Homeschool Help: Assessment Ideas

Most of us have grown up in the conventional school where we take tests to measure how much we have learned. As homeschoolers, we also want to assess how much our children has learned and we need to give them exams and quizzes as we need to give them grades to be submitted to our Homeschool Provider (if you are enrolled in one).

But did you know that there are other ways to give grades aside from the usual fill in the blanks, true or false, identify and choosing the best answers? I’m sharing with you some of the ways to assess your child’s learning:

  1. Write a personal narrative
  2. Create infomercials
  3. Draw a comic strip which uses lessons learned
  4. Create a brochure
  5. Create a bookmark
  6. Make posters about characters from the book
  7. Calculate sale discounts from stores and online shops
  8. Find patterns
  9. Write as another individual (i.e. famous artists, scientists, historical person)
  10. Create trivia games
  11. Sketch what a scene would look like
  12. Invent a toy from a specific era or historical time period
  13. Recreate historical events
  14. Research family tree
  15. Memorize speech and poems
  16. Create surveys and analyze results
  17. Compose a poem or song
  18. Use game-based assessments like Physics Playground (
  19. Interview someone and write about it
  20. Make a digital presentation about lesson studied

To be able to give fair grades, you may use grading rubrics.

Homeschool Help: On Schedule and Lesson Planning

I have to admit. Lesson planning is not my strength. In the past 6 years that we have been homeschooling, I just go along with the book we have chosen for the school year and prepare the materials as needed everyday. I check the teacher’s guide and use that as a reference. Sometimes, we do a bit of unit study – so I research and download what we need and print them out. And we continue on and the cycle repeats itself. We just create projects to culminate the lessons we have learned and keep them as part of our portfolio for the school year.

This year, as my daughter is in 7th grade, I think I should be more intentional in planning for record keeping purposes.

Here are some tips on scheduling and lesson planning that I have learned over the years:

  1. Scheduling and lesson planning is different for each family. What works for me may not work for you. Some parents like to use digital planners while some prefer written planners. Some might want to schedule their day according to time  while others want a more relaxed schedule and schedule it according to subject.

    I have reviewed some digital homeschool planners you can use, and you can go ahead and browse through them. Personally though, I am a pen and paper planner so I would go for those that I can print and write on.

    I have shared our homeschool schedule when my daughter was just in 3rd grade and my son was in preschool, now that they are in higher grades, this schedule is a bit more full and may take a few hours more.

  2. I read some homeschool mom blogs that help me plan the year ahead of us and see if it will help me get more organized. Then I try to implement it and see if it fits our family’s homeschool.

    Here are some sites that were really helpful for us this school year:

    Donna Young – she shares  free printable planners and how to plan.

    Free Homeschool Deals – list of free homeschool planners, lists and forms.

    Donna Simpao – she shares how she plans the topics she will teach and how to do blending learning across subjects. She does unit studies.

    Kim Sorgius – she shares 10 steps for planning your homeschool year.

  3. The learning style of your children and your teaching style will be a factor in creating your schedule and lesson plans.

    My daughter is very visual and she likes words too so she enjoys reading a lot. I ask her to use blank-paged notebooks to write her notes on as she usually uses drawings to record her learnings. We usually look for chapter books or picture books that complements her lessons, especially in world history.

    My son is visual and auditory but I am not very auditory at all. I would need to do some more research this school year so that he can get to watch videos for his Science or Social Studies, and we can also use songs to enhance memory work in Bible.

    I realized that I could have done more than just breeze through our lessons for the past years, especially for my son. Hopefully, I will be able to implement these lessons that I have learned consistently in this school year.



Homeschool Help: Filipino Lessons

A few years back, I have shared a post about Tools in Teaching Filipino subject at home. Today, I’d like to share some more sites which might prove useful in teaching Filipino lessons.

Wikapedia has been launched last year and it is  a private and non-profit project which aims to promote the Filipino language. Visit their Facebook page at You can also download a free Ebook entitled “Balarila at Aralin sa Filipino” from It contains the lessons about the correct usage of certain words and it is visual-oriented so it doesn’t give a “textbook” feel.



The Learning Library is a learning center which gives Filipino lessons, without using the traditional way of teaching Filipino lessons in schools. They have different programs based on your child’s ability and fluency with the Filipino language. Check out their webpage at for more information. The Learning Library is located in different parts of Metro Manila.


Homeschool Help: Preparing for the New School Year

As the end of our school break is upon us, I am busy preparing for the upcoming school year. School Year 2016-2017 will start in September. So how am I preparing for the start of another academic year?

  1. Assess and pray. I begin by assessing our previous year. I think about what worked and what didn’t and I will also ask my children what they thought and if there is anything we should change. And as I have the answers from my children, I go and ask the Lord for wisdom. I also go back to our homeschool’s mission and goal.
  2. Check and purchase the materials. Since we are here in the Philippines, I align our studies with the DepEd’s requirements. We enroll under a Dep-Ed accredited home education provider, Homeschool Global (formerly TMA Homeschool).Homeschool Global has a list of curriculum that we can choose from but there are some subjects that I use curriculum that are not on the list because I think they are better suited for my children’s needs. I will order these materials online and have it shipped to the Philippines. For the other materials that are available locally, I usually buy them from Learning Plus bookstore.
  3. Prepare a curriculum map. I begin by dividing the contents of each subject into 4 quarters. Then divide the topics into weeks so we can have a guide of our lessons weekly. I study the topics per week and create a list of activities that the children can do to achieve the goal. This allows me to purchase materials needed at home to do projects.
  4. IMG_8398Create evaluation guides. Since I would need to evaluate my children’s work, I need to create rubrics to help me grade their different outputs like essays, artworks or projects. For some books, these guides are already available.

For the past years, I have been quite unprepared each day for our lessons. Gratefully, my children has become very independent.  Hopefully, this year I can be on top of my children’s lessons and guide them through. We are also hoping to do better integrated projects along the way.

Homeschool Help: DepEd Curriculum Guides

If you want to homeschool independently, meaning you don’t want to enroll in a homeschool provider, you can do so by purchasing your own curriculum or do a DIY curriculum by researching through the internet and creating what you think is best for your children.

As a guide, you can get curriculum guides from DepEd’s website. Curriculum Guides for K to 12 is readily available and is segregated by subjects.