I have exciting news! I have begun booking appointments for the 2020-2021 school year and my annual portfolio review giveaway has begun. For two weeks (February 8- 22), you can enter to win one of two reviews (each are a 40.00 value). I have a few new options for this year’s giveaway, so be sure to enter.
This year I am meeting families online, so even if you do not live nearby, we can discuss the school year and you will have personal time to share, ask questions, etc. Here is the document with details for scheduling, getting samples to me, rates, and payment.
Last week I wrote about the homeschool Written Assessment option if you are interested in learning more about that. This week I am addressing Option 1 for yearly assessments: testing. The requirement is that you must have your student take a nationally normed test. There are several from which to choose: California Achievement Test; The IOWA Test of Basic Skills, and the Stanford Achievement Test. I located a comprehensive comparison chart so you can determine which test is best for your family’s needs. Standardized Tests Comparison Chart.
Here are some things to keep in mind when considering testing:
Is your student reading well? I would not have a child take a standardized test if they are not reading independently or are not good listeners. In the younger grades, students read parts of it and also have portions of the tests read to them, but when they are in third grade they read all of it independently.
Some tests are not available for the primary grades. Be sure to check.
For some of the tests you order a specific test based upon the time of year. Students are expected to have acquired more knowledge at the end of the year as opposed to the beginning of the year.
Check the guidelines and whether you can administer the test yourself or if you have to have someone else administer it.
Consider the length of time for the test. Online is different than paper, and some tests have a shorter period in which you can administer the test.
Is there a deadline when your student can take the test?
See how quickly you get the results. There can be a spring rush and take more time to get the test results.
Where do I order tests? Here are two reputable testing companies from which to order tests.BJU Press or Seton Testing
Once you have your student’s results, you can fill out this form and return with next year’s notification form if you are going to continue to homeschool. Option #1
If your student is returning to school then you do not need to test or do a homeschool assessment. You enroll your student and the school will determine what placement testing they would like to do, if anything.
Wow! How did that happen? 2021 is here and before you know it, school will be ending. If you are new to homeschooling, I wanted to let you know you have a few options for having your child assessed. These assessments only apply if you are going to continue to homeschool for the 2021-22 school year. Otherwise, you just enroll your child for the coming school year.
If you are going to homeschool for the 2021-2022 academic year then you may choose one (or more) of these options. Some families choose to do testing and a Written Narrative. Why? Because they want to see where their student is ranked nationally for their own knowledge, but don’t want to turn in the results and turn in the Written Narrative instead.
** Option 1: Testing with a nationally normed test (IOWA Test of Basic Skills, Stanford, or the California Achievement Test are those that are typically used). You can fill out this form and submit it with the Ohio Home Education Notification Form. Option 1 Link
** Option 2: Portfolio Review/Written Narrative It is referred to by several names, but they all mean the same thing. What is this exactly? A licensed or certified teacher, holding a valid Ohio teaching certificate reviews samples of your child’s academic work that you supply. The teacher reviews the work and signs a form that states your child has progressed in accordance with his/her abilities. Each assessor is a bit different in what they would like to see with regard to your child’s work. As an assessor, I like to see a sample of the beginning, middle, and end of the year in each subject area. This gives me an overview of your school year. Here is the form you need to have signed for this option. Option 2 Link This form is submitted with the Ohio Home Education Notification Form.
** Option 3: An alternative academic assessment of the child’s proficiency mutually agreed upon by the parent and the superintendent. I don’t know many families who choose this option, but what I have heard done is if you know someone who holds a teaching license from a different state and you want them to assess your child, you can use this option. Or, if you are an Ohio licensed teacher and want to submit a written narrative of your student’s work you can as the superintendent if that is acceptable. I personally just had someone else do the assessment since it was good to have another teacher’s thoughts.
Speaking of Written Narrative assessments, I will begin reviewing students’ work in March and will finish in August. I will have more information on how to submit paperwork, pricing, etc. The first week of February I will have my annual portfolio review giveaway so be sure to enter for a chance to win.
Part of homeschooling is for us to teach or offer opportunities for Physical Education. Did you ever think of getting dual benefits from this? You can exercise right along with your children! That’s a genius idea, don’t you think? lol Your daughter/son can even help you come up with ideas and can lead class if you like. Here are some ideas to help get your moving. These are all indoor activities, but you can easily adapt them for outdoors too.
Obstacle course – Use pillows to walk around, steps to climb, crawling under the kitchen table, jumping across the room, etc.
Stretches, calisthenics (jumping jacks, squats, lunges, moving side to side, jogging in place, push-ups)
Snow shooters- With a bag of mini Marshmallows, some 9″ balloons, and disposable cups, you can create a really fun game that will keep your kiddo(s) and you moving. Cut off the bottom part of the balloon and place the rest of the balloon over the top of a disposable cup. This is your “shooter”. Add some marshmallows into the cup, pull back on the balloon and let go! The marshmallows will come flying out! You can have fun with having an indoor “snowball fight” and racing around to retrieve your ammo.
Balloon Games- How many times can you hit the balloon before it falls to the ground? You can play “volleyball” too! Put down a piece of masking tape for the “net” and try to get your opponent to step on the net or miss hitting the balloon to score a point. Walk with an inflated balloon between your legs from one end of the room to the other end.
Relay Races- Crab walk; hopping (one foot or both feet); crawling; carry a pom pom (or any light object) on a spoon; walk backwards, carry an orange under your chin, etc.
Tag– This is a great way to get the blood circulating and burning up some calories. How about variations of the game such as freeze or tickle tag?
Exercise video- There are a lot of free exercise videos on the internet. I chose one that is 25 minutes, but you can certainly pick something shorter. https://youtu.be/McD6_oOWs-M
If you are like me, you are beginning school again this week. It’s easy to lose sight of why you homeschool when January rolls around because no one likes to start back after having a break. How about combining a bit of art, writing and character traits to create a gratitude/ attitude jar? Here is what you will need:
slips of paper
a pencil or pen
ribbon, jute, or wrapping paper cut down to size to fit around the outside of the lip of the jar
Give each person 3-5 slips of paper and write one thing you are thankful on each of the slips. Fold the paper and put into the jar. Once a week you can pull out one of the pieces of paper and read it aloud and discuss what is on the paper. You can replenish the jar throughout the year, especially if you have had a fun time doing something or have gone somewhere. When you stop to be thankful for something it really does help lighten your mood and focus on what is important.
If you are feel exceptionally “craftsy” then you can decoupage the outside of the paper with strips of tissue paper to create a stained glass effect.
It sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it, until you have your daughter/ son begin to write down items. I can think of several things that might spark some ideas for writing.
I am grateful for: a sibling (no fair using all three slips of paper if you have several children), holiday, parents, pet, a special vacation, toy, game, relative, a favorite memory, best loved season, thing to do, book, a memory verse
Have a great week! I am thankful for you following my blog. 🙂 ~Lisa~