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bluerooffarm
Guess I'm not paying for the DORA for Zave next year.
April 2 at 11:15 AM

We take the DORA (Diagnostic Online Reading Assessment) each year.  This is Levi's first year and he did alright after I got him used to taking his darn time.  The Sight words test, he bombed.  He just wanted to fly through so he could do his "real work" and then go play.  After he slowed down, he is a grade level or 2 above in everything.  LOL

Enter the Zave-man (For the record he is 8 and at the end of 3rd grade).  What the heck?  He scored the maximum.  On. Everything.  (Except spelling.  He's *only* on grade level in spelling.)  Word recognition?  12th grade.  Oral Vocabulary? 12th grade.  Reading Comprehension? 12th grade.  Now the Phonics only goes to grade 4.83 and the High Frequency words only goes to grade 3.83, but he got the max on both of those.

So are there any other tests?  What do you do to make sure the kids are at level?  

Replies

  • TidewaterClan
    April 2 at 11:20 AM
    Jeez! Glad to read this. I was about to buy it from the homeschool co-op for the girls to take. Was it super easy this year?

    If we didn't do the DORA I was half considering taking the Ohio just out of curiosity and to hand to our assessor at the end of the school year.
  • bluerooffarm
    April 2 at 11:28 AM


    Quoting TidewaterClan: Jeez! Glad to read this. I was about to buy it from the homeschool co-op for the girls to take. Was it super easy this year? If we didn't do the DORA I was half considering taking the Ohio just out of curiosity and to hand to our assessor at the end of the school year.

    It wasn't super easy.  The words were "transparent" and "immunodeficiency" "oligarchy" "Pachyderm" "cornea" etc.  They were pretty difficult words.  And this is the second test he did like this.  (His Terra Novas put him in high school too).  I just have an evalutor that thinks you NEED a curriculum, so I like to have those scores to validate what I'm doing with him, ya know.  I'm wondering what she's going to think when she sees these ones though.  Like is she going to think I did the test for him or something.

  • TidewaterClan
    April 2 at 11:33 AM
    That's extremely impressive! I'll go ahead and purchase it for the girls.

    Do you like your evaluator or do you have a choice!


    Quoting bluerooffarm:

    Quoting TidewaterClan: Jeez! Glad to read this. I was about to buy it from the homeschool co-op for the girls to take. Was it super easy this year?

    If we didn't do the DORA I was half considering taking the Ohio just out of curiosity and to hand to our assessor at the end of the school year.

    It wasn't super easy.  The words were "transparent" and "immunodeficiency" "oligarchy" "Pachyderm" "cornea" etc.  They were pretty difficult words.  And this is the second test he did like this.  (His Terra Novas put him in high school too).  I just have an evalutor that thinks you NEED a curriculum, so I like to have those scores to validate what I'm doing with him, ya know.  I'm wondering what she's going to think when she sees these ones though.  Like is she going to think I did the test for him or something.

  • bluerooffarm
    April 2 at 11:40 AM

    Technically in Pennsylvania we can choose our evaluators; however there is an interpretation of the law that the school district itself can choose to only honor certain evaluators.  My particular school takes that to the extreme.  They have a small handfull of evaluators that they approve.  Those have so many people that they are trying not to take any more.  So when I secured this evaluator, I booked her for years into the future.  I don't want to lose my place, ya know?  I'm trying now (yes 3 years early) to secure a middle school one.

    I fight the school district on so much, that I'm letting this one go.

    Quoting TidewaterClan: That's extremely impressive! I'll go ahead and purchase it for the girls. Do you like your evaluator or do you have a choice!
    Quoting bluerooffarm:

    Quoting TidewaterClan: Jeez! Glad to read this. I was about to buy it from the homeschool co-op for the girls to take. Was it super easy this year? If we didn't do the DORA I was half considering taking the Ohio just out of curiosity and to hand to our assessor at the end of the school year.

    It wasn't super easy.  The words were "transparent" and "immunodeficiency" "oligarchy" "Pachyderm" "cornea" etc.  They were pretty difficult words.  And this is the second test he did like this.  (His Terra Novas put him in high school too).  I just have an evalutor that thinks you NEED a curriculum, so I like to have those scores to validate what I'm doing with him, ya know.  I'm wondering what she's going to think when she sees these ones though.  Like is she going to think I did the test for him or something.


