You've got questions, We've got ya covered!
What do I need to do to set up our homeschool?
You'll need to file all of the paperwork with your school district before starting to homeschool and by Aug 1 each year after:
Affidavit or Unsworn Declaration
Special ed approval (if child has IEP)*
*We have an awesome special education evaluator on our team who can help you with any questions or approval.
What do I need to document throughout the year?
Portfolios can take many forms, including digital (Google slides, instagram, facebook, photo album, etc.) and paper binders.
Make your portfolio work for you; you do not need to track every single thing!
Your portfolio must include:
-Attendance (180 days-- checked days off of a calendar is fine)
-Reading log (include books, podcasts, documentaries, curriculum, etc.)
-Samples of student learning experiences (approx. 10 samples is fine-- photos/descriptions, samples of writing or other creations, etc.)
-Standardized test score in grades 3, 5, and 8
What Standardized Tests are approved in PA?
You have your choice of several tests, listed below. Most families we work with choose the California Achievement Test because you can get paper/online versions that are timed/untimed. The CAT is available here. Use code FIRSTCAT for $5 off!
Comprehensive Testing Program (CTPIV)
Iowa Test of Basic Skills
Measures of Academic Progress (MAP)
Metropolitan Achievement Test
Peabody Achievement Individual Test – Revised Version
Stanford Achievement Test
Woodcock Johnson Revised Tests of Achievement III
Wechsler Individual Achievement Test III (WIAT-III)
or the PSSAs
Can I "opt out" or claim a "religious exemption" for standardized tests while homeschooling?
Unfortunately no. The only way to avoid standardized tests while homeschooling is if your situation falls under the Private Tutor Option (a different law).
What is involved in the evaluation meeting?
We'll review your portfolio to ensure you have met all of the requirements listed above. Our meeting will include a casual, friendly interview with your young person during which we'll talk about their favorite experiences of the year, their favorite books, things they are wanting to learn more about in the future, etc. We are trained in child development and understand that speaking with strangers on zoom can be hard. Children can share as much (or as little) as they like, and we will make it work!
Where will we meet?
Remote consults and evaluations via Zoom are available now.
How do I submit my evaluation letter to my school district?
We'll email you your evaluation certification letter within 24 hours of our meeting to ensure you have time to get it to your district by June 30. Different districts handle end of year evaluations in different ways. Some prefer email, some prefer mail. Reach out to your district office to find out what they want you to do! If you mail them, we highly recommend that you send them certified so you can track receipt.
How much do evaluations cost?
Last year our fee was $50 for the first child and 20% discount for siblings. We haven't yet determined our fees for this year, and we hope to lower them to make our service more accessible to more families.
How do students receive a diploma upon completion of homeschooled high school?
We have evaluators certified in secondary education who are also members of the Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency (PHAA) who can support PHAA Member Families. We also have evaluators who can sign the supervisor awarded + evaluator signed high school diploma (recognized in PA as a highschool diploma). In order to meet graduation requirements, homeschooled students must receive a minimum of 15 credits (each worth 120 hours) including 4 years English, 3 years Math, 3 years Science, 3 years Social Studies, 2 years Arts and Humanities. Since life is interdisciplinary and we can learn these subjects in a variety of ways, we can be quite open minded about how your young person meets these requirements. We do recommend that families create a transcript or work with an evaluator to co-create a transcript if your young person plans to attend college.
Let’s Work Together
Join our email list here for early access to our homeschool/unschool evaluation schedule! In the message, please share your school district + ages of the young people needing evaluated this year! Thank you!!