Monday, May 27, 2019

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.  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Homeschooling High School.

This is one of my most popular posts of all time.  I am reposting with updated links, and a little about my current story. I wrote this post four years ago.  The 3 students I mention have graduated.  One just finished a special needs work program and just got a job at Cincinnati Children's Hospital; one is attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT)  and is a US Presidential Scholar, and my new graduate has a full honors scholarship to Cincinnati State. So everything honestly turned out way better than I had anticipated.  I honestly can not believe it some days.  So I am re-posting with a current 10th, 8th, 5th and 2nd grader.  I wish you the best as you homeschool high school.  It is a grand adventure you do not want to miss!    

I currently have three kids in 7th and 8th grade.  You could say that home educating for high school is on my mind.  I am just beginning the journey, and looking into resources.  I thought I would begin posting once in awhile on what I am learning.  My goal is to make a good plan for them, help them make plans to attend college or begin working, and not stress all of us out.  I am the guidance counselor and I plan to do a great job.  

 I am trying to make a 4 year plan with high school.  The plan is not in stone, but I think it is important to plan in a four year block.  The state of Ohio tells about credits for graduating in Ohio.  Remember you can always choose a different path, but I think it is good to see what others are doing. Here is a nice chart for what classes to look at if you are going to college.  Here is a nice article on 9th grade Homeschooling. 

If your child is pursuing college, I would find a college you are interested in and look at their requirements for home educators and others to enter that college.  Here are some for Ohio colleges.

Miami University.
Specifically for home educated students.

Ohio State University
This is general for Ohio State not specifically for home educated students.

University of Cincinnati
Specific for Homeschooled Students.

Bowling Green State University

Ohio University
Policy for Home Educators

Cincinnati State Technical College  
They LOVE homeschoolers.  They require a transcript and a notarized letter stating you followed Ohio Homeschool Laws.

You want to make a transcript as you go.   You will want to save the names of books you used, resources, and what your child learned.  Oklahoma Homeschoolers has some sample transcripts and downloads, and so does Donna Young. 

Lee Binz has a web site about home school high school called HomeScholarJeannette Web also has a web site called Aiming Higher Consultants.  She has some free items and some packages you can buy.

 I hope that gets you started.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Guest Post: 7 Ways to Raise Kids Who Love Books By Becky Wade

 I was thrilled  when one of my favorite authors, Becky Wade, agreed to write a post for Ohio Homeschool.  I love her books and  just finished her newest book Sweet on You  Today she is sharing how her mom influenced her love of reading in honor of Mother's Day.  Please give a warm welcome to Becky Wade.

 7 Ways to Raise Kids Who Love Books by Becky Wade
Abraham Lincoln once said, "All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother."  If you were fortunate enough to have been raised by a wonderful mother, as I was, then you know how true that statement is!  It would be impossible to define or explain all the ways that my own "angel mother" influenced me, so I've decided to pinpoint just one in this post.

            My mom instilled a love of reading in me. 

            As a girl, I was an avid reader.  Later, after I married, my deep enjoyment of reading led me to become an author.

            So how did my mom do it?  How did she raise all three of her daughters to love books?  Here's how:

            1.  Before I could read, she read aloud to me.  Daily, she took the time to read.  And not just board books or picture books.  She began reading chapter books to me when I was small.  Those detailed stories filled my fledgling imagination with adventure, times long past, love, danger, honor.  I determined at a very, very young age that books were the best form of entertainment.

            2.  Even after I could read, she continued to read to me at bedtime.  Reading was a treat, a reward, a quiet time just for the two of us. "I'm going to have to take away a chapter at bedtime," may have been a punishment in our house but, "Go read for 20 minutes!" never was.

            3.  She took me to the library.  At every other stop on our list of errands (the grocery store, the department store, the post office) she'd say no to the million things I asked for.  But at the library, her answer was always an unqualified, "Yes."  I'd leave with a stack of books and a big grin.

            4.  I had plenty of unscheduled, electronics-free time in my day.  Hours of it.  If I told mom I was bored, she'd supply a few ideas.  "You can make paper dolls."  "Go knock on Allison's door and ask if she's free to play."  "Read."  Then she'd go about her business and let me figure out my own solutions.  I read.  A lot.

            5. My travel accessory was a book.  Whenever we took a road trip or a plane trip, my book was my entertainment device.  After all, books are portable, inexpensive, difficult to break, and don't need to be charged. 

            6.  She shared her books with me.  Starting in my late middle school years, when my reading tastes caught up with my mom's, she began passing the books she'd finished to me.  To this day, we talk about books and authors!  When I visit her house, I take a few of her recommendations home with me.  And vise versa when she visits me.

            7.  She modeled reading for pleasure.  My mom has always read for her own enjoyment.  Stop by her house on any ordinary week night and you'll find my dad watching sports.  You'll find my mom sitting on the end of the sofa near the lamp, reading.  It's easy for us moms to let our busy schedules squeeze our hobbies out of our lives.  But my mom protected her reading time.  And her daughters are the better for it.

Did your mom instill a love of reading in you?  Happy Mother's Day, moms!

Thank you Becky Wade for stopping by!  Here is my review of Sweet on You!  

During her childhood in California, Becky frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins.  These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending.  She’s been a fan of all things romantic ever since.
Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas.  It was during her years abroad that Becky’s passion for reading turned into a passion for writing.  She published three historical romances for the general market, put her career on hold for many years to care for her kids, and eventually returned to writing sheerly for the love of it.  She’s delighted to be penning warm, wry, and heartwarming contemporary romances for the Christian market.  She’s the Christy and Carol award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.
These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa watching TV with her husband.
Connect with Becky through her web site and social media.