Friday, April 21, 2017

Guest Post: The Sound of Emeralds Birthday Blog Tour by Rachelle Rea Cobb

Hello and welcome to The Sound of Emeralds birthday blog tour! I’m posting today about Rachelle Rea Cobb’s third installment in the Steadfast Love series, an inspirational historical romance set during the 16th century! Some of you remember Rachelle is a homeschool graduate. Scroll down to enter the contest.

ABOUT The Steadfast Love SERIES

In 16th-century Europe, the Reformation rages between Protestants and Catholics. Gwyneth, half-Dutch, flees from England to Holland to escape the man who murdered her parents. When he follows her there and insists he came to rescue her, will she trust this man called Dirk? When tragedy strikes, will their steadfast love erode?

ABOUT The Sound of Emeralds

What once was blazing hatred has turned to lasting love, but could the union of a wild heart with that of a lady ever result in more than heartache?

With the help of an old friend with uncertain loyalties, Dirk inches ever closer to clearing his name. Gwyneth throws her faith into good tidings and the promise of a future as a family. But an old evil comes to call, just as tragedy rips apart a fledgling truce. Enemies from the past and grief for the future threaten to tear asunder what God had brought together…

As the date of Dirk’s trial approaches, his fate and his family hang in the balance. Will he be proven innocent of Gwyneth’s parents’ murders—or separated from her forever? How much pain does it take to erode a love steadfast?

Find The Sound of Emeralds on…
Amazon Paperback:
Barnes & Noble:
Books a Million:

Times gone by snatch Rachelle Rea Cobb close, so she reads and writes about years long ago--her passions include the Reformation, Revolutions, and romance. Rachelle wrote the Steadfast Love series during college. Five months after she graduated, she signed a three-book deal with her dream publisher, WhiteFire. She's a homeschool grad, Oreo addict, and plots her novels while driving around her dream car, a pick-up truck. In June 2016, she married a man with the same name as her fictional hero, and they live happily ever after in Small Town, South. She is also the author of Write Well, a guide for writers, which released on March 4th!


Instagram: @RachelleReaCobb

Friday, April 14, 2017

School Inc. Something to watch...

When I was in high school I had a wonderful friend who sat by me in all of my science classes.  She was automatically my lab partner due to our last names.  I was very very lucky, because she was a great lab partner and super smart.  I was able to reconnect with her on Facebook a few years ago.  She shared that she and her husband Andrew Coulson had produced an amazing series called School Inc.  I have watched the series and greatly enjoyed it.  The show talks about the history of school in the US, investigates why education doesn't use innovations to grow like a successful business, and travels to explore education around the world.
School Inc. has been on PBS and the episodes can be streamed through May 1, 2017.   I am posting them here in case you would enjoy watching them.  I found them helpful in understanding how schools were formed and the reasoning behind that.  Andrew Coulson has a wonderful way of presenting material and had a neat sense of humor.  Unfortunately, Andrew Coulson passed away last February after battling brain cancer.

I hope you watch the show.  Let me know what you think about it if you do.

Episode 1   The Price of Excellence

Episode 2  Push or Pull

Episode 3  Forces and Choices  (This episode talks about science and religion) 

Friday, April 07, 2017

Guest Post: 5 Reasons You Should Consider Homeschooling Your Child With Autism by Penny Rogers

April is Autism Awareness month.  My sweet friend Penny Rogers from Our Crazy Adventures in Autismland is visiting today.  She is a  wonderful and  insightful home schooling mom that I am honored to know. 

We didn't always homeschool our child with autism. Logan attended public school all the way until the end of his second grade year. It was at that point that my husband pointed out to me that I was spending so much time at school demanding that his IEP be adhered to that I might as well teach him at home. What did I have to lose at this point? I couldn't do any worse than the school system . In hindsight, we should have done it sooner. Try not to linger on that fact for very long. Move forward not backward. 

5 Reasons You Should Consider Homeschooling Your Child With Autism
  1. You can work at their developmental level as opposed to their grade level. Lots of children with autism are developmentally behind their same age peers. Working at their actual developmental level as opposed to their grade level or chronological age gives them the opportunity to learn at a pace that works best for them . In addition, it helps to fill in the gaps they may have in their education.  Which brings us to #2.
  2. You are able to fill in the gaps left by the public school moving at a pace that they couldn't keep up.  When you have a class of children to teach, you move on to the next concept when the majority of the class has mastered it. This fact usually leaves our children with autism who process things differently that most children in the dust. 
  3. You can work at individual levels according to their strengths and weaknesses. Logan excels in math so he will always be working above grade level in it. He loathes writing as his sensory issues make putting pencil to paper. physically painful.  He is behind in that area so we work at below grade level. His entire education is individualized in that respect.  He has flourished in this environment.
  4. You can customize their education to their interests.  We all know that children with autism can hyper focus on  items. We went through the dinosaur phase, the train phase and are now entrenched in the reptile phase. I was able to use his love of these items to help him to learn.  We used train cars to learn skip counting. We learned about botany by learning what plants dinosaurs eat.  We have used his love of reptiles to tailor his high school education in an effort to turn it into a career .
  5. Your relationship with your child will flourish.  With less outside demands, you will get to know your child again.  You will see their quirks and will learn to appreciate how hard they work to do everyday tasks.  You will become a team in which you can conquer anything. You will make memories that will last a lifetime. 
Homeschooling your child with autism will not be all rainbows and unicorns.  There will be hard days in addition to long ones. Some days, you will throw in the towel minutes after getting started.  I don't want to deceive you into thinking it will be easy.  It may indeed be one of the hardest things you will ever do in your lifetime. It may not be easy but I guarantee you it will be worth it. Your child will grow and flourish right before your eyes.  You get the satisfaction of knowing you had a hand in that. 

