With the new school year just on the horizon, I wanted to remind you not to forget a couple of things.
Have an assessment completed for each of your students if you are a returning homeschool family. At this point, you will need to have a homeschool assessment since you won’t get the results of a standardized test back in time. Contact me if you are in need of an assessor. I will be expedient in completing your assessment.
Turn your notification paperwork in by the first week that your child’s building begins school. Remember, compulsory age in Ohio is six. You do not need to notify of your intent to homeschool if your child is not six when school begins.
I have included a link to the Ohio Home Education Notification Form in case you need it. FORM
Sorry for the long title, but I wanted it to be specific since there has been confusion about doing an assessment for the child(ren) you have homeschooled. The first question to answer is: Are you going to continue homeschooling for this coming school year? If the answer is no, then you do not need to do anything. Enroll your children in school and the administration will decide what needs to be done in order for your student to be placed in school. Some school districts may say that you need to submit an assessment, but the majority do not.
If you homeschooled last year and you are continuing, you will need to do an assessment. This can be either 1. a standardized test or 2. an Academic Assessment Report or 3. something that both your superintendent and you agree upon. (I am not going to really address that here since I beieve these are the two most common.)
If you choose to do a standardized test and are having your student not take it online, you need to order tests as soon as possible to ensure you will have the results in time for you to notify for this coming school year. Seton Testing has a fantastic test comparison chart so you can decide which test you’d like to use. Note: If you have a student who finished K-2, they can only take specific tests and are not eligible for others. I suggest that you select the same test to use annually so you can compare test results from year to year.
If you choose to do an academic assessment, be sure that you have a currently licensed (certified) teacher for Ohio. This is the simplest way of doing it, but if you have someone in mind who has an expired license or is licensed in a different state, you can request the superintendent agree (in writing) that they do it for you.
So, what will you need for the assessment? Each assessor’s requirements differ, but all of us must determine that progress has been made by your student. Be sure to check with the assessor to see what they need. I ask that you have proof of progress. This can be workbook pages, screen shots of online classes, progress reports, tests, certificates of participation or completion, videos, lists of books read or read aloud, pictures, etc. If you are not following a traditional curriculum, are unschooling, or did hands-on projects, a short paragraph of what the student learned are fine. If you have questions, feel free to contact me. I have additional information on my blog about prices and scheduling a review for your student. (See Academic Assessment Tab) You do not need to be local in order for me to do an assessment for you. I am primarily meeting with people via Zoom. This eliminates you having to drive to my house, saving you time and money. You can schedule an appointment through this app I am using: www.calendly.com/schoolmarmohio
After your assessor has given you the completed Academic Assessment Report, you will send a copy of this, along with the Ohio Home Education Notification Form to your superintendent’s office no later than the week that your student’s school building begins. So, if school begins on August 18, your paperwork must be received by that date. Otherwise, your student is considered truant. Think of it this way, your child would be starting school that day if attending, so all of your paperwork needs to be sent in by that date. I would have paperwork turned in the first week of August to avoid confusion, should you be questioned. Send by registered mail with a return receipt. This is your proof that the superintendent’s office received your notification. Do not drop off the paperwork, even if the office is next door. You have no way of substantiating that you submitted paperwork. Things get crazy that time of the year for them and paperwork has been known to get lost.
If I can be assistance, please let me know. I am always glad to help.
It may seem like a no-brainer since you live in Ohio, but what exactly do you teach when it comes to Ohio history? No specific guidelines are given, so you can choose to cover it however you wish. Here are some things to get the ideas flowing for you to teach about our great state.
Early History- What native groups of people were here? Choose one or more tribes to learn more about them.
Pioneers- When was Ohio opened for pioneers? Who were some of the first people to settle here?
Statehood- When did it become a state? Where was the first state capital? Where is it now? Why was it relocated?
Presidents- There are seven that were born in Ohio, how about learning about them?
Inventions/ Inventors- Did you know that the Wright brothers were born in Ohio? Carillon Park in Dayton has a great display of inventions and their history for you to see.
Underground Railroad- There are many places throughout Ohio that slaves traveled to get to free states and Canada. What about doing some research to learn more about it?
Make it Hands-On History is all around us. Visit statues, museums, historical markers, your library, an older neighbor or a relative. Any or all of these are great places to begin to learn about the history near you. Find out if there are any programs that talk about the history of your town or the area. Summer is a great time to explore and visit various parts of Ohio. Are you familiar with our Ohio Historical Society? It has places to visit, archives to search, and even homeschool programs. https://www.ohiohistory.org/
Geography- Have you ever looked at a map of Ohio with your student? Can they locate the major cities or rivers of our great state? You can use google maps to have a more interactive experience if you like. Personally, I enjoy a paper map and getting a better idea of how far a place is from our home.
Explore the great outdoors- Ohio has such a diverse landscape that includes lakes, rivers, farmland, caves, gorges, and forests, bike trails, etc. Instead of planning a long road trip, how about exploring a different part of the state? You’ll not only have fun, but will be able to count it for school. (yay!)
Read books about Ohio– The photo collage that is seen above is one I created (using Pic-Collage) with some books that might be interesting to your student(s).
Videos- You can find all sorts of documentaries about the history of Ohio if you do an internet search. You could have your older student take notes, make a slide show or PowerPoint presentation about what they have learned.
Create a Lapbook- These are a great way of getting your student to write snippets of information without taxing them too much. You can take as much time as you wish making the lapbook.
Is there anything you have done with Ohio history that you think others would enjoy? Please leave a comment.
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
If you are wondering whether you need to do an assessment for your child for the 2021-2022 school year, the answer is yes! This can be a standardized test, a portfolio review of your child’s work, or something else that you and the superintendent agree upon. If you are in need of an assessor I am glad to be of assistance! You can schedule and appointment to meet with me online at: www.calendly.com/schoolmarmohio. I have more details on what a portfolio review assessment is, as well as my fees by looking under the Homeschool Assessments tab.