Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Computers, Evaluations and the rest

I finally got up to speed this week... with high speed internet and a reformatted computer. Unfortunately, it looks like I might have managed to lose some of my pictures while I was at it, which sucks, but I think most are intact!

But that brings me to something new. We got evaluated the other day. So what does that mean?
In our state, in order to comply with state laws, we are required to 'prove' that we have taught our kids properly during the year. Some people do it with standardized tests, others with evaluations. Last year we tried out both and this year opted just for the evaluation.

So how do evaluations work? A qualified teacher comes out and looks at a portfolio of work produced by the children, asks them some questions, requires them to read a few pieces to her, and to write their name (first and surname) to prove their handwriting. I provide her with a list of books and curriculum we have used and allow the kids to tell her all about their things :)

And what is a portfolio? I heard you ask. Well, if you are smart, during the year you have collected and collated all the work produced, and organised it either by subject or by project. Last year I put it all in a large 3" ring binder with page separators. This year I have been using the filing cabinet to file each subject away in it's appropriate place. When evaluation time came around, I stuck everything into clear page protectors and put them in a ring binder separated according to subject.
The evaluator wants to see work from the beginning and end of each year. She likes to flip through each subject and ask questions. Projects such as lapbooks and notebooks, daytrips (with photos) and extra-curricular activities are duly noted.

We are highly blessed by our evaluator, because she is very much pro-homeschool. But I thought you might like a quick glimpse into the 'behind the scenes' with evaluations!

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