Shelly Taylor's

Innovative Testing & Evaluation Services

If you would like me to evaluate your child, it’s advisable to contact me early in the school year and give me your contact information. Early spring, you would contact me again to schedule an appointment so I can interview your child and review his portfolio.


The homeschool law, (Act 169) requires a portfolio as part of the homeschool evaluation. It is made up of samples, spread throughout the school year, for each of the required subjects. Act 169 does not state how much documentation is needed. However, Act 169 requires that sustained progress and an appropriate education took place.

I feel the following guidelines would help show that sustained progress and an appropriate education took place. Remember, the samples need to be throughout the school year.

  • Math: 10-12 lessons
  • English: 4-10 writing samples, varied in length, content, and depth depending on the student’s age and ability. Evidence of grammar would be included. See writing process for helpful guide. (For the younger child, modified writing sample could include pictures that are labeled, dictated samples, simple sentences progressing to complex sentenced etc.)
  • List of books read by or to the student, noting classics in grades 9-12. This booklist is part of the required “log” as described below.
  • 4-6 spelling lessons, if you do formal spelling in grades 1-6.
  • 4-6 handwriting samples, if you do formal handwriting in grades 1-6.
  • History: will vary depending upon your studies and/or curriculum used. Generally include 15-18 pages of notes, end of chapter questions, tests, timelines, pictures, and/or essays spread throughout the school year.
  • Science: same documentation as history.
  • Art, music, and physical education: samples or brief write-ups depending on depth of the program.
  • Field trips: Not required, but a list could be included in the portfolio.
  • Extra curricular activities and/or awards: Not required, but a list could be included in the portfolio.
  • If you are using CD-ROM programs, include print outs, notes, etc. for documentation, especially for grades 9-12.

Unit Studies suggestion: separate work into individual subjects OR label as a unit study and keep all documentation together.

Using an “unschooling” approach and lack documentation? Include a brief description of how the required subjects were covered. Booklist, photographs and hand drawings are also great for documentation.

What else needs to be included?


The log, included in the portfolio, is an ongoing list of reading materials used in your school program. This includes books read to or by the student. Curriculum that is used regularly would be logged as “ongoing”.

Record of attendance

You are required to document the state’s attendance requirement of 180 days of school or 900 hours for the elementary levels (grades 1-6), or 180 days or 990 hours at the secondary level (grades 7-12). Remember, although you must meet the hour or day requirement, you can be evaluated before this requirement is met.

Standardized testing

Standardized testing is required for students in grades 3, 5, and 8. Results must be included in the student’s portfolio.

TerraNova Survey and TerraNova Plus: I administer group testing for students in grades 1-8 using the diagnostic TerraNova Survey in the fall and spring. Parents can rent the optional TerraNova Plus for students in grades 1-8.

Woodcock Johnson III: Group testing is offered in the spring using the Woodcock Johnson III. Appointments for individual testing can be made for this popular standardized test any time during the school year.

Check out my  “Now I Understand” approach to testing.

Read more for test descriptions.

Standardized Testing — What You Need to Know

Pre-evaluation worksheet

By filling out this optional pre-evaluation worksheet of basic information, I can spend quality time reading selected writing samples and discussing the student’s schooling. I can tell at a glance what curriculum and/or learning materials were used. The student will enter the evaluation with confidence because he/she has a chance to record the highlights for each subject and to answer basic questions. To receive a $3.00 discount, fill out worksheet prior to the evaluation.

Please hand carry pre-evaluation worksheet when we meet for a Short Form evaluation and Short Form with Credits evaluation. For General or Detailed evaluations, please fill out and return via e-mail or U.S. mail one week before the evaluation.

Evaluation Worksheet

High School Planner

High School Planner