Frustration etched on her face and anger in her voice, a friend realized her children needed to review an entire level of their school work. For weeks they had been plodding along without any help from her, insisting they were just fine. The truth sang a different tune once ‘grading’ day arrived. Several of the kids hadn’t understood a bulk of their studies, while others had gone straight to the answer key and copied. She quickly understood why the daily checking of our children’s work is key.
Please understand, I tell the above story not to ridicule the mother who was doing her best with the daily struggle to get everything done, but as a personal homeschool check and a warning. Waiting too long to check our children’s work could lead to trouble and unnecessary frustration.
Quickly, and without much effort, our days become overly filled with activity and responsibility. It seems easier to put off the multitude of worksheets until the end of the day and check them then. If I’m really in a rush, Friday might work? What’s a few days, more or less.
We’ve come to realize a few days can make a great deal of difference. If I miss one day of checking in on my kids, the next day might be a complete loss. And the day after. And so forth. Each lesson is a block upon which another will be built. If one is crooked or out of alignment, the entire structure is faulty; needing to be rebuilt. Once I finally discover the issue, I then have the frustration of calling in my hard workers and apologizing for having to undo everything they’ve already done and have them start over. You can imagine how popular this makes me.
To save myself a world of hurt and days of deflecting angry muttering, I’ve chosen to check in with lessons on a daily basis. It doesn’t take long; just a moment really. All the children sit together to study, so looking over shoulders to make sure everyone is on track is more easily managed. If they are struggling, we work on it then and there. As we’ve chosen to focus on a mastery approach, this works for us. There is no point in moving forward tomorrow if lessons today are not understood.
How often do you find yourself checking work? We know this works differently for every family. Some find it best to review at the end of each day; others the end of the week. For those whose children are working independently via computer, checking work might not be a concern at all. (Although one might expect a brief overview of children’s progress?)
We know one thing to be true, no matter when we grade, being involved in our children’s learning is key. Having Christ as our center and asking what He wants of our learning and leadership helps us stay on track, no matter what that looks like.
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
~ Ephesians 6:4
Your Turn!: Share with us how the Lord has directed the fun task of checking all those stacks of paperwork!