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Hey, Pennsylvania mommas that report.....

Posted by on Jun. 10, 2013 at 8:20 AM
  • 20 Replies

 I had my evaluation yesterday, and it got me thinking.

I reviewed the DOE website before my evaluation and I think they are asking for more than they are legally allowed.  So I've got some questions....

1.  Did your evaluator bring a "test" for your child?  My evaluator had my 6yo (kindergarten) write all his letters, his full name, and all his numbers; read a few sight words; say his alphabet; and say the sounds that the letters make.  She had my 8yo (2nd grader) do a math test and read an excerpt.

2.  She wanted way more lessons than are required.  She asked if that was "all we had done".  I told her that the DOE says that the portfolio should contain 2-3 pieces of work from each subject studied that year.  Most evaluators in other areas ask for a 2" binder o smaller.

3.  She wants the reports from the diagnostic test we took.  It is not a requirement, but I did use it as 2 days of classes.

4.  She would really like to see me use a full curriculum.  She suggested Abeka (4 times!!) and Sonlight.  I told her there weren't any I liked and asked if the boys "passed" their evaluation.  She said yes, but pushed again for a full curriculum.  She evaluates all of the ladies in our church and I think she wanted to see that I was teaching religion.  Since it is not a public school or a DOE requirement, I do not include it in my portfolio.  It is personal.  Also everyone else in the church uses Abeka, Sonlight, or MFW.  So I think she just wants to make it easy on herself.

Anyway, what do you ladies think?

by on Jun. 10, 2013 at 8:20 AM
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Replies (1-10):
mem82
by Platinum Member on Jun. 10, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Hm, I'm not in PA but she sounds like she is a *school at home* kind of lady. Our evaluations are similar to PA's and we have never had to prove any of that.

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Jun. 10, 2013 at 9:49 AM

 

Quoting mem82:

Hm, I'm not in PA but she sounds like she is a *school at home* kind of lady. Our evaluations are similar to PA's and we have never had to prove any of that.

 That's what I was thinking too.

Beenhereforever
by Member on Jun. 10, 2013 at 9:55 AM

I don't know. I have my kids in agora. ..I am sending my kids to a private school this school year because they hated agora. So much pointless lessons. 

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Jun. 10, 2013 at 9:59 AM

 

Quoting Beenhereforever:

I don't know. I have my kids in agora. ..I am sending my kids to a private school this school year because they hated agora. So much pointless lessons. 

 We hated agora as well.  We left mid-year.  I had wanted to avoid the evaluations by using the public-school-at-home option, but the busy-work and all the hours to school 3 boys in the youngest grades nearly drove me crazy.  :-)

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Jun. 10, 2013 at 1:33 PM

 Bump!

celticdragon77
by on Jun. 10, 2013 at 1:53 PM

I am in Pennsylvania.

My first year homeschooling (my 6th grade child), I had a 2" binder FULL of samples AND a cdrom of pictures. I was told to take some out by the evaluator. Then I handed it into the school and received a letter saying that they were getting "too much" from homeschoolers and had to set a limit. 

Ever since then, I just give them a flash drive. I scan everything into the computer and drag it into the flashdrive at the end of the year. 

My kids were never formally tested by the evaluator. However, they DO need to make sure learning took place. So they can talk to your child and ask questions. Our evaluator just asked them what they learned concerning specific topics that she saw in our portfolio. It was a short conversation - maybe fifteen minutes. She also asked my daughter to start thinking about college and high school. She discussed what my daughters options were as a homeschooler. Our evaulator was VERY supportive and knowledgable about the homeschooling community in our area. She was a teacher that homeschooled her own three kids.

My evaulator and my school district were not supportive of me using Sonlight. When my portfolio was returned to me, there were even markings on some of the books off the reading list - all of them were Sonlight books. The evaluator mentioned to me that she did not like what we had for Sonlight, in our portfolio. She also warned me that the school district might make mention of it too. Sure enough, a letter stated that some of the materials used were "objectional".

I used the Eastern Hemisphere one, of Sonlight. I had to heavily supplement it. It appeared to mainly be about missionarys going over to convert people of that area of the world. My daughter was in 6th grade at the time and did the work mainly on her own. So, I did not entirely know what was being covered. My daughter INSISTED she was learning a lot. By the end of the year, she wanted to be a missionary!  

It all depends on what YOU are looking for. I personally agreed with my evaluator and school district on the issue of Sonlight, so it was no big deal. Some parents would like someone to test their child - others would not. Some people like to hand in loads of stuff into the school (or think they have to - like I did at first) - others do not. You have to find an evaluator that best suits you. 

Your evaluators expectations are NOT the legal expectation or requirement. 

