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Homeschool Assessment Giveaway!

It’s time once again for my annual portfolio review giveaway. If you would like to be entered for a chance to win one of two free reviews (services only, no cash value), send an email to: lisammcafee@gmail.com.

The giveaway will end on January 31, 2023 and at that time I will randomly select a winner. Those who have won will be notified on February 1, 2023 via email. You do not need to do anything to be entered into the contest.

However, if you wish to schedule an online appointment with me for your student(s), go to: www.calendly.com/schoolmarmohio I am scheduling reviews now through August.

I hope you win! ~Lisa~

A New Year A New Plan?

Happy New Year! How are you doing? How is your school year going so far?

The fall has flown by and now we are in winter. How did that happen? You may be feeling like the outline you submitted to the superintendent is not going as you planned and isn’t working. Don’t fret! You can change things if you need to do so. The outline is what you intended to do, not something that is set in stone. Take some time to determine what is not working for your student. Evaluate why it isn’t.

Is the material too hard? Try slowing down the pace of what is being covered. If your child is not mastering multiplication facts, do not move onto division! It will be very difficult and cause a lot of tears for them (and probably you too). I suggest at least 85% mastery of the material in order to call it complete. Of course, completing 100% of the curricula is your goal.

Is the curriculum not your child’s style? Find something that is better suited to them. Here is a quick quiz for you to ascertain what type of learner your child might be. Learning Styles Test

Here are some good resources to check out various types of curricula should you wish to change.

CHEO (Look under the Choosing Curriculum Tab)

Cathy Duffy Review This website has many options from which to choose.

Rainbow Resource I love their reviews on products. I have used and recommended their company for many years.

I am available to do a consultation and coaching with you if you would like to do that. I have hour long Zoom appointments or can meet in person if you are local. (Cincinnati, OH). We can discuss my rates and your needs. You can message me and I will respond within 24 hours.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

Homeschool Assessments: Who Needs Them?

There has been some confusion on who exactly needs an assessment here in Ohio. You only need to have a portfolio review assessment if your student is going to continue homeschooling for the next academic year. Let me give you some scenarios so that I can help make it clearer.

Q: I have a kindergarten student, but they weren’t six by the time school began. Is an assessment required?

A: Did you notify the school? If so, yes, you do need to do an assessment. If you did not, you do not need an assessment. The key is whether you notified your school district.

Q: I decided to homeschool once school began.

A:Yes, you need to do an assessment. But, you only need to provide samples of the work they have done since being homeschooled. As an assessor, I am not looking to see what they did in school before you began homeschooling.

Q: My student graduated this year. Do I have to do an exit assessment?

A: No, you are finished! Celebrate your accomplishment in graduating your child. (Can you hear me whistling, clapping, whooping with you?)

Q: We homeschooled this year, but we will not continue next year.

A: No assessment is required. The school may decide that your student needs to be tested in order to place them, but that is totally up to your school district. I have been asked to do an assessment as some school districts require this in order for your student to be enrolled in school.

If you are interested in scheduling an assessment with me, I am scheduling families now for the 2022-23 school year. You can see my homeschool assessments tab for more details. But, here is a quick link to scheduling: www.calendly.com/schoolmarmohio

Questions? Feel free to contact me and I will be glad to help.

Have a great week!
~Lisa~

Take Advantage of Opportunities

With late summer days and soon to be fall days, we have lots of chances to enjoy the outdoors. So, why not find school-related activities to incorporate into your studies? You can go to a local park, backyard, or neighborhood where you can:

  • collect leaves (science)
  • inspect insects (science)
  • go on hikes (physical education, health)
  • pack nutritious snacks (health)
  • sing songs (fine arts)
  • use a map (social studies)
  • do a GeoCache (social studies, math)
  • make a map of the area (social studies, art)
  • collect nature items, identify and classify them, count them, draw them, make a collage (science, math, art)
  • write about the experience (language arts)

I hope this gets your creative juices flowing and thinking that school can be more than just worksheets and sitting inside.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

What do I Include in my Assessment?

Now that you know home school assessments are required, you might be thinking, “Eeek! I want to do one (aka portfolio review), but I am just not sure what to include.” Think of the assessment as a showcase for your child’s academic progress. You can also show the assessor (me or someone else qualified to do so) any areas of concern you may have. Here are some ways to show what your student has done for the year.

  • Workbook pages, writing samples
  • Photos- This can include experiments, field trips, art, hands-on projects, screenshots of online classes, etc.
  • Videos- These are great ways to show hands-on activities to your assessor. I have watched children reading, playing sports, participating in drama productions, music recitals, planting a garden, selling lemonade, shooting off rockets, and more! You can also include a brief list of educational videos.
  • A private Facebook page- Some parents have chosen to create a page for family and friends to see the school year as well as provide documentation for me, their assessor.
  • Lists of books read by your child or to your child You do not need to include every title, but several titles to show the reading level from the beginning of the year until the end of the year.

Did you do a lot of hands-on learning and not a lot of book work? No problem! A brief summary of what your child learned in those subject areas is helpful. I meet with each family (online or in person) so it is easy for us to discuss and you to describe the studies and what your child learned.

These are just some ideas that I have seen in my years as an assessor. I am always excited to see the children’s work and the way that parents choose to show me what they have accomplished.

Did you know that you can always do a portfolio review for your student? Yes, all the way through their high school career too! If you are in need of a certified/licensed teacher to do a review for you, I would love to help! You can schedule an appointment through the scheduling app: www.calendly.com/schoolmarmohio You can also read about my pricing by going to the Assessment page here on my blog

Have a great week! ~Lisa~