooling system you are using.
    • Canada: Check out the Canadian Test Centre for the Canadian Achievement Tests (CAT) and the Canadian Test of Cognitive Skills (CTCS)*
  • Checklists of Academic Skills for Grade/Age Levels
  • Year-End Cumulative Exam Scores (from materials you are using)
  • Grade Card or written report from a qualified assessor

Study Skills

Social/Emotional/Life Skills

  • Checklists for noting strengths/weaknesses and setting goals ― “Character Traits” list from What Your Child Needs to Know When
  • Input from colleagues in the community (Have someone who knows your children well and sees them interacting in the community fill out some of the above checklists or just give input on strengths and weaknesses they see.)

Five-year Plan

Check out the Family Education Plan for help in planning out what you will do for each of your children’s education.

Social Skills Checklists/Guides

“Education PLUS — Patterning Learning Upon Scripture,” info@edplus.com, available from Education Plus. These are downloadable mp3 files taken from workshops. Workshop sessions are 70-90 minutes in length and are accompanied by a PDF syllabus/outline. There is a cost involved (less than USD10 each). Below are some sample titles.

  • “Creating a Sense of Spiritual Destiny”
  • “Gifted and Talented Children”
  • “Discovering the Key to Family Unity”
  • “Finally Organized!”

Planning Guides

Look for other articles on such topics as assessment/record-keeping, long-range planning, preparing for boarding school, and preparing for transitions and furloughs.

Permission to copy, but not for commercial use.