Monday, April 11, 2022

Touch-type Read and Spell (TTRS) Review

I have a student who has trouble with spelling and handwriting. I have tried so many programs to try to help him spell. I saw Touch-type Read and Spell at the Homeschool Buyers Co-op and decided to give it a chance. I figured the worst thing that could happen is that he would learn to type. We bought it and have been using it this school year.

SAVE UP TO 73% on Touch-Type Read and Spell

Some facts about the program.  It teaches kids to type by drilling with patterned words.  Instead of nonsense words it uses words like (red-fed-led).  The students complete lessons each day and there are charts that demonstrate their progress.   The cost through the Homeschool Buyer's Co-op for a single subscription is 79.95.  For a family it is 157.50.  The links take you to the family subscription.  Look below for a single subscription.   Save 39% on Touch-Type Read and Spell

   The video below is a nice summary.

Review:  I feel like this is a worthwhile program.  Our student has made more progress in spelling than I have seen him make in a long time.  The lessons are clear and easy to follow, and he is completely independent using this program.  There are lovely charts that demonstrate progress in the program.

  Once my student stopped doing TTRS for a few weeks in November. ( I know this is shocking, but sometimes this happens in our home)     The TTRS organization sent me an email and encouraged my student to log in again and the importance of consistency with this program.  If they had not sent me an  email . . .  let's not think about what might have been.  WOW!  What a helpful resource.

My advice if you choose to do this is to set an amount of time your student should be working on this every day and monitor that.  I felt like my student was not doing enough work, but it is kind of hard to judge how much to do.  That would be my only complaint with the program.. But, it could be I have not spent enough time exploring the program to figure this out.

I would highly recommend this program if you have a student with spelling problems, one who needs to learn to type in a systematic way, or has some trouble reading.  I feel like it was well worth the money.  If you go to the Homeschool Buyers Co-op you can learn more.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Narrative Portfolio Review or Standardized Test?

A question I receive often is “Should I give my home educated student a standardized test at the end of the year, or complete a narrative portfolio assessment to fulfill the end of the year requirement for homeschooling in Ohio?” I usually reply it depends on what kind of information you hope to gain. One way to look at this question is to think “Do you want one picture of one moment in time, or a running movie with many pictures taken over time? “

A standardized test is a “snapshot “of a student at one moment in time.  A standardized test is scored in a consistent manner so you are able to compare your student to a group of students in the same grade who have taken the same test.  You usually receive a percentile ranking which tells you what percentage of the students taking the test your student scored better than.  For instance, if your student was in the 33rd percentile in math then your child scored better than 33 percent of students in the sample group from the publisher who took this test in math.
A standardized test is limited in that it is more likely to tell you what your student does not know versus what they do know or have learned this year.  A standardized test also dictates what the publisher feels is important for your student to know.  It does not take into account what your student has learned this past year.

A narrative portfolio assessment is a group of work samples that reflect your student’s growth and progress over the last year.   It consists of many “snapshots” that come together to reflect what your student has accomplished this year.  You, as parent educator, get to showcase what your student has accomplished.

Besides celebrating what your student has accomplished, a portfolio also helps you to plan instruction for the next year.   For instance, you realize you concentrated on learning your math facts, but did not spend as much time learning how to solve word problems.   Next year, you commit to working on more problem solving.  You look at your book list and notice that your student has mainly read adventure stories this past year.  You commit to introducing him/her to biographies, non-fiction, and /or some poetry next year to vary his/her reading diet.   I believe this is time well spent.  You are assessing your student’s needs and planning instruction based on those needs.

A narrative portfolio assessment also gives you a chance to present what your child has accomplished to a certified Ohio teacher.  My hope is that when I review your student’s work I bring a different “set of eyes” to your student’s portfolio.   As an assessor, I try to provide encouragement to parents, insight into your student’s growth, and provide feedback to help you plan future instruction for your child.   My goal is to partner with you to celebrate your student’s accomplishments and encourage you on your home education journey.

Please click here to get started.  

Saturday, January 01, 2022

Portfolio Give-Away for 2022!


Contest runs through Monday January 17 at 11:59.  Please enter!  

I  am giving away two FREE portfolio assessments (valued at $42.00 each). These are the Assessments that I complete for Ohio Homeschoolers to fulfill requirement 3301-34-04 Academic Assessment Report Option #2. You may redeem your prize anytime between February 7, 2022 and July 1, 2022. The prize is non-transferable.  

Use the Rafflecopter entry form below to enter.  Please hurry the contest ends January 17th at 11:59pm 

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.

If you are on a mobile phone... go to the end of this post and click on the words "View web version" (It is under a HOME button) It will take you to a page where if you look in the top right corner you will see the FOLLOW button. Click on that and Follow Publicly.

Please know that I verify the winning entry. If you need help with a step please email me. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 05, 2021

Patrica Polacco for November 2021

  I am looking forward to this month's author: Patricia Polacco.  I saw Ms. Polacco in person many years ago.  I remember her whipping out a babushka and wrapping it around her head during her presentation.  She walked around the room and everyone's eyes were glued to her.  She is an amazing story teller.   

She has an interesting personal story.  She shares her story in this video, including her challenges with her learning disability.  She has a delightful way of sharing her life.  Here is a list of her books from Amazon.

Ms. Polacco also has a wonderful web site.  It is filled with her current happenings and activities to go with each of her books. She has a Facebook page with updates as well. I created a Pinterest Board with some ideas from around the web.

Lastly, I have to end with a fun story.  I enjoy hitting resale shops and thrift stores.  I was searching through books at my favorite resell shops when I cam across this book.

I thought it was providential.  But, then I looked inside, and found this.  

Which close up looks like this.  

Which made it even more exciting!
Happy Reading!
~ Becky