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2018 Portfolio Review Giveaway!

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Portfolio review season is here and time once again for my annual portfolio giveaway!

I am super excited to announce that I am having a portfolio giveaway this year for two people to win a portfolio review.  This year I have added several new chances of ways to win. For each friend (up to ten) you refer to my blog, you will have a chance to win for each referral to my blog!

Also, if you schedule your portfolio review with me, I will give you a code to enter for 10 additional chances. Of course, you don’t need to schedule now because I have openings throughout the spring and summer. But, if you are interested in getting a jump on things and perhaps win one of the FREE portfolio reviews, contact me. 🙂

Click on the link below to read the contest rules. The giveaway begins today and will end at midnight on February 25. 

*****2018 Portfolio Review Giveaway****

 

I hope you win!

Lisa

 

Testimonials

I realize it can be a big scary step to do a portfolio review. Here are some comments from the families whose student’s work I reviewed and hope this will help reassure you that you can do this!  🙂 

Thank you so much for all of your help. I really appreciate you going the extra mile to help me and my family. I look forward to working with you. -SG

You are a blessing to use every year. -SC

You are such a great resource in the homeschool community and I will definitely make sure to recommend you to friends! -TC

Lisa, thank you so much for helping our family with a portfolio review. I very much appreciate your quick reply to my request and fast turn around! Thanks again very much! -BW

I have chosen to do a portfolio review this year because two of my friends recommended you. -MB

Thanks, Lisa! Once again, it was a pleasure working with you! -SF

Thank you, Lisa. I always appreciate what you have to say and look forward to coming each year. Thank you very much for your time, work, and care today!!-NB

 I truly appreciate your guidance, input, and suggestions!  Thank you also for the encouragement. I have been home educating…4 1/2 years!  I never would have done it or been able to do it without the example and encouragement of more experienced home educators, and I consider you among those who have made a significant impact on me and our family. -AA
Thank you! I love doing portfolio reviews over testing. It gives a much better perspective of our school year. I am so encouraged after I see you. Thank you! -SF
Thank you for the wonderful encouraging words and links you provided.  Thanks again for all your help, you are the best!!! – CP

Thank you Lisa! Look forward to seeing you around 🙂 -JR

Perfect! Thank you so much for doing this. And thanks as well for sending all the notes from our assessment time. I am so glad that ____ recommended you 🙂 -KR

It’s always an encouragement to meet with you at the end of the year, and I like having a feeling of closure afterward. Thanks for these suggestions! -AB

I appreciate your feedback and suggestions!  -HP

Thank you so much for your help, support and encouragement.  You were definitely an answer to our prayers. 😊 The certificate for ______ was so thoughtful of you and  I am looking forward to giving it to him. -DG

I always look forward to coming!  -SC

Thanks for all of the great ideas! -LL

I like doing portfolios so much better than testing! 1) It doesn’t take several days for me and my children to do. 2) I don’t think testing gives me a fair assessment of what my child has done all year. 3 I enjoy looking back over the year to see how much we accomplished. Thanks, Lisa! I will see you next year. -HS

I love doing portfolios. When my children do the tests I do not go back and see all that we have accomplished. Doing the written assessment gives me the opportunity to review the year and be excited about the progress I have seen take place. -MT

I love coming! Thank you so much for your help.  -AA

Thank you for doing the review and giving me good resources. -JK

This was so much easier than I thought. It was great, thank you! -TD

You have so many great resources for me to check out. Thank you, Lisa -MS

Thank you so much!  I appreciate your guidance. 🙂 -LM

Thank you for the encouragement! – BB

I have reflected on our time with such a full heart! So thankful God placed you in our lives as He has called us to homeschool. He covers every detail. I so appreciate all of your homeschooling expertise and will definitely use your help as the questions come up. -SW

 I find your notes SO helpful.  It was nice seeing you again and I always find time with you is well spent as well as encouraging!! -TK

Thank you for your help. I always enjoy meeting with you.  -LM

I humbly thank you for your time and all that you do. -YE

Thank you so much, Lisa, for your time in evaluating our year’s progress!  I always look forward to meeting with you.  It is always a pleasure!! -SF

Wow, Lisa, thank you so much! You are such a wealth of information and encouragement! I so appreciate your making my first year feel positive and successful! Thank you again! -JR

Thank you again.  You are so encouraging! -WG

Wonderful, helpful insight – Thank You!!! -MF

Thank you, for your time yesterday. You made us feel very comfortable during our session. We appreciate the tips and insights, I’m sure they will help this next year be productive and fun. -S & K

I highly recommend Lisa McAfee. She is very thorough and encouraging. – JH

I look forward to meeting with you again this year. You always have such encouraging and wonderful things to share. -AJL

