Annual Portfolio Evaluations:
Due 365 Days after Letter of Intent
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY BEFORE EMAILING ME WITH QUESTIONS.
Where do the homeschool evaluations take place?
I book appointments online. If you cannot find an appointment that will work for your family, contact me directly and we will try to work something out. I usually meet at a bookstore or library.
Who submits the form to the county office?
YOU DO! If your county provides a form for the evaluator to sign, please bring it with you. If not, I'll provide one. Please also print this info sheet and fill out the top half before we meet. If we'll be doing more than one evaluation, please also bring this sheet for any additional children. Thanks!
What must I bring to the evaluation?
At the minimum, I need to see what the State of Florida requires:
1) a log of educational activities that is made contemporaneously with the instruction and that designates by title any reading materials used
This means the list of reading materials used should be integrated into the log of educational activities if possible, and all entries should be clearly dated. Some parents save their library receipts as part of their "list of reading materials used" throughout the year. Remember that
most older children are able to keep up with their own reading lists.
Think outside the box when keeping your log of educational activities. You can use a calendar, notebook, or teacher's planbook to record and plan your child's activities for the day. You may also use software such as Homeschool Tracker. Any format is considered acceptable.
Remember to include non-traditional educational experiences-- not just assignments from textbooks and workbooks. Include field trips, classes, science experiments, nature excursions, and other experiences that enhanced your child's learning.
2) Samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks, or creative materials used or developed by the student.
I prefer to see a little of each subject so I can get a good picture of your approach to homeschooling and your child's progress.I ask homeschooling parents to provide work samples that show *growth* because this is what the State asks me to look for during the
evaluation. I must confirm that your child has made growth "commensurate to his/her ability" in the letter or form that you'll submit to your county. I am comfortable evaluating portfolios for children who are "unschooled" but, as with any child, I need to see evidence of their learning in order to complete the evaluation.
Pictures of projects, brochures from trips taken during the year, lapbooks, stories, pen pal letters, and so forth are all examples of "work samples" that may be included when a child-led, hands-on approach is used. Remember that no two portfolios are alike!
What does the evaluation process entail?
Relax! The evaluation is based on the child’s portfolio and any other documentation provided by the parent. I'll spend forty-five minutes or so going over the portfolio with the parent, asking for clarification when necessary. A brief discussion with the child will take place, but this will not be a test or quiz on content. It will simply be a conversation about the child's favorite project, field trip, or book.
As a homeschool consultant, I will also answer any questions you might have and help point you in the right direction if you have specific concerns. If I have suggestions that might benefit your child, I will share them with you, along with any links or other resources that may be helpful. This part of the evaluation process is something that many of my clients enjoy. Sometimes another perspective is helpful!
What is the fee for the evaluation?
1st Child: $40 Additional Children: $20
(Paypal preferred--see discount information)
How long will the appointment take?
For one child, the appointment will take 45 to 60 minutes. For two children, you should expect a 90 minute appointment.
What if I don't live in Central FL?
I will try to help you locate a homeschool evaluator in your area. If that's not possible, you can certainly drive up once a year! Another option is using an online evaluator. I know there are a few available.
What if I'd like to have my child evaluated for special needs?
I highly recommend Alicia Braccia at the Center for Health, Learning & Achievement. She is an educational psychologist who works with a fantastic team of occupational therapists, speech therapists, tutors, and more. For speech services, I've had good experiences with Florida Speech. Also, remember that your child may qualify for free services through your school district.
What if I want help choosing curriculum, finding local groups, and/or meeting my child's individual needs?
I do face-to-face meetings as well as phone consultations. My fee is $40 per hour. Please also see the section on my website that is dedicated to consultations. If you'd like to book an appointment, please use the same online booking system that I have set up for evaluations.