Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering options to make education work for families. We have a full hybrid program for grades pre-12, which means part-time classroom and part-time home instruction with a 4 day option for middle school and a university model high school. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home.

Semper discentes – always learning together.
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Reflecting on Parent Progress Reports

{photo by Elijah Sharpe on Unsplash}

Every trimester at SLO Classical Academy, parents and teachers take time to write up progress reports for each student. These documents record what curriculum was used, what material was covered, as well as student strengths, challenges, and goals. Our current school year is almost over, which means our final parent progress reports are due soon! But don’t worry, you have time – until June 6th/7th, to be precise.

Yes, private schools are required by law to monitor student progress – but more than that, at SLOCA we create teacher and parent progress reports because together we are responsible for the care and growth of our kids. In order to have a fuller picture of each student’s progress, we document what’s happening on the home front as well as in the classroom.

Even though it may feel like a burden to have to fill out parent progress reports at this already very busy time of year, the job needn’t be stressful, tedious, or overwhelming. In fact, it can be a valuable and delightful opportunity to reflect on your child’s development over the school year.

Here are a few (hopefully) encouraging reasons to make progress reports a priority and to take the time to reflect on your student’s academic and character growth:

1. Celebrate their accomplishments – Writing progress reports allows us as parents to look back on the trimester or year and recognize how far our children have come in each subject. Refer back to your Trimester 1 progress report (or older, if you save them), and be proud of all your child has learned, experienced, and achieved since then – especially if they are working to overcome a big learning obstacle or character weakness. Not only is it a handy assessment tool for tracking academic development, but it’s also a tangible record of small (or large) victories to celebrate!

2. Know your child better – In a way, the parent progress report can be an excellent tool for helping us to know our children on a deeper level, because we are taking the time to really think about them: how they learn, what they’ve struggled with, how they’ve improved, and what they need in the future – not just academically, but as a whole person. When we set aside the time and mental space to consider each child’s unique learning style and how our home days have gone, that time of reflection can lead to a better understanding of our kids and our relationships with each of them. The progress report also provides one additional means of built-in accountability for the home learning side of things. When we know we’ll be writing a narrative about our child’s strengths and weaknesses in each subject, it encourages a certain level of home day attentiveness and engagement on our part, so that we really do know how each child is progressing. Think of it as making you a better co-teaching, co-learning parent.

3. Provide feedback for the non-homeschooling parent – Use this opportunity to discuss your child’s progress with your spouse or another involved friend or family member who supports you. If they are right there in the middle of things with you, they can help you contemplate your child’s qualities and experiences. But if they aren’t always aware of how the learning journey is going, sharing the progress report is a great way for them to stay connected to what’s happening on the home days and how the kids are doing.

4. Communicate with teachers – Progress reports are an important communication tool for SLOCA teachers – they want to know how things are going for us at home, and to be able to come alongside families in need of extra support. These reports also help the school monitor how families are doing overall on home days, so that we make sure we are reaching our kids both at school and at home, and seeing them grow and learn. It’s a team effort, and we as parents are a vital part of that team, contributing essential input!

5. Create a memento of their school years – We’re not all scrapbookers, but it’s nice to have a written record of your child’s school years and academic progress. For anyone who has been at SLOCA for a few years, take out an old progress report and read it – you’ll be so glad you have that snapshot of your child as they were at that time! There are precious memories locked up in these progress reports, believe it or not.

Even though we are all feeling the strain of the end of the school year, it’s worth it for so many reasons to embrace the process of writing parent progress reports. So when that link shows up in the weekly update, schedule a bit of time for it, grab a cup of coffee, tea, or another favorite beverage, and find a cozy spot to think and write. We hope you’ll come away feeling like it’s been a good year, and grateful for this season in which we get to be a part of the teaching and learning process with our kids.

 

What do you get out of writing parent progress reports? Leave a comment to encourage others!

 

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