Inside: Learn how to have a homeschool evaluation without stressing over it. Use my record keeping system to have your child do most of the record keeping for you!
Do you dread the words homeschool evaluation? Does the thought of one make your hands sweat?
- This is your first year homeschooling and you
have no ideawhat to expect.
- You have been doing standardized testing and are hesitant to try other routes your state allows because you don’t know how and they seem difficult.
- You have been using the portfolio method, but would
reallylike to have your kids tested to see where they measure.
Types of Homeschool Evaluations
In some states,
Each state’s requirements are different and that’s the first place you should begin. Know the laws and
Standardized assessments, like the ones given in the school system, are one way
The person giving the test must be a certified teacher. She or he administers the test just like the public school and all score sheets
Common Questions to Ask About Testing
Do I have to have my child tested?
Who can administer the test?
When are the tests given?
Is there a fee for testing?
Am I the only one that gets the results or do they go to the school board too?
Do kindergarteners need tested?
What if we only homeschooled for part of the year?
How can I prepare my kids for testing?
Should I use practice tests?
What do I do with the test results?
How do I read the results?
What happens if the results show my child did not make progress?
Can I change to a portfolio review even though I have done testing?
A portfolio review, my favorite method of evaluation, is a collection of samples from your student’s
Two Types of Portfolio Reviews
Below, I list two
In Person Portfolio Review
Cyber Portfolio Review
If you have to go this route, it’s important you give a detailed explanation if any accommodations needed to
You can get organized for your portfolio review by using my record keeping system
Common Questions To Ask About Portfolio Reviews
How is an evaluation conducted?
What time of
Is there a cost for an evaluation, and if so, how much?
Is there a specific homeschool portfolio evaluation form needed?
Does the evaluator follow a certain format?
Am I required to include samples of work
Questions You Should Ask When Choosing a Reviewer
What are your certifications?
How many years have you been doing reviews?
Do you yourself homeschool?
How familiar are you with homeschooling?
If you have a special needs child: Do you have any experience evaluating children with special needs or learning disabilities?
How will the evaluation be done?
Where will you do the evaluation?
Can the parent
Does my child need to be at the evaluation? If so, how should I prepare him?
What samples do I need to have ready for you?
Do the samples need to
How much do you charge for an evaluation? (This can vary by
How do you
How long does a review usually take?
Will I get a writeup of my child’s progress at the end?
What suggestions do you have for my child for next year?
Do you turn the documentation in or do I need to?
You may have some additional questions, but this will give you a good place to start.
What Samples to Include in a Portfolio Review
- Daily Schedule
- Curriculum List
- Daily worksheets
- Writing samples
- Reading log or Book list
- Field Trip list
- Extracurricular activities
- Pictures of science or history projects
- Printouts from any online programs
- Videos taken
- Lesson Plans (if required)
- Attendance log (if required)
- Number of hours for high school credits (if required)
Here is a video showing how to put together a portfolio review in a binder.
Importance of a Portfolio
If you plan to homeschool through high school and choose standardized testing as an option, you need to know there are many colleges which require a homeschool portfolio
This is a good reason to put together portfolios during the high school years even if you’re using testing for your evaluation. If you have been keeping good records, this will not be an issue.
Side note: There may be colleges which require your child to take the GED before they will admit him. I strongly discourage any parents from having their child take the GED or any other high school equivalency tests for college entrance. These label your child as a “drop out” or not smart enough to get a high school diploma.
This may be a college your child had his heart set on, but I would consider finding a different one. Your child has worked hard all these years and does not deserve to have all of that wiped out by taking the GED. There are plenty of other colleges out there who welcome homeschoolers and recognize their efforts.
To learn how I teach my children to become independent, keep records for me, and free up my
Grab my record keeping printables to help you get organized for a portfolio review!
Homeschool evaluations don’t have to be scary when you know what to expect. Many families
If your child is not a good test taker or you would prefer a method that allows you to showcase your child’s strengths and creativity, a portfolio review is the answer.
So relax! Wipe those sweaty
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