How My Portfolio Evaluations Work:
You bring your portfolio over to my home and I go over it right there with you. I do have a brief Information Sheet for you to fill out – nothing too complex, it just helps me spell your names correctly! Depending on how organized you are, I might have questions–not really a formal interview, but often families do more than they quantify in a portfolio, or things are poorly labeled, and I’d hate to short-shrift you. If your student is present, I try to ask them questions or involve them in some way, lest they be stuck sitting there for a half-hour or more doing nothing. If I have concerns, I tend to discuss them with you rather than include them in the official evaluation letter.
I schedule evaluations assuming 50 minutes for one or two students and 80 minutes for larger families. A confident mom with one student and a neatly organized portfolio will be out of here in a half hour. A mom with a thousand questions, four kids, and a box of books and papers will take a lot longer. (And, of course, if a disorganized parent of two arrives 30 minutes late, evaluations simply aren’t possible. This is where we reschedule and an “appointment fee” kicks in.) A copy of my current teaching certificate is available upon request.
While portfolios are typically evaluated sometime in May or June, it’s best to call for an appointment in the early Spring — it can be very encouraging to have a “last day of school” to aim for when the Spring Fever sets in! Please remember that all New Hampshire homeschoolers are required to keep a student portfolio for two years and, if you are using portfolio evaluation to comply with New Hampshire homeschool law, you must have your student’s portfolio evaluated “annually.”
- Standard Evaluations are less formal and detailed, but written right while you’re sitting in my office and then sent home with you. Standard Evaluations cost just $30 per student. These completely fulfill the requirements of New Hampshire’s homeschool law, and many parents prefer to minimize information what’s communicated on their student’s “permanent record.”
- Deluxe Evaluations are one-page typed summaries with considerably more detail. These are printed out and mailed (or emailed in PDF format) within a few days of your evaluation appointment. These evaluations completely fulfill the requirements of New Hampshire’s homeschool law, and tend to be preferred by parents who want a more detailed record of their students’ achievements. Deluxe Evaluations cost $50 per student due to my considerable time investment. A sample Deluxe Evaluation can be found here.
How Evaluations-By-Mail Work:
1. Contact me to make an appointment. This will ensure that your portfolio won’t sit in the rain for a week… and when I sit down to write up your evaluation I’ll be able to reach you by phone.
2. Assemble your portfolio as usual… but maybe take a picture of the more three-dimensional projects? In this case, less really is more. Please tear out workbook pages rather than sending a stack of workbooks. Other things to avoid: teacher’s curriculum guides, textbooks, and large projects. If a student’s portfolio is more than five pounds it’s way too big. If (one of) the evaluation(s) is for a high school student, please remember to complete a portfolio plan form for their portfolio.
3. Print out a Portfolio Information Sheet and mailing label to go with it.
4. Fill out the Information Sheet. It’s just basic questions.
5. Write a check, made out to Bethany Barnosky, for the appropriate payment, or pay online. (Remember to include the extra $10 per family for mail service.) If you write a check for more than you owe, I’ll assume that you intended to do so.
6. Box everything up carefully, but without sealing it up yet. Add the outgoing mailing label and head to your local post office.
7. Buy return postage (stamps) for your package before you seal it up… toss them inside, seal, mail, and you’re done. Please, please use a form of mail that does not require a signature! During peak season it’s incredibly hard for me to get to the postoffice during business hours in order to pick up your portfolio.All “Evaluations-by-Mail” are Standard unless we’ve talked and formally made other arrangements.
I offer a fairly quick turn-around and will usually get your portfolio mailed back to you within two or three business days of your appointment. If you’d prefer to send it media mail and have me mail your evaluations separately in an envelope, just let me know on your Information Sheet.
Please note: I am a real homeschool mom — with a family, a dog, and the occasional glass of spilt milk. I cannot be held responsible if “life” happens to your portfolio. I’ve never had a problem, and I try to take excellent care of your things, but accidents do happen. Please don’t send me irreplaceable items. Photocopies are encouraged. If you send me your portfolio and it’s damaged, you’re officially agreeing not to hold me liable!
Portfolio Parties are a great option for groups of homeschoolers who live in areas of the state where evaluators are either scarce or crazy-expensive. A group of families, either formal or informally connected, simply get together for evaluations— one of them contacts me to set up a time and location, and everyone benefits. Evaluations can be part of a homeschool play day, a mom’s night out, or even a curriculum sale! All evaluations are “Standard”, which means that they are done immediately, and everyone gets my “vintage” $25 rate. Most portfolio parties are scheduled on Saturdays or in the evening, but I’m as flexible as my schedule permits.
Portfolio Party pricing is $25 per evaluation plus a single Travel Fee of $0.50/mile, round trip.
There is a three family minimum south of Concord and a five family minimum to the north.