  • hwblyf
    by hwblyf
    April 2 at 11:42 AM

    Here's the thing.  He doesn't need it any more.  Get him reading, discuss his reading.  My 1st grader tested up to 5th grade on sight words.  Why test him any further?  Reading takes care of the vocab and the spelling and usage, which he seems to have down.  Your evaluator should be able to see that on this year, and from here on out, reference that test.  It's insane to continue to evaluate a child to see if they're on level, when they're clearly above level.  And he'll begin to resent it and think of tests as being a trick pony or trained monkey.

    We're required to do a nationally recognized standardized test, so we did the ITBS.  You can do spring or fall, they have standards for both.  But these things aren't going to be informing your teaching, just getting the red tape out of the way.

    Oh, and I was reading the book Home Learning Year by Year, and once they have those basics down in Language Arts, they're really practicing their skills and whipping out some analysis of text.  Oh, and poem memorization.  :(  Just tell your evaluator that you think he's on a grade 5 level, and this is what they have him doing at that grade level.

  • TidewaterClan
    April 2 at 11:57 AM
    Oh that's rough. This is the same school that didn't want to accept your 'church' volunteering?

    I don't mind showing that we've been working on school but you have way too many hoops to jump through. :(


    Quoting bluerooffarm:

    Technically in Pennsylvania we can choose our evaluators; however there is an interpretation of the law that the school district itself can choose to only honor certain evaluators.  My particular school takes that to the extreme.  They have a small handfull of evaluators that they approve.  Those have so many people that they are trying not to take any more.  So when I secured this evaluator, I booked her for years into the future.  I don't want to lose my place, ya know?  I'm trying now (yes 3 years early) to secure a middle school one.

    I fight the school district on so much, that I'm letting this one go.

    Quoting TidewaterClan: That's extremely impressive! I'll go ahead and purchase it for the girls.

    Do you like your evaluator or do you have a choice!


    Quoting bluerooffarm:

    Quoting TidewaterClan: Jeez! Glad to read this. I was about to buy it from the homeschool co-op for the girls to take. Was it super easy this year?

    If we didn't do the DORA I was half considering taking the Ohio just out of curiosity and to hand to our assessor at the end of the school year.

    It wasn't super easy.  The words were "transparent" and "immunodeficiency" "oligarchy" "Pachyderm" "cornea" etc.  They were pretty difficult words.  And this is the second test he did like this.  (His Terra Novas put him in high school too).  I just have an evalutor that thinks you NEED a curriculum, so I like to have those scores to validate what I'm doing with him, ya know.  I'm wondering what she's going to think when she sees these ones though.  Like is she going to think I did the test for him or something.

  • bluerooffarm
    April 2 at 12:12 PM

    Yes, same school.  They tried to revoke a friend's "permission" to homeschool 2 years ago. They want to get ya into the school for therapies that are NOT required (they are pushing speech therapy for my youngest all. the.time).  They ask for tests in years they are not supposed to.  It's a pain in the bum.  You have to know your laws and threaten lawsuits to make it through.  My first year I actually gave myself an ulcer fretting about it.  Then I enrolled in K12 and hated that, so went back to regular homeschooling.  I just keep a copy of the laws in the front of my portfolio and a lawyer on speed dial. LOL

    Quoting TidewaterClan: Oh that's rough. This is the same school that didn't want to accept your 'church' volunteering? I don't mind showing that we've been working on school but you have way too many hoops to jump through. :(
    Quoting bluerooffarm:

    Technically in Pennsylvania we can choose our evaluators; however there is an interpretation of the law that the school district itself can choose to only honor certain evaluators.  My particular school takes that to the extreme.  They have a small handfull of evaluators that they approve.  Those have so many people that they are trying not to take any more.  So when I secured this evaluator, I booked her for years into the future.  I don't want to lose my place, ya know?  I'm trying now (yes 3 years early) to secure a middle school one.

    I fight the school district on so much, that I'm letting this one go.

