Our three and a half months of homeschooling have drawn to a close: I had my homeschool review on Thursday. And how did it go? As per usual, I was all stress-y leading up to it, worrying that we didn’t have “enough.” Now in some areas I clearly was more than amply covered. In others, not so much.
In a change from last year, the review was done in the MCPS auditorium at Hungerford Drive. There were about a half dozen tables scattered around the room, and despite my misgivings, the setting really wasn’t that bad. Once again I had new reviewer. When RSPVing I was given the option of requesting a specific person, but couldn’t remember the names of my past reviewers. As it turns out the person to whom I was assigned was the Pupil Personnel Worker who had sat in on all of my Educational Management Team meetings for A. and C. Now that would have been an interesting reunion…maybe. But I had to reschedule, so that didn’t come to pass.
Because M. is older, and has so much responsibility for her learning, I decided to have her accompany me to the review. I know this is kind of a no-no among homeschoolers (fears of students being “quizzed,” etc.) but I figured that her presence could only be a testament to the fact that she’s very bright and learning. She could fill in with narrative because documentation would be pretty bare bones.
- English. Go big. I pulled out the big gun, the Stanford U. EPGY course. Complete syllabus, impressive reading list and a sample of two papers that were each at least 4 pages long. I gave the reviewer a nice long time to look those over, plus lots of description, and clearly s/he was impressed with M.’s writing. S/he commented that another person that day had also relied on an EPGY class and s/he seemed intrigued. That plus a number of books, novels, and we’re good.
- Math. Shared a few Hands on Equations algebra worksheets, noted that the tutor is an MCPS teacher, meeting twice weekly for one-on-one sessions. M. asking for and doing math homework between sessions. We’re good.
- PE. Photo from weekly fencing, plus skiing and rock climbing. Self explanatory.
- Art. Sketches plus photos of adorable set design M. did for a Levine School production of Seussical. Sufficient.
- Music. PBS’s Broadway: The History of the American Musical. Great series. Also saw a performance of Hairspray, and watched additional videos such as Chicago and Every Little Step. As for writing, concrete product…not so much. Nothing really.
- Health. Spun daily reading of the New York Times Health Section as well as cited a Teen Self Defense workshop. The joke around here: “Don’t drink. Don’t have sex. MCPS Health. Done.” Too bad we attended Capitol Pride after the review.
- Science. Deep breath. MIT Kitchen Chemistry. Good syllabus and texts. Wish I had remembered to take photos. Accidentally deleted M.’s homework, so had to recreate it the night before. Even with a slew of videos (Nat Geo, PBS, Discovery, etc.), felt a bit thin to me. She’ll continue it through the summer.
- Social Studies. The area she has done the most in–and for which we had the least to show for. Highlighted the Lukeion workshop, IDing coins, the Roman reenactors, the videos upon videos, books….and yet.
- Other. Starting Ancient Greek with Dad and some Rosetta Stone French.
In the end we passed, the reviewer noting that clearly M. knows how to write and is doing a lot, but s/he did ask for some more written work to be show next time.
On the way out, I was asked to fill out a customer survey type form (what’s up with that?) and was given a laughable little slip of MCPS homeschooling resource suggestions: links to the Maryland State and MCPS Home Schooling websites, MCPS Curriculum website, and phone numbers for MCPS Placement and Assessment for special ed services and the MCPS Homeschooling Office. Gee…thanks.