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Can any Ohio homeschoolers tell me what you do for reporting?

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Do you have your kids tested or go with the portfolio option?


If you test, what test do you use and where do you go to take it?


If you have a portfolio evaluated, how do you find a reviewer?


We did the portfolio option last year, but I was a bit taken aback when the reviewer started our session with prayer. We got her name from a local Christian homeschool organization, but I didn't assume that she was necessarily a Christian, and I didn't think that she would assume we were Christians. Even though she gave dd a very fair and favorable evaluation, the whole experience was just a bit odd. I'm hesitant to invite just any certified teacher to evaluate us, though. My mom and sister are both teachers, so I know a bit about what some teachers think about homeschooling, and it isn't always favorable.


Up until just recently I had ideological objections to standardized testing and didn't want to subect dd to the pressure of testing. But, I'm not sure it's fair to invite a perfect stranger to our home to evaluate all of her work for the year, either. Neither option is ideal, so I guess I'm more open to considering both options equally this year.


How can I find out about testing or find a good evaluator?

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We choose to test. For some reason, I think it is easier than the portfolio. I order the CAT5 test from Bayside School Services online. The CAT5 test can be administered by the parent. We actually test in our co-op, so we spread it out over 2 or 3 days. Usually, it only takes 2. Ours is a small co-op within our church so we hype it up for the kids and have some fun with it. My older dd has testing anxiety so I always let her know that we CAN portfolio if she needs it. My younger dd thinks its a big party. She loves the testing (go figure??) and actually bugged the parent who was administering hers last year till they let her finish it all in one day.


I'm not familiar with the portfolio options.

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Same here. It's a quick, easy, mostly unbiased way to meet the requirement without bringing someone into my house. LOL


The only way I'd do a portfolio is if I had older (say 8th grade and up) kids AND a trusted person to review. I don't have the latter at the moment so we'll keep testing for my older kids.

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For testing does the child have to receive a certain percentage on the test? I'm not sure what we're going to do. Probably test as I haven't kept much of her older work like I probably should have.


There must be a composite score of at least the 25th percentile.

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We just moved out of Ohio, after spending 7 years turning paperwork into the state. I preferred standardized testing to an academic assessment, as I found it much less invasive and insulting. My dh was an Ohio certified teacher some of the years, so he signed our form, but the other years we did standardized testing. Having someone who doesn't know me or my dc look through our work just because she has a taching certificate seemed ludicrous to me. But that's just me. ;)


Your dc will only know of the test what you tell them of it. If you make it a pressure thing, then it will be; if not, it won't. For my dc, I tell them it's no different than any other school work: try your best, you might not be able to do every problem. When they were little, there was no mention of a testing company or such, it was just some work mommy wanted them to do so that she could see what they needed to learn the next year. Our dc have tested in and out of our home, with dh and with others. They think nothing of it (oldest dd thinks they are fun.)


I recommend the Stanford (also called SAT) or the Iowa (also called ITBS.) You can order current nationally normed versions of them through Bob Jones.

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We have done both testing and portfolio review. A teacher I know from church did our review. We previously did the IOWA test, but around 3rd grade level we had reached a point where our history and science didn't overlap very well with what the PS was doing at the same grade level. That is why we switched to portfolio review.


Our reviewer comes to our house, so I don't have to pull any special presentation together. I do trust her, but I trust myself more. I know what my dd is doing well and where she is having trouble. I don't need anyone to tell me that. I go out of my way to select average to rigorous curricula and I keep constantly monitoring progress. We go for mastery, not just passing grades.


I assume it is similar in most states, but things can differ a little from one school district to another. Get a copy of the state laws and be sure to provide only that information which is actually required by law.

Edited by hillfarm
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I've been homeschooling in Ohio for 13 years.


We've gone the portfolio route with first and second graders. At third grade, we switched to the Iowa tests from Piedmont Educational Services (highly recommended.) I think at some point, we started giving the California Aptitude Test from Seton to the 1st and 2nd graders.


The last time I had a teacher evaluate a child, I got grief that I didn't have every stinking paper that the kid had done in every subject over the year. The teacher didn't quite get the concept of "portfolio."


We end up sharing testing with another family. We hosted it at various churches over the years, let each parent chip in for the costs, and it splits the proctoring so that if I'm proctoring a test where my child is testing, someone else will answer her question. We could do the tests in houses, but the church was ideally located between our homes. A library would have served as well.


I like testing because I see it as an objective way to find the holes in my kids' educations.

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