Call me Penny, wife to Michael as well as mom to Logan who has autism and Madison who is pursuing a dance career. Based on my own personal and often difficult experiences with autism, I hope to educate families of children with autism on how to navigate their world from pre diagnosis to adulthood.You can find me at

Friday, March 31, 2017

Homeschooling Students in Multiple Grades

One question I hear from families often is "How do you home educate students in multiple ages/grades?"  Currently I am home educating students in grades 11, 10, 7, 5, 2, and preschool.  I am going to be honest, it is not something I always feel I do well, but I have been at it for 11 years and am improving.  In this post I am going to share a few ideas that have been helpful for me.

1.  I work to make my students as independent as possible at their level.  I am always trying to move forward in this area.  With little ones it is stepping away for a second to put things away while they continue working, with older ones it is checking work after they have completed it so I am no longer sitting next to them.  Taking steps each day to foster independence is my goal.

2.  I try to schedule our days and think in terms of blocks of time.  For instance, if one student is on the computer and and another one is working independently then I can work directly with a third.  Sometimes I will say we have 20 minutes we need to make it count.  Here is a post where I talk about homeschooling with preschoolers and here I share scheduling with high schoolers.  Both posts share more of my schedule.

3.  I have found having a system for older kids to check in with you on what they have completed is key.  It is easy to miss something with your student.  In this post I talk about my notebook.  It continues to work well with my high school and junior high students.  I feel I have a better grasp of where each student is in their work.

4.  I look for computer programs or online classes that allow a student to learn successfully.  We have had good luck using the Homeschool Buyers Co-op for products.  SHOP AT THE CO-OP on award-winning Curriculum and Supplements & Save up to 93% Thinkwell has been helpful, as well as Veritas Press Self-Paced Courses, and Quarter Mile Math.

5.  Lastly, I also try to remember that one of my goals in home education is to help my kids become independent adults who love learning.  Having to share mom and try to figure things out on their own helps to achieve that goal.

I would love to hear any ideas you have.  I also found this post by Renee at Great Peace Academy.  She has compiled many helpful ideas and blog posts on how to home educate multiple students.   The post has excellent resources.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Fun Book/Author Sites to Check Out!

There is still time through Monday 27th at 11:59 pm to enter the contest to win one of  TWO $25 Amazon cards.

I posted this a few years ago .. . but updated and added a few things.

In our house my kids go through a phase where they have a favorite author, series, or type of book. A very fun activity is to check out an author's web site.  I thought I would share some of our current favorite books and sites.

Fancy Nancy!  My daughter is crazy about Fancy Nancy and all her fancy ways.  My youngest daughter yells bonjour every time she sees a butterfly like Fancy Nancy.  She has a wonderful web site with places for kids, educators and parents.  I would check out all three for fun printables, games, and other activities.

The other current favorite at our house is Jan Brett.  She has an absolutely amazing web site.   There are literally thousands of printables, games, and how-to-draw videos.  Her beautiful drawings are reflected all over her site.  A wonderful place to visit.

I remember the first time I saw Tommie dePaola at a teacher reading conference I remember thinking he was very hip.  So it came as no surprise to me that Tommie dePaola has a engaging web site.  His story is great to read to encourage children to be artists.

I love Eric Carle. I checked out his web site as well.  He too as fun things to color and information on how to reproduce his art work.

Lastly, here is a link to the Akron public Library's blog that shares Children's Authors web site.  A nice compilation.

Would love to hear about your favorites.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day Contest!

Winners have been chosen and notified.   A big thank you to all who entered the contest!  I was so excited with the positive response.  Thank you for your support and stopping by.

I run contests about 3-4 times per year, and also sponsor contests.  Please sign up to receive posts by emails and/or for the quarterly newsletter to be informed of the contests.  I also let you know on the Ohio Homeschool Assessment Facebook page.  

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  In celebration of my Irish heritage, my wonderful followers, and all things good I want to give away  TWO  $25 Amazon cards!  Hopefully the Luck of the Irish will be with you and you will win!   

Please enter by the Rafflecopter below.  Please know I verify all winning entries.  If you need help, email me:

How to become a Public Follower.
To become a follower, look under: "I would love it if you would follow my blog publicly, Please click on "Follow" below."  After clicking on that button follow the steps.  You may use a Google Account, Twitter Account or Yahoo Account to follow.  Click on one and follow the steps.  In order for your entry to count you must follow publicly.  

