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~
It seems like summer has flown by (again!) and I like to start out the year with a few tips that I liked to do with my children.
- Begin the day with something fun. How about a fun read-aloud or a favorite breakfast? Not sure what books would be good? Here are some titles to consider: Swiss Family Robinson; The Great Brain; The Secret Garden; Caddie Woodlawn; Little House in the Big Woods; Miracles on Maple Hill are all books that the family will enjoy.
- Let your children know what you expect of them. I thought it was important to come to class dressed (no pajamas). This may not be the case in your house, so do not mention it if does not apply. We also discussed the importance of a good attitude and completing assignments cheerfully and on time.
- Get out the school supplies and let your son/ daughter label and organize their things. Let them choose what color notebooks they want for math, science, history, reading, etc. They can decorate their binders or notebooks too.
- Start out with a few subjects and gradually add more as the week progresses. We always had reading and math each day and started the year off with these. I would include a fun outdoor activity that was science related (a nature hunt or examining something such as a plant) and would try to end the day with a game of some sort for PE such as bike riding or swimming.
- Celebrate the first week of completing school with a favorite movie and some popcorn or go out for a treat.
Have a great year! ~Lisa~
Summer is here and that means more free time for your children. How can you help them find more constructive things to do than sit in the house and play video games? How about trying some of the following ideas?
Bike, scooter riding– You can also tackle safety topics and have this crossed off your list for school should you need to teach this. (In Ohio it is a requirement.)
Water activities– Water table, running through a sprinkler, squirt guns, water balloons, are all fun ways to be active AND cool.
Sidewalk activities– Hopscotch, sidewalk chalk, sidewalk paint, drawing a “road” with chalk for the children to drive their bikes and scooters along will keep the children busy.
Reading books– How about putting out a blanket under a tree and providing ice cold water and some fruit to nibble on while enjoying a book? Do you have a porch? What about letting your youngster set up a “library” there? With a medium-sized plastic bin, a pencil, and some index cards for customers to check out a book, your daughter/son can act as a librarian and have family and friends check out books. The books don’t have to leave your house unless you want them to do so.
Picnic lunch– My mom would pack us a lunch, put it in a brown paper bag, and send us outside to eat at the outdoor table. I enjoyed doing that since I felt like I was on an adventure. You make it as simple or as elaborate as you wish.
Make a fort- This can be indoors or outdoors. With a couple of sheets for the shelter and a few old pillows to sit upon, your son will have a blast! Your daughter might decide to decorate the inside of it and never want to come out. 🙂
Enjoy your day! ~Lisa~