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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. What might your CHED exam
look like? Following are some areas we think it would be helpful to assess each year.
What Should I Assess/Test?
- 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?
- What are three areas of focus for next year for each child, and how do I plan to accomplish those
- 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
- Standardized Achievement Tests from your home country or the schooling
system you are using.
- American: Iowa Tests of Basic Skills* (group or individual)
- Checklists of Academic Skills for Grade/Age Levels
- American: Diane Lopez’s Teaching Children*; Robin Sampson's [formerly
Scarlata] What Your Child Needs to Know When*; Sonlight Curriculum
- British: “Numeracy” and “Literacy” documents; The National Curriculum
- Year-End Cumulative Exam Scores (from materials you are using)
- Grade Card or written report from a qualified assessor
- Your observations
- Checklists included in What Your Child Needs to Know When*
- Checklists for noting strengths/weaknesses and setting goals
- e.g., “Check List of Social Skills” from The Teaching
Home magazine (Summer 2000)
- “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.)
Where can I find these resources?
Standardized Achievement Tests
- Iowa Achievement Test Series (ITBS & TAP) for grades K-12
- request “Testing & Evaluation Service” catalog and order form
- for individual or group administration—achievement tests and scoring services: $40 per child when
done individually. (All prices are USD.)
- Also available from BJU:
- Learning/School Abilities Tests (for grades 3-12; $32)
- Writing Performance Evaluations (grades 3-12; $16-$18 ea.)
- Career/Vocational Guidance ($105)
- Personality Profile Series (child — $23, teen — $19)
Academic and Study Skills Checklists
- Teaching Children: A Curriculum Guide to What Children Need to Know at Each Level
Through Sixth Grade, Diane Lopez, Crossway Books, 1988. $12.99 ISBN: 0891074899
- What Your Child Needs to Know When, Robin Sampson [Scarlata], Heart of Wisdom
Publishing, 2001 (new & expanded edition). $24.99 (USD) ISBN: 0970181612
- (includes evaluation check lists for grades K-8)
- Available through Heart of Wisdom.
Social Skills Checklists/Guides
- “Education PLUS--Patterning Learning Upon Scripture,” , available from Education Plus
- “Etiquette–Privilege or Panic?” (90-minute workshop on cassette) $6
- “Growing in Wisdom & Stature” (7 cassettes in 3 volumes) complete set $40 — tells how a child
grows physically, intellectually, socially, emotionally, and spiritually; ideas for providing
consistent discipline, building faith, character, and leadership skills
- Vol. 1 (ages 2–5) $14
- Vol. 2 (ages 6–11) $14
- Vol. 3 (ages 11–24) $18
Look for other PTO articles on such topics as assessment/record-keeping, long-range planning, preparing
for boarding school, and preparing for transitions and furloughs. We will be linking to some of these
articles as we get them online. A CD of most PTO articles can be bought for $5 by contacting the e-mail
address at the bottom of the page.
Reprinted from the April 2001 issue of Parents Teaching Overseas. Resources have
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