You do not have to live in Ohio or homeschool to enter!  

To LEAVE A COMMENT:  Click on "Post a Comment" at the end of the post and a box will pop up. Leave the comment there.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

happy st patrick day clipart

Friday, March 10, 2017

Guest Post: So You Are Homeschooling a Writer by Rachelle Rea Cobb

I asked Rachelle if she would visit us and share about her new book Write Well. What thrilled me even more was that she told me she had developed a printable for home educators to assist with writing. Please welcome Rachelle Rea Cobb today to Ohio Homeschool Assessments!

Does one of your homeschool students love words?

Hi, mom. Yes, I’m talking to you. You who has a never-ending pile of laundry and paperwork that need to get done, in addition to the daily dinner prep and homeschooling checklist that never seems to be completely finished for the day before, well, you and the kids are finished with the day.

I applaud you. My mom was just like you. She homeschooled my brothers and I the whole way through, from preschool through high school. She is a busy lady, and I bet you are, too. And my mom--like you may have--had a homeschool student particularly interested in writing. (That’s me!) So you may be wondering, where do you find the time and resources to not only teach your children how to write but guide them in how to write well?

In my work as a freelance editor, I have worked with a number of homeschool students and graduates who plug writing time into those afternoon and weekend hours around their assignments and jobs. They may plan to blog, self-publish, or pursue traditional publishing. Whatever their end goal, they love words and they are searching for better ways to wield them. But what if we caught your homeschool student early, and incorporated a writing guide right into their curriculum during their early high school or middle school years?

Well, that’s one of the reasons why I wrote my most recent book, Write Well.

Write Well is a short ebook designed to guide writers through what they need to know about writing--so that they can get back to the real work, actual writing!

If you have a child or homeschool student interested in writing better, Write Well is written on a 6th-grade reading level and could fit into your middle/high school curriculum. Even if your homeschool student is not necessarily in love with writing and words, communication is a skill everyone needs in the digital information age in which we live.

After all, communication is the heart of connection, and true connection is required if we are to thrive in our family life, (future) marriages, the workplace, and every industry on the planet.

Write Well focuses on the most important aspect of all writing: respecting the reader. So if you have a homeschool student with a bent for the written word, or a student struggling to make connections with a pen in hand or keyboard beneath their fingers, check out Write Well, available in a convenient ebook form!

Please also check out my free resource, 7 Quick Fixes to Common Writing Mistakes, available for download on my website. This printable can be kept handy in your homeschool room or at your kitchen table (that’s where my family’s homeschool headquarters was always housed!) for quick reminders during writing assignments and more.

Thanks for allowing me to chat about my latest release today! Now, let’s write well!

All my best,

Rachelle Rea Cobb is a freelance editor and the author of Write Well and the Steadfast Love series of three historical inspirational novels. Before her first book had even released, she met a man with the same name as her series’ hero. On one sunny Saturday in June 2016, she married him. Both homeschool grads, they live in their newlywed nest in a corner of the South where the air is slightly salty. Rachelle enjoys blogging, all the different kinds of Oreos, and pretending she’ll one day see the bottom of her to-read pile.

You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and on her blog.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Narrative Assessments for Ohio Homeschoolers

 For the 2015-2016 School year: I am  STILL accepting portfolios.  I am happy to send the you form you need for your district. Thank you!  Becky 
For the 2016-2017 School year I will begin accepting portfolios, sending you the form you need for your district, and writing up encouraging notes from March 7, 2017- July 15, 2017.  After that I will gladly accept your portfolio and send you the form you need for your district.  Please know I accept portfolios year round and am happy to accept your portfolio at any time!  

I complete narrative assessments for Ohio homeschoolers.  The Assessments are portfolio reviews by myself, a certified teacher, that fulfill the Ohio Home Education requirement for 3301-34-04 Academic Assessment Report Option #2.  
If you would like to begin the process start by downloading the forms for the Freestyle Assessment for unschoolers, the Self Reflection Assessment for K-8th grade, or the Self Reflection Assessment for High School for those who follow a subject curriculum. You fill out the forms, prepare the documentation, and sign them. Please email me for an instruction sheet that tells you where to mail them and answers some other questions. If you have trouble with the downloads, please email and I will email them to you.  Below are links  in Google Documents.   I am happy to help you so please contact me with any questions.

Becky Boerner

Freestyle Assessment in Google Documents
Self Reflection for K-8 in Google Documents
Self Reflection for High School in Google Documents.

Once you get there you need to do the following. 
If you click on the arrow button on the left hand side of the page you can download the file.
If you click on the print button you can print it out.

PS: If you can not access these files, try the links above in the document.  If you still can not access the documents, please email me and I will send you the files.  I am happy to do that! 

I also accept PayPal, Check, or Money Orders (Contact me for more information.  Many families send me checks or money orders through the mail. )

My portfolio pricing for 2017  is (1 portfolio) $35; (2 portfolios) $65; (3 portfolios) $95;  (4 portfolios ) $120; (5 or more portfolios) $150

Click on the arrow for pricing for 2 or more reviews.
Portfolio Review