Narrative Portfolio Assessments Q & A
Ohio homeschool law states "The parent(s) shall send to the superintendent an academic assessment report of the child for the previous school year at the time of supplying subsequent notification." A parent in Ohio has three choices on what they may send a with their homeschool notification. 1). Results of a nationally normed, standardized achievement test. 2) A written narrative indicating that a portfolio of samples of the child’s work has been reviewed and that the child’s academic progress for the year is in accordance with the child’s abilities. (3) An alternative academic assessment of the child’s proficiency mutually agreed upon by the parent and the superintendent. (please note my understanding is that you would have needed to work this out with your superintendent last year when you sent in your homeschool notification.)
A written narrative is an option for an assessment report. You have a certified Ohio teacher review work samples of your student's work to determine if your child has made progress in accordance with his/her ability last year. The assessor then signs a form verifying that your student has made progress, and you send that form to your school's superintendent along with your intent to homeschool the coming year.
I am a homeschool mom who is also a certified Ohio teacher. I am able to review your child's work samples, send you some encouraging notes, and send you the forms you need to send to your school district with your intent to home educate. I enjoy reviewing work samples and love getting a chance to see the many different ways people home educate their children. The following are a few common questions I hear in regards to narratives.
What are your notes?
I simply write some encouraging thoughts for you and your student about the main subjects. You do not send these to your district. My notes are optional, and I will stop writing them after July 15, 2016 for this year. I started this as a way to give feedback to families. Some families love them, and others are fine either way. You will not hurt my feelings if you say no to the notes. :-) I go much faster without notes if you need a quicker turnaround.
What if my student is not reading?
You may send me a list of books you have read aloud to your student, maybe the progress they have made in a phonics program, and/or how many sight words that they know now as compared to the beginning of the year.
What if I do not have physical samples that are easy to send to you?
You are welcome to take a picture,send me a link to a YouTube video, or write up what your student learned in that area. I have enjoyed power point presentations, pictures of field trips and community gardens, and wonderfully written explanations about unit studies and cooking projects. If you have questions on how to communicate what your student accomplished, please contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org
What are you looking for?
I am looking for progress. I like to see that your student is completing more complex math problems than he/she did at the beginning of the year, I look at handwriting and writing samples to observe growth, and learn a great deal about your student from looking at the books they are reading now as compared to the ones they read in beginning of the year. I look at how your student has changed. I do not look to see if you completely finished your history text book, made at least one salt relief map of a continent, and/or if your bookshelves are organized by the Dewey Decimal system. I am looking for progress in your student by viewing his/her work samples. (But, if your bookshelves are organized that way I would love to see a picture and know how you did it. )
Would you rather I send you my material by email or postal mail?
It makes absolutely no difference to me. Really. ☺ Do whatever is easiest for your family. I am happy to accommodate you either way.
What digital files can you read?
I am able to open PDF, Word, and JPEG files. If you have a Macintosh computer your best bet is PDF. I do have trouble when people send me zipped Mac files. I also can NOT read Works files.
How should I send digital files to you?
First, you should group them by subject. I need all the math together, writing together, etc. You can send them by email, you can upload them to Dropbox, you can share a Google file with me, and you can share with me on Google Plus privately (so only I can read it). You can send me a disk with your files on it as well. There are many options.
Can you help me figure out how to home educate or fill out the Letter of Intent?
At this time I am not helping my families home educate or fill out Letters of Intent. I only review portfolio assessments. My blog is filled with helpful tips, and I have a post on filing out the Letter of Intent to Home Educate.
I want to support you on your home education journey. I greatly enjoy helping other homeschool families. Let me know if I can help you this year! Click here for how to get started.
Mom to 7 home educated children, M Ed. in Reading Education.
Another post I have written dealt with standardized testing vs. a written narrative. You may enjoy reading if you are still pondering on what you would like to do for this year.