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Jun. 10, 2013 at 2:28 PM

 I do not think I'll be using her next year, if I can get out of it without causing some kind of stir in the church.  Although maybe next year will be different because I'll be doing the entire 180 days, so my book log will be longer and I'll go ahead and put the DORA report in.  It took us an hour with her, granted there were 2 kids.  I saw the lady before me and her binder was 6inches plus she brought in all of her textbooks.  It was quite a balancing act.

I'm more for following the law to the letter, so this doesn't feel right to me.  Especially because I don't want a full box curriculum.  I like choosing what's right for the kiddos.

Also we left the public school partly because of the DIBELS testing, so for her to test them that way anyhow, just seems counter-intuitive.

Quoting celticdragon77:

I am in Pennsylvania.

My first year homeschooling (my 6th grade child), I had a 2" binder FULL of samples AND a cdrom of pictures. I was told to take some out by the evaluator. Then I handed it into the school and received a letter saying that they were getting "too much" from homeschoolers and had to set a limit. 

Ever since then, I just give them a flash drive. I scan everything into the computer and drag it into the flashdrive at the end of the year. 

My kids were never formally tested by the evaluator. However, they DO need to make sure learning took place. So they can talk to your child and ask questions. Our evaluator just asked them what they learned concerning specific topics that she saw in our portfolio. It was a short conversation - maybe fifteen minutes. She also asked my daughter to start thinking about college and high school. She discussed what my daughters options were as a homeschooler. Our evaulator was VERY supportive and knowledgable about the homeschooling community in our area. She was a teacher that homeschooled her own three kids.

My evaulator and my school district were not supportive of me using Sonlight. When my portfolio was returned to me, there were even markings on some of the books off the reading list - all of them were Sonlight books. The evaluator mentioned to me that she did not like what we had for Sonlight, in our portfolio. She also warned me that the school district might make mention of it too. Sure enough, a letter stated that some of the materials used were "objectional".

I used the Eastern Hemisphere one, of Sonlight. I had to heavily supplement it. It appeared to mainly be about missionarys going over to convert people of that area of the world. My daughter was in 6th grade at the time and did the work mainly on her own. So, I did not entirely know what was being covered. My daughter INSISTED she was learning a lot. By the end of the year, she wanted to be a missionary!  

It all depends on what YOU are looking for. I personally agreed with my evaluator and school district on the issue of Sonlight, so it was no big deal. Some parents would like someone to test their child - others would not. Some people like to hand in loads of stuff into the school (or think they have to - like I did at first) - others do not. You have to find an evaluator that best suits you. 

Your evaluators expectations are NOT the legal expectation or requirement. 

 

celticdragon77
by on Jun. 10, 2013 at 2:55 PM

I agree with you about full box curriculums!

I went and researched Dibels. I had heard of it, but never looked into it. I have never heard it mentioned by my kids school. I hear more about the DRA for measure of reading. I found it VERY interesting, what the criticism was of the Dibels. How would I know if my school uses this assessment?

I know, ask, but my school is VERY guarded for some reason with information. BY LAW, they HAVE to give me a curriculum outline for the year - they won't. BY LAW, they have to give me grade level materials - they won't. I have not pushed the issue, and won't. I have asked various information regarding the kids and I get stone walled.

Is the DORA report the one where you pay like $15 for it??? Someone suggested a test I could do for the kids (I believe a reading test). I have been trying to find the post, but it was a few months ago. I know it was recommended by someone who homeschooled within my state. 

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 I do not think I'll be using her next year, if I can get out of it without causing some kind of stir in the church.  Although maybe next year will be different because I'll be doing the entire 180 days, so my book log will be longer and I'll go ahead and put the DORA report in.  It took us an hour with her, granted there were 2 kids.  I saw the lady before me and her binder was 6inches plus she brought in all of her textbooks.  It was quite a balancing act.

I'm more for following the law to the letter, so this doesn't feel right to me.  Especially because I don't want a full box curriculum.  I like choosing what's right for the kiddos.

Also we left the public school partly because of the DIBELS testing, so for her to test them that way anyhow, just seems counter-intuitive.

Quoting celticdragon77:

I am in Pennsylvania.

My first year homeschooling (my 6th grade child), I had a 2" binder FULL of samples AND a cdrom of pictures. I was told to take some out by the evaluator. Then I handed it into the school and received a letter saying that they were getting "too much" from homeschoolers and had to set a limit. 

Ever since then, I just give them a flash drive. I scan everything into the computer and drag it into the flashdrive at the end of the year. 

My kids were never formally tested by the evaluator. However, they DO need to make sure learning took place. So they can talk to your child and ask questions. Our evaluator just asked them what they learned concerning specific topics that she saw in our portfolio. It was a short conversation - maybe fifteen minutes. She also asked my daughter to start thinking about college and high school. She discussed what my daughters options were as a homeschooler. Our evaulator was VERY supportive and knowledgable about the homeschooling community in our area. She was a teacher that homeschooled her own three kids.

