Episode 82: Homeschool Assessmentseries art

Episode Info


For some homeschoolers, homeschool assessment can be confusing and even challenging. Join Jamie, homeschool mom of 6, as she shares how you can make it simple and easy.

Once upon a time, in the quiet corners of suburban homes, families embarked on a unique educational journey: homeschooling. As they navigated this path, they encountered various forms of assessment to gauge their children’s progress. Let’s delve into the world of homeschool grading and assessment and explore the different ways homeschoolers evaluate their young scholars.

Types of Homeschool Assessment

 Daily Homeschool Grades

The Morning Routine: Every day, homeschooling parents don their teacher hats, armed with pencils and grade books. Their mission? To assess their child’s progress through daily grades or observations. These grades and observations weren’t just numbers; they were windows into understanding.

Formal or Informal? Formal assessment is the giving and taking of quizzes and tests while informal assessment is the observation that we conduct every day as we homeschool our children!

Flexibility and Freedom: Unlike traditional schools, homeschooling allows flexibility. Parents can choose when to grade, how to grade, and whether to grade at all. Some days, they skip the grading altogether, opting for experiential learning—a trip to the local museum or a nature walk.

Placement Tests

The Quest for the Right Level: Imagine a treasure map with an “X” marking the spot. Placement tests served as those “X” marks for homeschoolers. Parents use them to determine the appropriate grade level or mastery level within the grade for their child. Was little Timmy ready for third-grade math or perhaps a leap into fourth-grade beginning algebra?


Portfolio Assessment

The Chronicles of Progress: Portfolio assessment was homeschooling’s grand epic—a saga chronicling a student’s journey. Imagine a thick leather-bound book filled with pages of achievement. Each entry told a tale: a poem penned, a science experiment documented, a painting captured. We’ll use Timmy as an example.

Showcase Portfolios: In the portfolio, showcase sections sparkled. Timmy’s best work—his eloquent essay on ancient civilizations, the watercolor masterpiece of a sunflower—found their place. These were the gems he’d proudly share with visiting grandparents.

Progress Portfolios: Progress portfolios whispered secrets of growth. Timmy’s early attempts at cursive writing, shaky and uncertain, now flowed like a babbling brook. His science notes evolved from scribbles to structured hypotheses.

Working Portfolios: Working portfolios held drafts—the raw clay of creativity. Timmy’s short stories, revised and polished, nestled here. His math scratch paper revealed the journey from confusion to clarity.

Virtual Portfolios: In the digital age, virtual portfolios emerged. Timmy’s blog chronicled his adventures—virtual field trips, coding projects, and book reviews. The internet became his canvas, and the world his audience. Visit this podcast for a cool app that let’s you create Virtual Portfolios with a snap.

State Requirements: Some states demand these portfolios for evaluation. Parents meticulously curate them, ensuring a balanced representation of the child’s learning odyssey.

Get this Free Homeschool Portfolio Cover Page Printable

Overview of Homeschool Assessment

The Patchwork of Laws: Across the nation, homeschooling laws are a patchwork quilt. Some states require detailed reviews, daily grade reporting, and insights into the homeschooling journey. Others simply nod and let families chart their course.

Annual Standardized Tests: In certain states, an annual rite awaits—the standardized test. If this is your fate, please take the time to prepare your students to help avoid test anxiety.

Two Categories of Homeschoolers: First, those accountable to the state—families reporting to comply with laws, their portfolios neatly organized. Second, those not legally considered homeschooled—perhaps virtual academy students. Records are created and maintained by the virtual school.

The Crucial Key, Understanding State Laws: For Timmy’s family, understanding their state’s homeschooling laws was crucial. It determined their testing path, their freedom, and their responsibility. They studied legal texts, joined homeschooling forums, and connected with fellow adventurers. Once their state laws were fulfilled, they had the freedom to choose how to grade and track their student’s achievement with their choice of method.

And so, in the cozy nooks of their homes, homeschool education unfolded—a symphony of achievement, progress, and memories made!


About the Series

Where'd my instruction manual go??? I know we've all wondered that about parenting and homeschooling! Join us as we chat about the big stuff and everything in-between! Helping homeschoolers with practical teaching tips to find all they need to Homeschool and Love it!!