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Staysee34
07-18-2011, 02:46 PM
I'm very new to HSing and even though I've covered alot of ground this summer and feel pretty comfortable with everything, I'm unsure just how to assess their progress. I don't want my 2 ladies to feel pressured by grading everything they do but at the same time, I feel it's necessary on some level. My oldest has a current IEP and I'm sure that the school district not to mention the evaluator at the end of the year will want to see ink at the top of papers. They were quite unhappy with my decision to withdrawl. So, how do you do it? I need to find middle ground and I'm hoping to find some advice.

Eileen
07-18-2011, 02:50 PM
Can you just go through their stuff and revisit the things that they need work on? If you feel you need grades or something for the officials (I don't know what the PA laws are like), you can just keep that for your records and not discuss it with your kids at all. That way they won't feel pressured, and you'll know what they need to work on, and your butt will be covered with the evaluator.

Accidental Homeschooler
07-18-2011, 02:57 PM
One thing I do with my 5yo for math is give her a sheet of equations and set the timer and see how many she can get done in five or ten minutes. I wouldn't do it if she didn't want to. She likes the challenge and the "race" aspect of it. Then I just circle the ones she misses and put it in a binder (I also note the time I gave her to complete it). I don't have her correct them as I would if we were working in our text/workbook (another reason she likes it I think). It would show over time how she is learning though if I needed something to show the school. It would allow you to track speed and accuracy and that would be pretty concrete evidence of learning from the school's perspective. You also would not need to make a big deal out of correcting it in front of your dd or having her see it as being graded. Otherwise, do you just need to have a portfolio? I think there are quite a few people who do that.

Marmalade
07-18-2011, 02:57 PM
http://home.comcast.net/~askpauline/hs/homeschoollaw.html
This site is extremely helpful for PA homeschooling laws.

as for grading-I don't personally do it but I can see why you might want to, especially just starting out. What sort of curriculum are you using? What are the ages of your girls? (These things are very helpful in your signature line :) )

I can see that at least one child came out of the public school system so she must kind of expect grading-so maybe you can do a mock test every now and then?

coloradoalice
07-18-2011, 03:02 PM
We correct everything together. When we come to something with the "wrong" answer I ask how they got that answer because sometimes it is right if you look at it from a different perspective. Then we redo it together so I know they understood what was wrong if it truly was. I don't assign a grade or percentage to anything though.

farrarwilliams
07-18-2011, 03:15 PM
So, you have a 9 yo and a 7 yo? I really would not assign letter grades or any kind of traditional number grades. If you do worksheets and so forth, absolutely mark them up or put stickers on them or whatever, but that's process to me - it's something you do with them in the moment so they can fix answers.

We do a portfolio process. We update the portfolios every 2 months (but you could do it more or less). Here's how it works for us (there are lots of different sorts of portfolios and ways to do it...):
* the kids keep all work in a big pile - every doodle, every drawing, every artwork, every worksheet, and, of course, anything in a workbook
* then, every two months, we pull out all the work - the kids choose a few things they want to keep and I choose a few things I want to keep - as they've gotten older, we've started to have a checklist - they must pick something that shows math, something that shows writing, etc.
* then I also choose a few things I want to keep for each of them
* we throw all the extra stuff away (if we're finished with a workbook, we toss it out)
* all the saving stuff goes into a plastic sleeve and into a portfolio
* I then make 3 pieces of paper that comprise the assessment that also goes into the portfolio:
1. a list of all our field trips, the longer books we read, and the classes or workshops they attended
2. a super short summary of materials and methods for each subject - just 2-3 sentences at most - these often stay the same or get updated only slightly
3. a personal assessment with three categories: "Things to be proud of..." "Things to work on..." and "Other important things..." - I write about one narrative paragraph for each one
* finally, the kids themselves make a goal sheet with a list of 2-4 goals for the next two months (until next time we do portfolios) and review the goals from the last go around - we make a note of whether or not they were met

Additionally, we keep a list of books read in a little reading journal.

For us, this has been a really great way of doing it. Every time I'm really frustrated, portfolio time comes around and I have to pull out the calendar and make that list of field trips and look over all that work they did over the last two months and I suddenly go... AH... we *are* getting somewhere. And it's great for them too. They sometimes talk about individual artwork and things as something that will go into the portfolios. Now that they have a few built up (we've been doing this since preK) they like to pull them out and look at them even.

