How I assess my Homeschooling Preschoolers development
Have you ever wondered how to truly assess your homeschooling preschooler? If you’re anything like me, than you initially didn’t think beyond the goals of learning to read, write and use scissors skills.
One of my favorite things about the Mother Goose Time Curriculum is the Developmental Continuum that accompanies it. Through this I can, as a parent, assess my daughter and see what activities I might need to introduce her to. I can use this to structure areas that she is both excelling at, and areas where she perhaps needs to spend more time.
Here’s an example from our Seeds lesson this October.
On each day of the Teacher’s Guide, the activities are listed out with instructions. Under each title there is a list of skills that the student will be displaying to complete the activity. These skills correspond to the list in the Continuum.
List of 8 Key Domains
I read the 3 skill levels that are listed under the Activity Title. While I can analyze her level in all 3, I prefer to look at the skill that is starred for that day. A starred skill encourages the educator to observe the activity with some question prompts and to record those findings within a portfolio.
This is less prevalent in our home-school than it would be in a preschool setting where a teacher would need to communicate progress. However I like to keep up on her progress, it helps keeps me focused and we like to look back together at accomplishments she’s made.
Within the Apple Seed Activity there are 3 skills she’ll be working on to complete the activity. These are within the domains of Science, Creative Development and Physical Development. In particular we are going to be assessing her ability to Classify Organism’s.
Within each domain there are 8 benchmarks that are roughly categorized by age level from Infancy to Primary level. As part of my prep each day, I find the chart for the skills we’ll be working on and look to the questions that guide parents for the activity.
Benchmarks for Assessments
For our seed activity today, the leading questions are whether or not the child expressed knowledge about the inside and outside of apples and also if she can explain how they grow. Looking at the continuum, I see that for her age group she straddles toddler and preschool identifiers.
As we set out in our activity I am looking for indicators that she can 1.) Group living things by common characteristics and 2.) Understand if an object can grow, eat and move. When she completes both of those we would move on. The next benchmark would be sorting organism’s as living and non-living and explain why.
While she is working on her art, we talk about the seeds that the apple has. I start asking what other food we eat might be like an apple? She says that an orange is like an apple because it’s round. Ok awesome. So we take it further and talk about oranges grow on trees just like apples do and try to find something else that grows on a tree. We look outside of our window see our tree and she says leaves are on the tree and some nuts.
Grabbing an apple and a leaf we explore differences and similarities. Together we discover they are the same category if we’re considering where they grow. Categorizing beyond that (shape, seeds, edibility, they are different. This leads us to talk about what needs water to stay alive, if they can grow or move. Out of this conversation we are able to build a science lesson that teaches us about how trees are alive, but once a leaf or piece of fruit falls off the tree it’s not alive anymore.
Remaining Child Led
Without this understanding of the developmental benchmarks this science lesson would not have occurred. I love that Mother Goose Time guides the creation of a dynamic learning environment. While our activities remain child led as we only stay with an activity that interests her. Or, we veer off to do something different that has gained her attention.
Disclosure – We were so excited to be chosen as an official Mother Goose Time Blog Ambassador effective September 2018. As a blog ambassador I receive the curriculum in exchange for my honest feedback and experiences using the materials. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I hope that you are encouraged and inspired to try new things with the little ones in your life.
Are you curious about a full day with Mother Goose Time? Check out this post where we share a day in the life of a little goose. Some of our favorite activities are the STEAM activities that correspond to our monthly themes, check out some examples of STEAM activities here.