Preparing for Your Annual Homeschool Evaluation

By Crystal Ladwig, Ph. D.

An annual homeschool evaluation reviews your homeschooling program to ensure that it meets the requirements set by the state. Preparing for a yearly homeschool evaluation can be a stressful experience for both parents and students. However, with careful planning and organization, it can also be a rewarding opportunity to reflect on your homeschool journey and celebrate your accomplishments. Here are some tips for preparing for your annual homeschool evaluation.

Review the state’s homeschool laws and guidelines. Make sure you are familiar with your state’s requirements for homeschooling, including portfolios or other assessments and select the evaluation option that best meets your family’s needs.

Select an evaluator. The best source for a high-quality evaluator will be other homeschoolers in your community. Ask homeschooling friends who they use as their evaluator and follow up with those recommendations.

Schedule the evaluation. If an evaluator leads a group assessment, they will work with you to let you know when testing will occur. If you choose the portfolio option, determine the best time for your annual homeschool evaluation, considering your schedule and the availability of the evaluator.

Prepare for the evaluation in a timely manner. Be sure to also gather all necessary materials, if you choose the portfolio option. Collect all relevant documentation, such as lesson plans, attendance records, and samples of your child’s work. This will help you demonstrate that your child is progressing and meeting educational goals.

Reviewall portfolio materials. Consider organizing the materials in a way that will be easy for the evaluator to review and understand. For example, consider organizing your materials in a binder or folder for easy reference during the evaluation.

Set goals. Take some time to think about your homeschool goals and how you can demonstrate that your child is meeting them. Consider areas where your child may need additional support and come up with a plan to address these areas.

Practice. Write down and vocalize how you will explain your homeschooling approach and philosophy to the evaluator.

Facilitate open communication. Discuss the evaluation process with your child and encourage them to ask questions and share their thoughts. This will help them feel more comfortable and prepared for the evaluation.

Welcome feedback. Your annual homeschool evaluation is a chance to receive constructive feedback and identify areas for improvement. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek clarification on unclear points.

Prepare to have a conversation. It’s important to discuss your child’s progress and any challenges or successes you have experienced during the year.

Remember to stay calm and open to feedback from the evaluator. They are there to support you and help your homeschooling program meets your child’s educational development. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your annual homeschool evaluation is a positive and productive experience for all involved.

 

 

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