If you are a “Letter of Intent” homeschooler in the state of Maine (i.e. Option 1), at the end of your school year, you will need to have an assessment of some type completed. The results are then submitted to both the state and the superintendent along with your Subsequent Letter of Intent by September 1st for the new school year.
There are various ways you can comply with this part of the law. (Read the actual statute by clicking HERE and looking under Statute 3.A.4.b.). Links and information for resources can be found at the bottom of the page.
You must do one of the following methods of evaluation at the end of the year (prior to September 1st when your Subsequent Letter of Intent is due):
- Standardized achievement test administered via the school district – this needs to be arranged with the school if you opt for this option
- Standardized achievement test administered by the parent or another individual
- A portfolio review of the student’s work for the year done by a Maine certified teacher
- A group portfolio review that a Maine certified teacher still signs off on.
Please note – if you opt to have a Maine certified teacher do a portfolio review we strongly encourage that you:
- Make sure the teacher is homeschooling friendly! You will not want a teacher who is against homeschooling to review your portfolio.
- The teacher should only be looking for progress made. They should not be comparing your child to anyone but your child! It does not matter if the little Jimmy is in “fifth grade” but not doing the same things that the local fifth grade public school are doing. If little Jimmy has made progress since last year, that is all that matters!
So what exactly is a portfolio anyway?
A portfolio is simply a sampling of your child’s work over the course of the year that shows progress made. There are many, many ways to go about doing this. Just remember, you need someone to look through it so make it as easy and organized for them as you can. They will appreciate it.
A favorite method is simply the “3-ring binder” approach. Over the course of the year there is a lot of paper generated in a homeschool. Simply take worksheets and/or tests for each subject from the beginning of the year, the middle of the year, and the end of the year that shows how your child has progressed through a subject and place them in a 3-ring binder. Organizing them by subject is the most helpful method.
Since this assessment is required for Option 1 families, you will want to be sure you have covered all the required subjects and that your portfolio shows this. A short write up about how you covered the subject can also be very helpful to the reviewer and a nice reminder what you did outside of textbook learning.
Included should also be:
- A record of your attendance (175 days is required by law)
- A log of all books read by the child, to the child, and include audiobooks as well.
- A log of field trips taken (this can be done via reports by the child, photos taken at the event, or a simple listing of where you went).
Alternative methods from the 3-ring binder:
- A digital photo book (scans of work samples could and should be included)
- A completely digital presentation (such as Power Point) contained on a disk or thumb drive or loaded online. If your child sings or plays an instrument as part of their school or participates in plays or other types of fine arts activities that may be hard to contain in a paper portfolio, videos and the like can be included in this type of portfolio.
- While it’s not recommended, you can simply bring all your child’s work for the teacher to flip through. However, be considerate of the time constraint to this method.
There are a few helpful sites on the internet that will may be of help.
- Oklahoma Homeschool – Recordkeeping. Please be advised that this is set up for Oklahoma laws. You do NOT need to include your child’s medical records. Learning objectives are helpful, but also not required. The same goes for the resource list. This should be used as a guideline only to help give you some ideas.
- AtoZ Homeschools Cool Portfolio Examples – lots of different examples listed.
- Successful Homeschooling – great page that includes links to printable forms.
- How to Create a Homeschool Portfolio – straightforward and helpful advice.
Standardized Testing Options:
- California Achievement Tests – can be administered at home by the parent either in a paper form or online. Can be purchased through Seton Testing Services ($25 – paper version only) or through Christian Liberty ($25 – offers either paper or online versions).
- IOWA Testing – can only be administered by someone with a bachelor’s degree. Can be purchased through Seton Testing Services. Cost varies by grade.
- SATs or ACTs or PSATs can count for students in high school.
- You can also contact your local school district if you would like your child to participate in any of the national or state tests administered at the district.
- Sarah Cook. Located in North New Portland. Homesschooling Mom. Cost: $20 first child and $15 for each subsequent child. Email – firstname.lastname@example.org. Able to do long-distance reviews via email.
- Robin Merrill. Located in Madison. Homeschooling Mom. Cost: $25 each. Email – rmerrill44
- Jackie Chovanes Email – email@example.com
- Laura Sholtz Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Laurie Wolfrum Email – email@example.com Able to travel some and will do long distance reviews.
- Sheriann Y. Jalbert. Located in Bangor. Homeschooling Mom. Cost $30 (offers a family discount and will also barter). Can also administer standardized tests. Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Amy Bartlett. Homeschooling Mom. Email – email@example.com. Able to travel. Able to do long-distance reviews.
- Michelle Grimbilas Email – firstname.lastname@example.org. Turner
- Christine Hazard located in Farmington. Homeschooling mom. $20 per portfolio (family discounts). Email: Christine.email@example.com Phone: 207-320-8679
If you’d like to be included in the portfolio reviewer list, please use the contact page to send us your information. Please include location, cost, and contact information. Thank you.