Tag Archive | written narratives

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 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. Quiet 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 

6 Things to know about Portfolio Reviews

A portfolio review, also known as a written narrative, is one option to meet the homeschool requirements in Ohio. As the end of the school year approaches, I have families contact me about what a portfolio review entails. Below you will find six questions that I am asked frequently by homeschool families.

1.Does a state certified teacher need to look at my child’s work? Yes, this is one of the requirements and the teacher must be licensed in Ohio, not another state.

2. What is the assessor looking for when they review my student’s work? They are looking to see that progress has been made for the academic work that is in accordance with their abilities. No other test is given nor is your child compared to other students.

3. What subjects will I need to show samples of to the assessor?  The following are requirements that the state says we must cover each year according to the Home Education Notification Form.

  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Social studies
  • Science
  • Heath
  • Fine Arts (music, art)
  • Health
  • First Aid, Safety, Fire Prevention

4. What kinds of work samples do I include for a written narrative? Here are some ways that you can document work that has been completed:

  • Workbooks or workbook pages
  • Projects- Whether that is for science, social studies, art,etc.,  these would all be acceptable for samples. If projects are too large to take with you to your appointment, you can always take photos of what your student has done to show your assessor.
  • Writing samples of your pupil help the teacher see the progress that has been made throughout the year in the area of language arts. Cards, journal entries, poems, reports, outlines and essays are all considered examples of writing for language arts. If your little one is just beginning to write, then show samples of letter formation and printing.
  • Reading lists of book titles help a teacher to see the progress that has been made if you have an early reader (grades K-3).  If you don’t have a complete list, that is fine, just write ten titles of books that have been read from the beginning of the year to the end. For instance, they began with Bob Books and are now reading easy readers. What level are they currently reading and can you list several titles?
  • Field trips are great ways to show fine arts, science and social studies because many of the places visited are related in some aspect to these academic areas. You can include the program from the play you saw, a map of the zoo, or pictures of the activity your child was participating in when you went to the museum or attended a community program.

5. We did quite a bit of our schoolwork orally, how do I show that? You can write a list of what topics you studied and how you determined  understanding/ mastery of what you taught. If you use a whiteboard for school, take some pictures of the work so you have documentation to show.

6. We use a curriculum that is on the computer, how do I show my student’s progress? Can you print off grades or did your student receive a certificate of accomplishment for the course or activity? This will show that your child has completed the work.

Do you have a question that I didn’t address about portfolio reviews? Please write a comment and I will be glad to answer it.

If you are in need of an assessor, I will be happy to review your student’s work. Please email me, schoolmarmohio@me.com  so we can set up an appointment. If you do not live in Greater Cincinnati, I can still meet with you via Skype. Just let me know you are in need of this option. 

 

 

Showcasing your Student’s Work: Health, Safety

Health, first aid, and fire safety are topics that we are to cover throughout the academic year as part of homeschooling here in Ohio. How do you show this has been accomplished? Here are various ways this can be done.

  • Textbooks are the easiest way to cover these subjects through a health curriculum such as ABeka or Bob Jones. You can also go to Cathy Duffy’s website and read her reviews on various curriculums. CLICK HERE You can bring the book, have your student answer the questions that are in the book, or write down some of the topics you discussed.
  • Library books and discussions about the topic are a natural way of covering a topic . Write the title of the books you read and a brief summary of what you discussed. Some books even have activities that accompany them, such as  Nick is Sick. This book is a beginning reader book, so your student can practice reading to you too! 🙂
  • Movies such as the Magic School Bus provide a springboard for discussion of health topics. The Magic School Bus Inside Ralphie is an episode where he is sick and the children get to see firsthand what is happening with germs being attacked. You can use the receipt from the library or take a picture of the cover of the DVD, or find the description of it on the internet. You can even watch it on YouTube!
  • Safety and/or Health Fairs are offered various times throughout communities. If you go to one of these, pick up the coloring books or handouts that are age appropriate. Incorporate those into your school day and file away with your other papers for your portfolio review.
  • Fitness programs such as what is offered at the YMCA or  a community center are fantastic ways of fulfilling the health and physical education requirement. Instructors reinforce what you have been teaching at home. 🙂 There is usually a description  of the course or activity that can be added to your portfolio of your student’s work.
  • Sports programs such as Upwards or local teams can count for health as well as physical education. Coaches discuss hydration, stretching before games, conditioning, and eating well. If you have a team picture or a game schedule that will be proper documentation.
  • Create a first aid kit for your car and/or your home. Have your child help you make up a list of what items should be included. What a great way of teaching first aid and safety without having to get a CPR dummy. (Although,that is a great idea!) if you need help in knowing what to include for your kit, CLICK HERE for the American Red Cross site.
  • Babysitting courses or a self defense class are not only helpful, but are practical too. If you saw the advertisement for the class, include that for your documentation. There are usually certificates of completion or photo opps that can be included for your review.

Here are two books you can check out on health topics.

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Showcasing your Student’s Work: Writing

Showing student work for a portfolio review in the area of writing can be done in various ways. Whether you have a student who is just beginning to write or a student who is authoring a novel, samples of work can be included in their portfolio review.

Primary Grades

Simple words and/or drawings are ways of writing and communicating so include those as part of your budding author’s portfolio. Can you guess what this is representing? If you guessed the fourth day of Creation you are right!

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If you have a child that is not yet writing, but loves to tell stories, be the scribe and write it down for them. You can read it back to them and they can illustrate parts of it. The important point is that they see themselves as an author, being able to communicate through writing.

Beginning writer’s work can also be samples of writing the alphabet or practicing their name.

Elementary and Middle School

Children love to express their love and, while you may not consider a card  to be “writing”, it is because a thought or idea is being communicated.  Put those in the portfolio as part of language arts.

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What about lists and jokes? Yes, they count too! My son Ian had this eight page book that was nothing more than a list of animals and a name next to it. He had a lot of fun with it and would carry it with him throughout the day. I would see him scribbling something in it and then chuckle to himself as he read back over the list. The funny thing is that I just found that list the other day when I was cleaning out some of his old artwork!

Here are other ideas:

Short stories and chapters of books

How-to do something (play a game)

Writing a letter (take a picture of it before you send it off in the mail)

Book reports

Short research project (1-2 pages on various history or science topics)

For you who have techie children and families

Emails to a grandparent

Blog (Some of your children may be contributors to a blog or have their own.)

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