testing or portfolio?
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  1. #1
    mamaneedham is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Default testing or portfolio?

    It's getting to be that time of year again, when Ohio homeschoolers start thinking about how to fulfill the state's requirements for an annual academic assessment. The two options are having your child take any of the multitiude of nationally-standardized tests for their grade level, or having a portfolio of their work for the year reviewed by a certified teacher. Of course, that's the simplified version, but that's basically it.

    I use the portfolio option because I think it gives my kids more flexibility to learn at their own pace and not be compared to so many other kids. However, I bet some folks would see the testing option as the best, and for a similar reason - to make sure their kids are learning at the same pace as non-homeschooled kids. There are probably endless variations in this debate!

    So please tell us which option you choose and why. Maybe you'll be able to help make someone else's decision easier!

  2. #2
    Happy2BeTeaching3 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Darke County, Ohio


    I had always gone the certified teacher assessment or portfolio route. I would gather samples of my kids school work and the report cards that I could generate using the HOMESCHOOL TRACKER system and head off to my appointment with the teacher. I felt like this was my best option since the teacher took each individual child and their learning styles into consideration and they weren't being measured by what the other kids were doing. Then there was the added plus that she had been a huge advocate for homeschooling. That was nice as well.

    But a few years ago I was unable to be in town when the teacher who did it for our area was doing assessments. I ended up opting for having my kids take the CATs. This was actually WONDERFUL. Now normally I'm not one for the "standardized" testing system but one thing that I was able to learn from these tests was where my children's STRENGTHS were as well as where I needed to spend more time with them. Now I use the CATs every year for all three of my kids. I purchase these through www.familylearning.org . The tests are $37.00 each and you can administer them at home and then send them in to be graded (scored). Then they send them back to you and you can really see where your child's strengths and weaknesses are. You have 2 weeks to administer the test and send them back so don't schedule the tests to arrive the day before you leave on vacation. You wouldn't want to be charged the fee for having them too long. One thing I really like about these is that you can do them at any time of the year that it suits you and your family's schedule.

    I'de love to hear what others do for this. I'm always open to learn about something new!

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