Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Defining Success in Our Homeschool

This week's cruise asks - How do you measure homeschooling success?

How do we measure success?  What a great question.  Success – what is it?  Academically it depends on who you ask.   One of the reasons we exited the public school system is because success was defined as a score on end of grade testing.  Classes were taught with this in mind.  Teach to the test.  Actual knowledge, critical thinking and long-term retention were not bi-products of this approach.

So, how do we measure success?

Well...  Before anyone asks – yes, I do assign grades.  This is especially true once we hit high school as a transcript is necessary for college.  I make sure my boys are mindful that what they earn goes on the transcript.  Since we participate in a co-op, about half their grades are assigned by the teacher there making their accountability to someone else. 
However, grades are not success.

To us, success is knowledge.  What have we learned?  What have we gained from the study of the subject?  What experiences will we take with us that will shape our worldview and how we choose to interact in that world.  That is success.  If the boys find their passion, if they walk away with a broad knowledge of what impacts the world and a deep knowledge of the topics that are their strengths – then we have success.

As for measurements – can we quantify success?  If we had to, then I would say, besides grades, we will measure success in our preparedness for college and beyond.  The amount of college credits earned through CLEP or dual-enrollment prior to graduation, the SAT or ACT scores, entrance into the school of their choosing – these are our tangible measure of success.

In the end, though, success is about the young men they become.  No matter what track they take as adults - success is measured by their integrity, their relationships with others, their faith and their compassion.  No number, no grade, no dollar amount is more important than that.

How do you measure success either in your homeschooled or private/public schooled child?  How do you measure success in your own life?

See how other TOS Homeschool Crew families measure success by clicking here.

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