    Quoting TidewaterClan: That's extremely impressive! I'll go ahead and purchase it for the girls. Do you like your evaluator or do you have a choice!
    Quoting bluerooffarm:

    Quoting TidewaterClan: Jeez! Glad to read this. I was about to buy it from the homeschool co-op for the girls to take. Was it super easy this year? If we didn't do the DORA I was half considering taking the Ohio just out of curiosity and to hand to our assessor at the end of the school year.

    It wasn't super easy.  The words were "transparent" and "immunodeficiency" "oligarchy" "Pachyderm" "cornea" etc.  They were pretty difficult words.  And this is the second test he did like this.  (His Terra Novas put him in high school too).  I just have an evalutor that thinks you NEED a curriculum, so I like to have those scores to validate what I'm doing with him, ya know.  I'm wondering what she's going to think when she sees these ones though.  Like is she going to think I did the test for him or something.


  • bluerooffarm
    April 2 at 12:23 PM

    Referencing this test in the future sounds like a good idea.  We did the Terra Novas in October and they put him up in the high school levels as well.  The DORAs were extra padding for our portfolio because of a cantankerous evaluator.  LOL.  We are required to do a standardized test in certain years, but I don't use a LA curiculum (that's what I taught before kids LOL).  My evaluator disagrees, she thinks homeschoolers need a curriculum.  She stamps my portfolio with "unschooler" LOL.  I'm totally not an unschooler!  You're right, I don't want to get him resenting the tests, but I do want to keep her satisfied that he is learning.  She gives off this vibe like she doesn't believe the worksheets I put in the portfolio.  I may be overly sensitive, but it's the feeling I get.

    Quoting hwblyf:

    Here's the thing.  He doesn't need it any more.  Get him reading, discuss his reading.  My 1st grader tested up to 5th grade on sight words.  Why test him any further?  Reading takes care of the vocab and the spelling and usage, which he seems to have down.  Your evaluator should be able to see that on this year, and from here on out, reference that test.  It's insane to continue to evaluate a child to see if they're on level, when they're clearly above level.  And he'll begin to resent it and think of tests as being a trick pony or trained monkey.

    We're required to do a nationally recognized standardized test, so we did the ITBS.  You can do spring or fall, they have standards for both.  But these things aren't going to be informing your teaching, just getting the red tape out of the way.

    Oh, and I was reading the book Home Learning Year by Year, and once they have those basics down in Language Arts, they're really practicing their skills and whipping out some analysis of text.  Oh, and poem memorization.  :(  Just tell your evaluator that you think he's on a grade 5 level, and this is what they have him doing at that grade level.


  • hwblyf
    by hwblyf
    April 2 at 1:14 PM
    I totally get it, and I'd be amazingly resentful of the lady.  How unfair that you have to do a portfolio/evaluator AND standardized testing!  But if the label unschooler keeps her off your back, so be it.  And I'd be so whipping out the fact that he's uber advanced, so clearly what you're doing is working and there's no cause to change what appears to be working so brilliantly for him.  Is there any way to change evaluators?  It just seems so invasive.  I mean, I understand if the kiddo isn't doing anything and is not doing well, but he's learning, even if it's not in her preferred way.  Her preferences should mean a whopping nothing.
    Quoting bluerooffarm:

    Referencing this test in the future sounds like a good idea.  We did the Terra Novas in October and they put him up in the high school levels as well.  The DORAs were extra padding for our portfolio because of a cantankerous evaluator.  LOL.  We are required to do a standardized test in certain years, but I don't use a LA curiculum (that's what I taught before kids LOL).  My evaluator disagrees, she thinks homeschoolers need a curriculum.  She stamps my portfolio with "unschooler" LOL.  I'm totally not an unschooler!  You're right, I don't want to get him resenting the tests, but I do want to keep her satisfied that he is learning.  She gives off this vibe like she doesn't believe the worksheets I put in the portfolio.  I may be overly sensitive, but it's the feeling I get.

    Quoting hwblyf:

    Here's the thing.  He doesn't need it any more.  Get him reading, discuss his reading.  My 1st grader tested up to 5th grade on sight words.  Why test him any further?  Reading takes care of the vocab and the spelling and usage, which he seems to have down.  Your evaluator should be able to see that on this year, and from here on out, reference that test.  It's insane to continue to evaluate a child to see if they're on level, when they're clearly above level.  And he'll begin to resent it and think of tests as being a trick pony or trained monkey.