My evaulator and my school district were not supportive of me using Sonlight. When my portfolio was returned to me, there were even markings on some of the books off the reading list - all of them were Sonlight books. The evaluator mentioned to me that she did not like what we had for Sonlight, in our portfolio. She also warned me that the school district might make mention of it too. Sure enough, a letter stated that some of the materials used were "objectional".

I used the Eastern Hemisphere one, of Sonlight. I had to heavily supplement it. It appeared to mainly be about missionarys going over to convert people of that area of the world. My daughter was in 6th grade at the time and did the work mainly on her own. So, I did not entirely know what was being covered. My daughter INSISTED she was learning a lot. By the end of the year, she wanted to be a missionary!  

It all depends on what YOU are looking for. I personally agreed with my evaluator and school district on the issue of Sonlight, so it was no big deal. Some parents would like someone to test their child - others would not. Some people like to hand in loads of stuff into the school (or think they have to - like I did at first) - others do not. You have to find an evaluator that best suits you. 

Your evaluators expectations are NOT the legal expectation or requirement. 

 


bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Jun. 10, 2013 at 3:08 PM

 Sorry, I should have explained the DIBELS test.  My first son scored higher than the ending score for the dibels in the beginning of his 1st grade year.  When I asked what their goals for him were their answer was that he would probably improve over the year.  So I asked them aside from the dibels test what were their goals for him and their answer was that he was doing very well and he would probably improve in all areas over the year.  Seriously?  He would "probably improve"? 

I think if your school uses the DRA they do not use the dibels, but I'm not positive about that.

Somehow some of your quote disappeared.  You said something about how the school was contrary to the homeschooling laws.  Ours has been very against our homeschooling.  It's been a difficult run.  I tried using K12 to get away from them, but I hated k12 so badly that I'm willing to try again.  But it looks to be the same problems.  They won't count days before August 1st, but they want a meeting and to receive my affadavit at the meeting at the end of June.  We are year-rounders so we will have far more than enough days next year, but it is aggrivating when they are physically crossing off days on our calendar in front of my kids (last year).  Then this year they want an accounting of what the kids did with k12.  Iasked them if they would expect a parent who had moved here from another school to have kept all of the information from that other public school and bring it in to this one?  Of course they thought that was silly, but requesting it from me was just fine. 

Sorry, anyway, it's just as frustrating this time around.

Quoting celticdragon77:

I agree with you about full box curriculums!

I went and researched Dibels. I had heard of it, but never looked into it. I have never heard it mentioned by my kids school. I hear more about the DRA for measure of reading. I found it VERY interesting, what the criticism was of the Dibels. How would I know if my school uses this assessment?

I know, ask, but my school is VERY guarded for some reason with information. BY LAW, they HAVE to give me a curriculum outline for the year - they won't. BY LAW, they have to give me grade level materials - they won't. I have not pushed the issue, and won't. I have asked various information regarding the kids and I get stone walled.

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 I do not think I'll be using her next year, if I can get out of it without causing some kind of stir in the church.  Although maybe next year will be different because I'll be doing the entire 180 days, so my book log will be longer and I'll go ahead and put the DORA report in.  It took us an hour with her, granted there were 2 kids.  I saw the lady before me and her binder was 6inches plus she brought in all of her textbooks.  It was quite a balancing act.

I'm more for following the law to the letter, so this doesn't feel right to me.  Especially because I don't want a full box curriculum.  I like choosing what's right for the kiddos.

Also we left the public school partly because of the DIBELS testing, so for her to test them that way anyhow, just seems counter-intuitive.

Quoting celticdragon77:

I am in Pennsylvania.

My first year homeschooling (my 6th grade child), I had a 2" binder FULL of samples AND a cdrom of pictures. I was told to take some out by the evaluator. Then I handed it into the school and received a letter saying that they were getting "too much" from homeschoolers and had to set a limit. 

Ever since then, I just give them a flash drive. I scan everything into the computer and drag it into the flashdrive at the end of the year. 

My kids were never formally tested by the evaluator. However, they DO need to make sure learning took place. So they can talk to your child and ask questions. Our evaluator just asked them what they learned concerning specific topics that she saw in our portfolio. It was a short conversation - maybe fifteen minutes. She also asked my daughter to start thinking about college and high school. She discussed what my daughters options were as a homeschooler. Our evaulator was VERY supportive and knowledgable about the homeschooling community in our area. She was a teacher that homeschooled her own three kids.