If you need a homeschool accessor. I can’t say enough great things about Lisa!!! I just did my first homeschool meet with her. She is awesome and more!!!! -ET

I so much appreciate the contribution you have made to our homeschool experience!  You’ve been such an encouragement to me!! -EC

Thank you for assessing the girls’ work for last year. You are a gift to the homeschooling body, and especially to me. Your joy, wisdom, and enthusiasm lead others to persevere well to excel at home education. -LE

Thank you, Lisa! This is so encouraging to me. Somehow tests scores never state these kinds of results! Thanks also for your generosity towards our family. -SF

Thank you so much for being a great constant in our homeschool journey!!  So thankful that God put you in our lives!!  I always love our meetings!! ~CP

Thank you so much for the helpful tips and suggestions!  I appreciate your mentoring and look forward to seeing you again next year. 🙂 -AA

Thanks, Lisa. Always great to visit with you and gain from your many years of homeschooling and teaching. You are a blessing to many.  -AMG

Thank you so much for everything! I left feeling so encouraged! I really appreciate your positive feedback and suggestions for next year. -EM

Oh, you facilitated that so well you made it easy, Lisa.  Thank you!  -EA

Lisa, Thank you! I appreciate your assessment and advice. -MS

Your thoughts and understanding are so appreciated as I am navigating these high school years. It is very valuable to know someone who has been there, done that. –SE

Lisa, thank you for your continued support. I thank God that my friend suggested I meet with you. Have a wonderful summer and I’ll see you next end of school year! -SG

Thank you for ministering to our family in this way–you mean much more to me than the required formality of getting their portfolios assessed! -MS

We are grateful for your encouragement and input in the past during our portfolio reviews. -ER

 I have been going to Lisa for portfolio reviews for the past 10 years and I look forward to my appointment every year.  Her kind heart and helpfulness always make our time a joy, and I know I can count on her to answer questions and provide resources if I need help.  I always leave feeling encouraged.

Even though her own sons have graduated, Lisa continues to offer reviews and support.  She does it because she enjoys it and she truly wants to help the homeschool community.  I tell her every year that she has to keep doing portfolio reviews until my son graduates! 🙂  – SC

If only you knew what a blessing your note was with the suggestions!!!!!!! I have been struggling so bad trying to research and figure out what to use!!! I just can’t that you enough for the personal touch and suggestions.  I truly truly needed the help!! Thank you for being such a blessing to so many of us that feel lost and sometimes just clueless. lol I truly appreciate it. –MW

Thank you so much, Lisa!  I appreciated your words….they touched my heart and made me smile as we prepare to begin this school year.  Thank YOU for all of your support and encouragement, wisdom and guidance on our homeschooling journey!  –AL

Thank you for meeting with me.  I was very nervous about it, and was worried I wouldn’t have everything I needed.  You made me feel a lot calmer and much more positive about homeschooling.  I really like having more control over my daughter’s education and I think we did more at home for her age then they do in the classroom. –JO

Each time I walk away from your house I am so over the moon thrilled, uplifted and blessed with how much you offer us!!  I couldn’t ask for a better guide and mentor through our homeschooling years.  Thank you so much!! –CP

I love how God puts certain people in our life that make a profound difference. You are one of those ladies for me. You are a source of great strength for me. You have made a big impact in our homeschool because of your encouraging words & support. Thank you for everything you do to support homeschoolers.  We couldn’t do it without strong women like you. I am blessed!  -CK

Thank you very much for meeting with me to do my child’s first portfolio review. I sincerely appreciate you taking the time. Thank you! Also, thank you for the math suggestions. I can’t wait to try them! -SB

Lisa, my husband and I spoke this afternoon, and we are very thankful for you, and will definitely be using your services again next year. –SG

Our first portfolio review was this past year. Mrs. McAfee was so helpful. Before our scheduled meeting she emailed me to see if I had any specific questions.  I found her to be very knowledgeable and objective about curricula and other homeschool topics.  Not only is Mrs. McAfee thorough, but she is also easy to talk with, kind, and friendly.  I would highly recommend her to other homeschool moms and families, especially those who are newer like myself.  I think her advice as well as her experience and warm personality make her an excellent choice.  Thank you, Mrs. McAfee! -R

I love sitting down with Lisa for our portfolio review for several reasons. As I gather everything to prepare, I always realize that we’ve done so much more than I thought. I enjoy Lisa’s feedback and excellent suggestions. I also use it as a way to encourage my children to do their best because they often get very lazy mid-year, with us doing our reviews earlier each year, I’m able to use someone else’s eyes as motivation to kick it up a bit. Looking forward to a visit soon!  -MLR