Staysee34
07-18-2011, 03:33 PM
So, you have a 9 yo and a 7 yo? I really would not assign letter grades or any kind of traditional number grades. If you do worksheets and so forth, absolutely mark them up or put stickers on them or whatever, but that's process to me - it's something you do with them in the moment so they can fix answers.

We do a portfolio process. We update the portfolios every 2 months (but you could do it more or less). Here's how it works for us (there are lots of different sorts of portfolios and ways to do it...):
* the kids keep all work in a big pile - every doodle, every drawing, every artwork, every worksheet, and, of course, anything in a workbook
* then, every two months, we pull out all the work - the kids choose a few things they want to keep and I choose a few things I want to keep - as they've gotten older, we've started to have a checklist - they must pick something that shows math, something that shows writing, etc.
* then I also choose a few things I want to keep for each of them
* we throw all the extra stuff away (if we're finished with a workbook, we toss it out)
* all the saving stuff goes into a plastic sleeve and into a portfolio
* I then make 3 pieces of paper that comprise the assessment that also goes into the portfolio:
1. a list of all our field trips, the longer books we read, and the classes or workshops they attended
2. a super short summary of materials and methods for each subject - just 2-3 sentences at most - these often stay the same or get updated only slightly
3. a personal assessment with three categories: "Things to be proud of..." "Things to work on..." and "Other important things..." - I write about one narrative paragraph for each one
* finally, the kids themselves make a goal sheet with a list of 2-4 goals for the next two months (until next time we do portfolios) and review the goals from the last go around - we make a note of whether or not they were met

Additionally, we keep a list of books read in a little reading journal.

For us, this has been a really great way of doing it. Every time I'm really frustrated, portfolio time comes around and I have to pull out the calendar and make that list of field trips and look over all that work they did over the last two months and I suddenly go... AH... we *are* getting somewhere. And it's great for them too. They sometimes talk about individual artwork and things as something that will go into the portfolios. Now that they have a few built up (we've been doing this since preK) they like to pull them out and look at them even.

We do have to present a portfolio at the end of the year (June). I'll definitely take what you've said and probably do the same. For my oldest one, being able to see her progress will be very important.

Staysee34
07-18-2011, 04:08 PM
Sorry, haven't gotten around to the signature line. I should probably do that soon. Curriculum for this year:

ASL ~lifeprint.com
Memory Work (pulled from FLL to increase retention, I hope)
Reading Comprehension (aside from being included in every subject) Reading Comprehension Gr 1 and 2 (Teacher Created Resources)
Writing Composistion (Daily Editing Practice,Gr1 along with easy animal notebooking pages and very easy book reports)
Penmanship~ Zaner Bloser (working on printing refinement and this is what they were learning in PS)
Grammar~Scholastic Success with Grammar Gr2 and Grammar Minute Gr 1 along with supplemental work)
Math Supplement ~Complete Book of Time and Money
Character Education ~ Character Day by Day (read aloud w/discussion)
Spelling~ All About Spelling(Level 1 with the controlled text readers), Scholastic 20 Week by Week Word Families ,Spelling City
Math~ Math U See (Alpha Level)
Geography~ Complete Book of Maps and Geography
History~ Prehistory using Usborne and National Geographic Dinopedia and Dinosaur Museum/SOTW (Ancient Times) if we get that far.
Health~ Safety Everyday (On The Mark Press) and Happy,Sad, Jealous, Mad (Key Education)
Science~ Mr.Q's Life Science meshed with Complete Book of Animals

Taught daily: ASL, Character Education, Spelling, Math, Grammar. Everything else is twice a week. I've also set up a game board for each of them. Every time they read an entire "short" book or 10 minutes in a longer book my boyfriend or I initial and date a board square. Then they color it. When it's completely colored they can turn it in for a reward. Incentive is huge in my house. We are schooling M-Th with Friday being a light day to tie up any loose ends, music, art, field trips and such.

Kylie
07-18-2011, 06:28 PM
I like your portfolio thoughts Farrar, have you blogged that process at all with snapshots etc.....it could be really helpful to others.

farrarwilliams
07-18-2011, 06:37 PM
I haven't, really, Kylie... but it's been on my mental blog to do for awhile... thanks for the push :)