Tips for a Written Evaluation by the Parent
According to the Chapter 12 Rule Compulsory Attendance Exceptions, parents are required to submit an annual report of the child’s progress. One option is a written evaluation by the parent. Here are some tips that you may find helpful.
Begin with prayer
It is the end of your school year; thank the Lord for His goodness and faithfulness to you in what has been accomplished for His glory. Ask Him to help you reflect on what your child has learned this school year and express it accurately in written form.
Know the Rule
According to the Chapter 12 Rule Compulsory Attendance Exceptions, a written evaluation by the parent shall include:
- a description of the child’s progress in each subject area including in the child’s curriculum;
- representative samples of the child’s work; and
- representative tests and assignments including grades for courses if grades are given.
Prose or Outline?
Hawaii’s homeschool law does not give specifics on how the report is to be written. You may therefore provide the information in prose form or outline form.
An advantage of an outline or bullet point format is that the information is concise and easily readable.
The law does not give specifics on the length of the evaluation. Your goal is to be accurate and clear.
For each subject area, consider describing 4-6 skills learned. That said, you should be able to describe your child’s progress for all subject areas taught in 1 ½ – 2 pages.
What to include
State the objectives or skills attained by your child. These can be your own written objectives, a scope and sequence from the curriculum or even the table of contents from the textbook. Some textbooks also provide learning objectives for each chapter.
Select key or major skills/concepts. For example, for math you could include operations, measurement (including time, and money), problem solving, and graphs and charts.
Keep in mind the sequence of learning and the end product goal rather than a series of incremental steps. A child learns to write a sentence before he can write a paragraph. If the child has mastered the latter, you need not list the earlier skill.
If you need help with skill objectives for each grade in the different subject areas, these resources* may be helpful.
- What Your ______ Grader Should Know; part of The Core Knowledge Series by Dr. E.D. Hirsch Jr.
- What Your Child Needs to Know When (Robin Sampson);
- Hewitt Homeschooling Resources: Learning Objectives for Grades K-8; downloadable free from Hewitthomeschooling.com
(*This list of resources does not constitute an endorsement by Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii.)
Examples and Helpful Terms to Describe Progress
- Reads short vowel words
- Recalls details of a story to answer who, what, where, when questions
- Identifies prepositional phrases in a sentence
- Helpful terms – alphabetize, spell, use, compare/contrast, define
Social studies and Science
- Consider listing units or areas of study and then state what the child learned
- Recites the names of the states and their capital cities
- Describes the water cycle
- Lists the characteristics of a mammal, insect, reptile
- Helpful terms – demonstrate, identify, compare/contrast, explain, classify
- Skip counts by 2, 3, 5, and 10
- Adds two digit numbers with regrouping
- Tells time to the half hour
- Constructs a bar graph
- Helpful terms – identify, solve, regroup, multiply, divide, measure
Work samples and Tests
Per Chapter 12 rule, you must include representative samples of your child’s work and representative tests and assignments including grades for courses if grades are given.
For each subject area, you could include a beginning of the year and end of the year assignment, e.g. a math page or a writing sample to show progress over the school year.
A unit test for math or science could also demonstrate your child’s progress in a subject. Even a photo of a project could be appropriate.
Praise the Lord – just one more step
Consider having someone proofread your written evaluation for clarity as well as for correct spelling and grammar.
Include a cover letter identifying your child: name, address, phone number, date of birth, grade, school year.
Remember to include a statement requesting all communication be done in writing.
Send the report to the school certified return receipt requested to insure the school has received the report.
Writing an evaluation does not have to be difficult or time consuming. It may be appropriate or even necessary sometimes. Besides, it is a wonderful record of your child’s progress for the school year.
May the Lord bless and direct your efforts.