Thank you again for meeting with me for the end of the year review.  It’s always such a great way to review what the kids have accomplished, and I greatly appreciate your feedback on our progress. –KK

We are on our fourth year for portfolio reviews with Lisa.  My first commendation would be that she is a Christian, who loves the Lord. She also has complete knowledge of homeschool rules, regulations, requirements, as well as many links to helpful information. Lisa possesses excellent communication skills that help you know all the why’s, what’s and when’s. In addition to performing a complete portfolio she offers excellent and useful suggestions. Lastly, but certainly not least, Lisa is very caring. Which is something all of us need as we homeschool our children. She truly is a blessing. -PM

Thanks for a delightful evening; I really enjoyed the portfolio assessment and I left feeling so encouraged. –MS

I love portfolio reviews with Lisa because they are a joy! Instead of feeling stressed or burdened by the appointment or dealing with testing, I look forward to my end of year review. It’s nice to be able to discuss successes and get ideas and resources for any problem areas. –SC

Although I was initially terrified about the portfolio review process, I now look forward to meeting with you and looking over all that we accomplished (both in the classroom and out)! I appreciate your suggestions and encouragement. –ML

Mrs. McAfee, I was very apprehensive and nervous last year about my very first portfolio review. Quite honestly, if it would not have been for your blog, I would not have known where to even begin. Your blog gave me step-by-step instructions of what was needed and how to put everything together. Then the meeting with you was exactly what you said it would be, one hour of review of what my son had learned over the last year. His high points, his low points and if he improved after he hit those low points. You are an amazing source of information and I feel so blessed that God has placed you in my life. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us and helping us from start to finish. 🙂 God bless you!  –SS

I so appreciate the time you take for each child’s review. I enjoy the assessment process a lot more than a standardized test. All children learn differently and learn at different paces. We all know that a standardized test is not a true indication of how much a children knows. Thank you for continuing to give me great ideas to this veteran homeschooling mom.  –TK

Last year was my first year to have a portfolio review. It was a wonderful experience. It is always a joy to sit with Lisa and visit. She is kind and generous with the time she shares with you. I left the meeting with many ideas to help make the next year better. Lisa recommended many books and activities that we are using this year. I look forward to doing reviews with her again this year. -SW

The Value of Portfolio Reviews

imagesRarely did I finish a school year when I thought I had done enough. There always seemed to be one area of math we could have studied more completely or a slew of experiments we didn’t quite get around to doing. I think each one of us feels the weightiness of responsibility of being the one who is providing the education our children are receiving.

I believe this is where having a portfolio review (written narrative) is so encouraging. Preparing work samples for an assessor to review causes you to review the year and see what you have accomplished. It provides perspective as you see what has been accomplished. You see the progress that has been made and can celebrate your child’s (and your) successes.

Here are just a few of the many benefits of having a portfolio review done for your student(s).

  • Children who are just beginning to read or need extra time to read. The test is timed and students need to read quickly in order to finish on time.
  • Your curriculum does not coincide with the what is being tested. You have the choice to determine what curriculum is taught and it may not be the same as what the students have been taught that year. For instance, you have decided to do ancient history while students at that particular grade are learning American history. There may be questions on the test that your child could not answer because they have not studied that.
  • If your child has test anxiety a portfolio review is a terrific option. No testing is given while doing a portfolio review.
  • A test is just a snapshot of a week in a child’s life. The test does not always give a true representation of your student’s ability. your son or daughter may not have slept well, could be distracted, or has not taken formal tests before. each of these factors and many more can determine the outcome of a test.
  • You would like guidance for the upcoming school year. Do you need someone who has taught students and has experience give you some ideas and suggestions for instructing your child? Do you have concerns about a certain subject area? That is where a licensed teacher doing a portfolio for your pupil can help.

Have a great week and if you are interested in having me do a portfolio review for your family, please contact me. I will be happy to serve you.

~Lisa 

Portfolio Review Giveaway

THE GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. Thank you to all who participated. 🙂

Congratulations to Lori L and Lisa W!  Please let me know you won when you schedule your portfolio review with me. 

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Hurray! It’s 2017 and that time of year for my annual portfolio review giveaway!   🙂

Two portfolios (each a $40.00 value) will be awarded and may be redeemed for the 2016-2017 school year. There are several ways to win for both my current blog subscribers and for people who wish to subscribe. See below for chances to win.

I will use a random number generator (random.org) for each entry that you meet the criteria and submit your name. The contest ends on February 3, 2017. I will verify the winners and post the winner’s names on my blog. If your name happens to have been chosen twice, you will only be able to receive one free portfolio and I will have the number generator pick a new number to be the winner.

