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Homeschool Assessments

Screen Shot 2020-02-12 at 12.04.55 PMTraditional schools celebrate the 100th day of school when children are in elementary school. I think we should celebrate the countdown to the end of the year that is less than 100 days! I  bet you are looking forward to a more relaxed morning schedule, no tests, no textbooks, and a break from the school routine. Hip! Hip! Hooray!

If you live in Ohio, you probably have given it some thought as to having your child assessed since this is a state homeschool requirement. Do not become anxious; it’s pretty straightforward. You can either choose to create a portfolio of academic work samples for an assessor such as myself or have your child take a standardized test. You also can do both if you like. This week I will be sharing about portfolio reviews or otherwise known as portfolio assessments.

I thought this was an interesting quote from a testing service regarding standardized tests. “A student’s regular performance throughout the year is likely more valid than a single test score. Testing is only a snapshot of a student’s skills, abilities, and knowledge. It is also affected by anxiety, fatigue, and disposition. Most importantly, it does not measure many of the best predictors of success, such as effort, tenacity, emotional intelligence, and creativity.” source: Homeschool Testing Services. com

If you considering the portfolio review option here are some things that can help you with your decision.

What is it? It is a portfolio (a compilation) of your child’s work from the academic year they have just completed or are completing. Think of it as showcasing your student’s school year. You can also think of it as a great way to reflect back over the year- what areas was there progress made? Where do you want to see progress next year?

Who can assess my student’s work? A currently licensed teacher in the state of Ohio. It can be a music teacher, a high school science teacher, an elementary teacher, as long as they have a current teaching license.

When are portfolio reviews done? Typically, assessors perform reviews from May through July or early August. I begin scheduling in March.

What do I need to do for an assessment? Gather samples of your choosing to show that your student has made academic progress. You should also include work samples if you have concerns so that the teacher can offer recommendations, suggestions or resources to assist you. If you have questions, be sure to write those down so you can discuss this with the assessor.

What kinds of samples do I show the assessor? This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but some ideas to help you. You can show samples from the beginning, middle, and end of the year of workbook pages; samples of writing; tests; lab reports, etc. You can include pictures of activities, experiments;  lapbooks; screenshots (classes, grades); videos; narratives; nature journals; programs from plays; sports programs or a team roster; co-op classes, etc. I tell families this is your “Bragging Time” to show off what you have done for the year. Am I interested? I sure am! I get so excited to see what students have done. You work hard all year to give your children an excellent education and reviewing the year with you is an honor and joy. I like to think of myself as your cheerleader and I am sure every assessor feels that way too. 🙂

What is the cost? That varies as the assessor sets the price. Keep in mind that they have expenses for continuing post-graduate education and the time they take to carefully review your student’s work.

Do I meet with the assessor? This depends upon the assessor. Some teachers want to meet with you (with or without your children), other teachers have you send paperwork to them. Still others, such as myself, will give you the option to meet or send work samples.

What happens next? You will receive from your assessor the Written Narrative paperwork that needs to be submitted along with your Ohio Home Education Notification Form when you notify for the next school year. It is a single piece of paper, but it is a required part of your notification.  It is important to note that your paperwork must be submitted no later than the first week of your child’s school building’s start date. If past that date, your child is considered truant. 

If you would like to schedule an assessment with me please contact me through my email: schoolmarmohio@me.com.  I would love to serve you and your family.

Next week my post information will be about testing.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

 

 

 

 

Portfolio Reviews for Seniors

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It seems anticlimactic once your child is finishing their senior year as far as notifying the school. Guess what? You don’t notify the superintendent that your scholar has graduated. You don’t need to do a portfolio review or an exit test. You do, however, get to, need to celebrate! So, for you who are graduating a student this year from homeschooling, my heartiest congratulations on a job well done! Welcome to the world of homeschool alumni, both you and your student.

You may be wondering what to do as your student completes their high school career. My suggestion is to have a graduation ceremony, either with a group of fellow homeschoolers or by yourselves. The main thing is to recognize your student and invite family and friends to celebrate this accomplishment.

What do you do for a diploma? You can either create your own (FREE) by using a template CLICK HERE  You can also purchase one such as this Christian homeschool one  CLICK HERE  or one that does not have a scripture reference on it CLICK HERE

 

 

To Assess or Not

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Spring is finally here and that means we as home school parents in Ohio must have some type of academic evaluation done for each of our children if we are going to continue to homeschool for next year.

“Should  I have my student assessed or should I have them take a standardized test ?” is a question I hear quite often from home school mothers. There are many advantages to a portfolio review (also known as a narrative assessment). Here are some reasons to consider:

  • This is a terrific way of reflecting on all the work you and your student did over the course of the academic year. It causes you to evaluate your curriculum and your schedule and decide what worked well and what needs to be changed for the upcoming year.
  • It is a marvelous option for younger and older students alike. Younger students may not be reading at an independent level that is required for testing, while older students just don’t want to take one-more-test!
  • Alternate studies You may have used a curriculum that would not be covered on the standardized test such as in the area of history. You may have used a curriculum that concentrated upon ancient history instead of doing American history like all the rest of the children on your block. That is the beauty of homeschooling!
  • Your child is an individual. Nationally normed tests do not allow for any differences. Questions may be interpreted differently by your child and because they did not what was being asked they get it wrong. It’s difficult to watch a student ask you about a test question and knowing you could clarify their misinterpretation of it, but not being allowed to do so under the testing conditions. 
  • Feedback from a certified teacher Test results only confirm what you know are strengths and weaknesses of your student. You might have a question or concern about your child. Narrative assessments can provide you with an opportunity to ask me, a certified teacher, for ideas and resources to help your student. I can also provide encouragement with areas of strength and progress your child has made. We can also discuss areas where we see your student will want to pursue for the coming year. 

If you are a resident of Ohio this fulfills the requirement in order to continue to school your children for the upcoming year.

I believe in you and your role as a teacher. I  believe in homeschooling and the opportunities we each have to teach our children according to their unique ability and gifting. Please contact me if you are in need of a teacher to review your student’s work. 

Have a great week! ~Lisa~