Homeschooling is an incredibly difficult undertaking. As a mother who has chosen to homeschool my two children myself, I have been at the receiving end of a lot of advice on how to keep them focused, how to help them stay on a schedule, organizing my curriculum…everything that helps with the day-to-day efforts of a homeschooling family. But these friendly helpers have been surprisingly silent about how to keep it interesting and interactive.
In the beginning I used the books provided by my chosen homeschool group and used them to create lessons that were heavy and educational, but not very stimulating. I noticed a serious drop in interest from my kids, and the pressures of memorization without any fun was too much when pitted with the lack of interaction during the day with peers. I knew I needed to do something, and so I set out to look for advice from other parents of homeschooled children, as well as teachers.
The best thing I was put onto was self-checking quizzes. These educational miracles are truly fantastic. One program I found, called ProProfs became a staple of my lessons. It has a lot of functions and seems to have been made mainly for analytics and employee training. However, it also allows to create tests which is easy to use and very fun.
Create Your Own Quizzes!
I started out simply, without using most of the provided functions. I created a simple quiz with an answer sheet, which I then applied to the quiz so that it could be checked as we went along. My children both went through their chosen quizzes easily, selecting their answers and being shown when they made a wrong answer. This gave us a chance to discuss each answer before we moved on, so they could see why it was wrong.
This was great, but I felt like I wanted to try some more of the features to really decide if we would use it regularly.
Add Pictures, Sounds or Videos!
That night I played around with it and I found that the connection was extremely simple and the directions were a breeze to follow. I was able to easily add in pictures with questions, graphs, and even sounds and videos. I found several videos in the public domain which I could have my children watch and then answer multiple choice questions on.
See an example of how images can be used here.
Create a Grading System!
Whether you want a standard percentage or a more advanced grading system to allow for different accepted answers, you can create just what you need with ProProfs. It is simple to attach it to any kind of quiz, and you can make different grading systems for different quizzes you create. Their ability to use a more specific answer form was a big help for me.
Analyze Your Child’s Progress!
My favorite part of using this program was that I could analyze my children’s scores and see where they were strongest, as well as where they may need extra help. My son was good in English but a bit weak in math and so we have been working on that, and he is improving. My daughter was alright in math but was struggling with geography, and she has also been doing much better. Since I can run these analytics as often as I like, I can continually monitor them as we go through the school year.
You can even see the ratio of correct versus wrong answers, and what types of questions are most often mistaken. It shows the results on a visual graph that is easy to read, and you can get further details if you want or need them.
I would highly recommend this program, or any program that allows you to create self-checking quizzes for your kids. After all, homeschooling is difficult enough, and we can use all the help we can get.
Jessy Troy is a stay-at-home mom of two. She was a homeschooler herself, and has been homeschooling her kids for about 4 years now. She enjoys discovering new family friendly Internet tools and considers herself a geeky mommy blogger.
She blogs for fun, not for profit at her eco-friendly blog DIY gadgets.
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