You may schedule your appointment  between March 1 and July 31. Best wishes!

Ways to enter the contest:

  • Subscribe to my blog. Please comment below and let me know you are new. (worth two entries)
  • Follow my SchoolMarmOhio facebook page (worth two entries)
  • Current subcribers- Leave a comment below about one thing you have enjoyed teaching this year. (worth one entry)
  • Pin one of my articles on Pinterest and let me know. (worth two entries)

 

Filing School Papers

f84c6308b877dacf70ce1522c1dc786bSchool has begun and I am already feeling the crush of paperwork bearing down upon me! Am I the only one  feeling this way?  Ugh! Are you feeling the crush too? How can you document your school year to be able to show me (an Ohio certified assessor) how much your student accomplished without feeling horrible about the lack of organization?

Now is the time to begin so that you are not overwhelmed in the spring by all of the paperwork that has been accumulating. You can organize papers so that all you have to do is contact me to set up your portfolio review. No wading through papers and workbooks, deciding on what to take. I am giving you a list of ideas to help organize and discard papers so that your house is not overrun by math papers, science labs, maps, and workbook pages.  Pick and choose from the items listed, but do not do every one of them! 🙂 Hopefully, one of these will work for you as your child finishes their school work.

Create a binder for each subject to put a sample in it. This can be done every Friday, or it can be collected once a month. If you are collecting samples monthly, just pick the same time each month; ideally, the beginning or end.

Use folders to place a work sample of each subject. Using different colors for subjects will help you to have an easy filing system. For instance, a yellow folder for language arts, a red folder for math, etc., that you can quickly drop a sample into the appropriate subject folder. At the end of the year you can grab the folders and put them in a cute school bag to take with you.

Accordion pleated file systems for each of your children keeps everything organized in one convenient location. You can label the tabs with subjects for filing. An assessor does not need to see every scrap of paper and doodle that your scholar has done. Trust yourself and choose paperwork and samples that represent the work being completed.

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Hanging folders with labeled tabs of the subjects are an efficient and out-of- sight way to organize paperwork. I have a four drawer filing cabinet that I recently acquired and I wonder how I have lived without it for all of these years!

Binder Clips Gather each month’s samples of work and  clip them according to the subject. Place in a folder and label the month or the subject, whatever is best for you.

Systems that I have tried and do not work well in my opinion are:

baskets– everything falls to the bottom and nothing is organized. I just have to go through the heap at a later time!

rectangular plastic containers or filing boxes- the same as mentioned above. I just have more time to keep adding papers to the jumble that is collecting and multiplying. Now, if you actually use the file box and put folders in it, then it is a thing of beauty (sigh).

cloth bags– another collection sight that I never look at until I can’t find something. In fact, the other day I was trying to find some files that I thought were in my filing cabinet and I stumbled upon this bag that was filled to the brim with who-knows- what. I felt that I should look into it as it had been sitting near a bookshelf for several months. I was pleasantly surprised and quite relieved that is was the files for which I was looking! Needless to say, the cloth bag was a terrible filing system.

What, pray tell, do I keep when gathering samples?  I kept one page of a concept that had been introduced or mastered. If introduced, I added a paper later that showed progress (or not 😦 ) and then mastery or  continued help. I did not always follow through with the concept, but I tried to as much as possible. Allow your child to select samples to showcase too. Many children are interested in what I think of their work and are excited to show me things they have done. It can also help them to put forth their best and take pride in their work.

Throughout the year if my student had a difficult time with a concept, I would pick out that paper and write on a post-it note what was the difficulty. This helped me see progress that is made throughout the year or something I needed to evaluate or ask for help to have my student understand the concept.

If your student is doing schoolwork online, then see if there is a progress report, quiz or test that can be printed off to include in your files. If not, take pictures throughout the year of screenshots of work. You do not necessarily need to print off the pictures, but put them in a file that you back up regularly.

If you are using workbooks and don’t want to tear out papers until the end of the year you can use those cool skinny post-it note flags.  You can mark the pages throughout the year that  you want to take to your portfolio review appointment. It will take just a few minutes in the spring to remove the pages.

If you are going on field trips throughout the year, take pictures! I love seeing all of the places homeschool families visit. You can send pictures to me prior to your appointment or bring your camera along. One homeschool family makes a yearbook that I enjoy reviewing.

Do you have a project that is too big or a map or timeline you have created that is on the wall? You can snap a photograph of that too or create a video! No need to bring it with you. I understand the amount of time and hard work that has gone into projects.

Please feel free to leave a comment if you have questions. I will be happy to address them.

Have a great week!

~Lisa