Homeschool Evaluation Services

UPDATE: 
As of March 28, 2016, all my evaluation appointments are full. If you would like to be placed on my waiting list, please fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

Homeschooling parents are generally exquisitely in tune with their children’s academic progress, and I’m happy to meet with you and your children for an end-of-year evaluation, as my own homeschooling and work schedules allow.

An evaluation, which is one alternative to submitting standardized test scores, satisfies Virginia’s Home Instruction Statute requirement for annual evidence of progress.

Parents I have provided evaluations for have told me they and their children look forward to the experience and find value in our process, beyond just meeting the state requirements. I always enjoy learning something from each family.

Various Homeschooling Methods
I provide evaluations for homeschoolers who use a wide range of approaches to homeschooling, from those who use a formal curriculum to those who focus on living a learning lifestyle.

How Does it Work?
You contact me, and I send you an introductory packet of information. After reviewing the information, if you’re interested in scheduling an evaluation meeting, I send you an e-form that you complete and email back to me, detailing the educational progress of each child. We set a date to get together, so I can review your child’s work and educational progress with you and your child.

Following our meeting, I write a letter outlining your child’s progress. You are responsible for submitting the letter to your school division by August 1.

My process is for parents who want an authentic evaluation, who appreciate that my approach is high-touch, and who understand that I will take considerable time in crafting a personal letter of evaluation for each child. In other words, I am not providing the fast food version of evaluations.

Schedule an Evaluation
I schedule nearly all evaluation meetings each year for April, May, and June.

For 2016, I will be conducting evaluations in the greater Richmond area, both with families who drive to meet me from out-of-town and with area residents.

In future years, I am open to planning multi-family evaluation days in other parts of Virginia, especially if combined with a homeschooling workshop for your local group or co-op. If you are willing to coordinate an Evaluation Day for 2017, please contact me.

July Evaluations
July meetings are difficult for me due to family travel and the impending August 1 deadline for submitting evaluation letters — I’m busy reviewing homeschoolers’ documentation and writing letters during the few weeks I have available in July. To accommodate the rush, I charge $50 extra for evaluation meetings conducted during July, since I do understand that sometimes the need for an evaluation comes up unexpectedly. However, I am not always able to meet with all those who seek a July evaluation. It’s worth checking with me, but the best advice is, schedule early!

Online/Computer Documentation, E-Portfolios, Blogfolios, and E-valuations
Homeschoolers today often use blogs, Goodreads, and other forms of electronic documentation to keep track of their children’s educational activities and progress for the purpose of evaluation. I am happy to work with homeschoolers who choose this form of documentation, including conducting virtual evaluation meetings.

If you use online documentation of your child’s work, it’s important that your way of documenting is user-friendly for the evaluator (me). If you plan to submit an online portfolio for a future evaluation with me, it’s best if you consult with me ahead of time, so I can suggest how you should structure your blog or use other online tools. I may not be able to use your online portfolio as an evaluation tool if it does not provide the information I need in a format I can use. Please ask before you spend a year “blogging” in a way that does not result in documentation that works for an evaluation. I’ll be glad to help.

If you do use online documentation, you will still need to complete a little electronic “paperwork” for me, but you will not need to recreate a portfolio on paper.

At this point, most homeschoolers using computer documentation are choosing a “hybrid” form of evaluation, using online documentation (such as with a blog) but an in-person meeting.

If your homeschool group has members interested in creating online blogfolios, consider scheduling me for my workshop “Blogfolios and E-valuations,” so lots of you can learn at once about how to create an effective electronic portfolio.

By the way, these electronic portfolios can be made with free blogging software, and it’s a really satisfying experience even outside of the end-of-year progress requirement.

Children who have Special Needs
I do not have expertise with children who have special needs other than a layperson’s understandings of some common learning disabilities and attention challenges. Please consult an educational psychologist if you need your child to be screened for learning disabilities in order to receive accommodations or services. I recommend parents of children with severe or less common disabilities seek an evaluator with training and experience in special needs.

On the other hand, as a homeschool evaluator, a homeschool parent, and a former college faculty member, I’m comfortable working with children, teens, and adults who have a variety of learning styles, attention proficiencies, interests, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.

My goal is to appreciate each child as an individual and express his or her progress and learning activities with detail and clarity.

Read more about my evaluation process here.

My homeschooling website is Engaged Homeschooling, and I am transitioning most of my evaluator content there, instead of here at my more personal blog.

UPDATE March 28, 2016
Evaluation appointments for 2016 are now full. If you would like to be added to my waiting list, please fill out the form below. 

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7 Responses to Homeschool Evaluation Services

  1. Amy Smith says:

    hello, my name is Amy Smith and i started homeschooling my son,a fifth grader, in march. i got confused i guess about what was required for us to continue to homeschool and i am just finding out that he needs an evaluator. we live in Richmond, VA. can you help or do you know how i can get help?

  2. Hi Amy. Yes, if you are homeschooling in Virginia under the Home Instruction Statute, the law requires you to show evidence of progress for the previous year by August 1. You can use a standardized test or other approaches, including using an evaluator. I recommend you read my post here https://jeannefaulconer.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/offering-homeschooling-evaluations/, which provides some links and information about end-of-year evaluations using an evaluator.

    The VaHomeschoolers website at http://www.VaHomeschoolers.org is a great source for information about the various ways to comply with the evidence of progress requirement.

    Some people find that standardized testing such as the CAT is quicker, and you can get a pretty fast turn-around from some test providers, but other people prefer the experience of an in-person evaluation.

    My “evaluation season” for the 2011-2012 school year is complete. I conduct most evaluation meetings in April, May and June and write the evaluation letters in July. However, when homeschoolers find themselves up against that August 1 deadline, the most usual answer for those wishing to follow the law is to get in compliance as soon as possible. I will be in Richmond a lot during the next several weeks. If you decide you would like to use an evaluator rather than testing, use the Contact button on my blog to send me an email. We can correspond about what is involved and make an appointment for an evaluation, if that is what you decide to do.

    Welcome to Virginia!

  3. Hello, I am looking for an independent evaluation for my daughter I’m northern virginia. Are you in that area? If so, how might I contact you?

    • I don’t live in northern Virginia but in some years, I do evaluations in multiple locations around the state. You can write to me about evaluations by using the form at the bottom of my Evaluations page. I’d be glad to answer your questions.

  4. Pingback: I’ve Updated My Homeschool Evaluations Info | At Each Turn

  5. Pingback: Offering Homeschooling Evaluations | At Each Turn

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