In our State the Education Department likes you to register your intention to Homeschool your children. They then require you to follow a very large document called the Curriculum Framework, which outlines an Outcomes Based Education. The last requirement they have of you is that a Moderator is to overview your plans and progress once every year.
This week was the week of our Moderators visit.
We have always found the Moderators visit to be a positive and encouraging few hours. But my head tend to go into overdrive wondering what I need to have ready. Over the years the continual pattern has been that they have enjoyed talking to the children and just getting to know them, then the Moderator and I have a chat. We talk about my goals and various resources that I use to reach those goals, we talk about our philosophy and how that outworks in our days, we talk about the strengths and yes, even the weaknesses in each of the children and how I am addressing them. This of course opens the door for her to offer any support or supporting materials that the Department can offer.
Though this pattern is well established and there have been very few, if any situations where they have wanted to see paper work I like to have my paper work in order anyways. This is what I have prepared:
- I have in my mind a sample of each of the childrens work, which would exemplify their general output.
- I have a routine printed
- I have an overview of each topic studied throughout the year. This is presented on an excel sheet and should she desire so (which has never been the case) I could give a CD copy of the full Excel workbook which would show all lesson plans prepared, connected to that overview.
- Last year I printed off one month of my blog as a post activity recording but I decided this year should she desire that then I would burn it onto a CD at her request.
Over the years I have found that the Moderator doesnt often ask for all this paperwork actually the only time she has done so was when there wasnt a physical visit and I sent in this paper work to her office instead. Regardless of this, I enjoy the discipline of making sure that my paperwork is in order. In reality it is the paper work that I prepare anyway for my own direction and keeping on track. Preparing for the Moderator is really a good time for a mid-year check.
One of my concerns that I have expressed to the Moderator is that I can get caught up in preparing lessons and a paper trail that I have no time or energy to spend with my children. And they agree, this is not what I want. So I have learnt over the years to keep my lesson planning, my paper work, and post activity recording to a minimum and to a system that fits into our lifestyle.
So our Moderators visit has come and gone for 2006 she talked, we shared lunch together, and she didnt ask to see any paperwork!