    We're required to do a nationally recognized standardized test, so we did the ITBS.  You can do spring or fall, they have standards for both.  But these things aren't going to be informing your teaching, just getting the red tape out of the way.

    Oh, and I was reading the book Home Learning Year by Year, and once they have those basics down in Language Arts, they're really practicing their skills and whipping out some analysis of text.  Oh, and poem memorization.  :(  Just tell your evaluator that you think he's on a grade 5 level, and this is what they have him doing at that grade level.


  • bluerooffarm
    April 2 at 1:28 PM

    Our school district gives a list of "qualified" evaluators.  The list is short.  They must live in the county, hold a teaching certificate in the level and in a content area (IE no gym teachers), and have so many years experience in the classroom (I think it's 5 but I'm not positive).  Supposedly they aren't really allowed to be that picky, but there's a section of the law that reads as though the school district can say who is qualified so a lawyer won't fight that battle.  Anyway, the list of elementary teachers with those qualifications that want to do it is about 6 people long and they are booked.  I had a heck of a time even getting this evaluator, so I keep booking her for the following year.  She also only charges $100 for all my kiddos, some of them charge per head no matter how many kids you bring.  

    The label only makes things harder.  The district office looks over my portfolio again because of that stupid stamp.  My friend uses Abeka, evaluator stamps "Abeka" on her portfolio.  The district office photocopies her book list and her affidavit for the following year and she leaves.  I sit in there for half an hour while the lady looks through my "legalities" section of the portfolio..... standardized test, copy of the affadavit, book list, book log, list of objectives, and letter of evaluation.  

    Dh is looking for an engineering job right now, and I'm considering moving.  I'm really tired of the hoops.

    Quoting hwblyf:
    I totally get it, and I'd be amazingly resentful of the lady.  How unfair that you have to do a portfolio/evaluator AND standardized testing!  But if the label unschooler keeps her off your back, so be it.  And I'd be so whipping out the fact that he's uber advanced, so clearly what you're doing is working and there's no cause to change what appears to be working so brilliantly for him.  Is there any way to change evaluators?  It just seems so invasive.  I mean, I understand if the kiddo isn't doing anything and is not doing well, but he's learning, even if it's not in her preferred way.  Her preferences should mean a whopping nothing.
    Quoting bluerooffarm:

    Referencing this test in the future sounds like a good idea.  We did the Terra Novas in October and they put him up in the high school levels as well.  The DORAs were extra padding for our portfolio because of a cantankerous evaluator.  LOL.  We are required to do a standardized test in certain years, but I don't use a LA curiculum (that's what I taught before kids LOL).  My evaluator disagrees, she thinks homeschoolers need a curriculum.  She stamps my portfolio with "unschooler" LOL.  I'm totally not an unschooler!  You're right, I don't want to get him resenting the tests, but I do want to keep her satisfied that he is learning.  She gives off this vibe like she doesn't believe the worksheets I put in the portfolio.  I may be overly sensitive, but it's the feeling I get.

    Quoting hwblyf:

    Here's the thing.  He doesn't need it any more.  Get him reading, discuss his reading.  My 1st grader tested up to 5th grade on sight words.  Why test him any further?  Reading takes care of the vocab and the spelling and usage, which he seems to have down.  Your evaluator should be able to see that on this year, and from here on out, reference that test.  It's insane to continue to evaluate a child to see if they're on level, when they're clearly above level.  And he'll begin to resent it and think of tests as being a trick pony or trained monkey.

    We're required to do a nationally recognized standardized test, so we did the ITBS.  You can do spring or fall, they have standards for both.  But these things aren't going to be informing your teaching, just getting the red tape out of the way.

    Oh, and I was reading the book Home Learning Year by Year, and once they have those basics down in Language Arts, they're really practicing their skills and whipping out some analysis of text.  Oh, and poem memorization.  :(  Just tell your evaluator that you think he's on a grade 5 level, and this is what they have him doing at that grade level.



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