My evaulator and my school district were not supportive of me using Sonlight. When my portfolio was returned to me, there were even markings on some of the books off the reading list - all of them were Sonlight books. The evaluator mentioned to me that she did not like what we had for Sonlight, in our portfolio. She also warned me that the school district might make mention of it too. Sure enough, a letter stated that some of the materials used were "objectional".

I used the Eastern Hemisphere one, of Sonlight. I had to heavily supplement it. It appeared to mainly be about missionarys going over to convert people of that area of the world. My daughter was in 6th grade at the time and did the work mainly on her own. So, I did not entirely know what was being covered. My daughter INSISTED she was learning a lot. By the end of the year, she wanted to be a missionary!  

It all depends on what YOU are looking for. I personally agreed with my evaluator and school district on the issue of Sonlight, so it was no big deal. Some parents would like someone to test their child - others would not. Some people like to hand in loads of stuff into the school (or think they have to - like I did at first) - others do not. You have to find an evaluator that best suits you. 

Your evaluators expectations are NOT the legal expectation or requirement. 

 


 

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Jun. 10, 2013 at 3:11 PM

 Yes, I pay about $15 per student for each the DORA and the ADAM.  DORA is for reading and ADAM is for lower elementary math (DOMA is the upper elementary and middle school math).  They give a great breakdown of exactly where your child is hitting a snag and you can correct it quickly.  For our whole family it comes to a bit less than $90 because they do give discounts for more than one child in each test.

Quoting celticdragon77:

I agree with you about full box curriculums!

I went and researched Dibels. I had heard of it, but never looked into it. I have never heard it mentioned by my kids school. I hear more about the DRA for measure of reading. I found it VERY interesting, what the criticism was of the Dibels. How would I know if my school uses this assessment?

I know, ask, but my school is VERY guarded for some reason with information. BY LAW, they HAVE to give me a curriculum outline for the year - they won't. BY LAW, they have to give me grade level materials - they won't. I have not pushed the issue, and won't. I have asked various information regarding the kids and I get stone walled.

Is the DORA report the one where you pay like $15 for it??? Someone suggested a test I could do for the kids (I believe a reading test). I have been trying to find the post, but it was a few months ago. I know it was recommended by someone who homeschooled within my state. 

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 I do not think I'll be using her next year, if I can get out of it without causing some kind of stir in the church.  Although maybe next year will be different because I'll be doing the entire 180 days, so my book log will be longer and I'll go ahead and put the DORA report in.  It took us an hour with her, granted there were 2 kids.  I saw the lady before me and her binder was 6inches plus she brought in all of her textbooks.  It was quite a balancing act.

I'm more for following the law to the letter, so this doesn't feel right to me.  Especially because I don't want a full box curriculum.  I like choosing what's right for the kiddos.

Also we left the public school partly because of the DIBELS testing, so for her to test them that way anyhow, just seems counter-intuitive.

Quoting celticdragon77:

I am in Pennsylvania.

My first year homeschooling (my 6th grade child), I had a 2" binder FULL of samples AND a cdrom of pictures. I was told to take some out by the evaluator. Then I handed it into the school and received a letter saying that they were getting "too much" from homeschoolers and had to set a limit. 

Ever since then, I just give them a flash drive. I scan everything into the computer and drag it into the flashdrive at the end of the year. 

My kids were never formally tested by the evaluator. However, they DO need to make sure learning took place. So they can talk to your child and ask questions. Our evaluator just asked them what they learned concerning specific topics that she saw in our portfolio. It was a short conversation - maybe fifteen minutes. She also asked my daughter to start thinking about college and high school. She discussed what my daughters options were as a homeschooler. Our evaulator was VERY supportive and knowledgable about the homeschooling community in our area. She was a teacher that homeschooled her own three kids.

My evaulator and my school district were not supportive of me using Sonlight. When my portfolio was returned to me, there were even markings on some of the books off the reading list - all of them were Sonlight books. The evaluator mentioned to me that she did not like what we had for Sonlight, in our portfolio. She also warned me that the school district might make mention of it too. Sure enough, a letter stated that some of the materials used were "objectional".

I used the Eastern Hemisphere one, of Sonlight. I had to heavily supplement it. It appeared to mainly be about missionarys going over to convert people of that area of the world. My daughter was in 6th grade at the time and did the work mainly on her own. So, I did not entirely know what was being covered. My daughter INSISTED she was learning a lot. By the end of the year, she wanted to be a missionary!  

It all depends on what YOU are looking for. I personally agreed with my evaluator and school district on the issue of Sonlight, so it was no big deal. Some parents would like someone to test their child - others would not. Some people like to hand in loads of stuff into the school (or think they have to - like I did at first) - others do not. You have to find an evaluator that best suits you. 

Your evaluators expectations are NOT the legal expectation or requirement. 

 


 

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