Just this week I had two homeschooling moms ask me why I no longer do in-person end of year evaluations. I did write about this on the old blog, and I think it deserves a place here in our new(er) space as well. Before I answer though, let me just say that I really would love to meet you, but I’d rather talk to you via Skype or phone. 🙂 Let me explain why.
Introvert, Extrovert, Ambivert?
There has been a lot of talk on social media about personality types: introverts, extroverts, and ambiverts too. I have spent some time pondering this myself and I do find personality/learning style quizzes fun and interesting. I am most definitely an introvert. When I have too many places to have to be, too many people to talk to, and too many outside-the-home commitments, it can take me days to recover my energy. This is how introverts are: they recharge by being alone and quiet. Can you relate?
Because I am a homeschooling mom, I don’t get much alone time, but I can go outside and work in my garden, or go hang out in the barn with my horses for a bit. I need this. Fortunately, my family understands and lucky for me, my girls are also introverts so we “get” each other. Yet, despite not necessarily getting “energized” by our social activities, we trudge on and go to classes, meet with friends and live a joyful, full life. I couldn’t imagine living in a household full of extroverts! Can you relate?
I work from home as well, both as a homeschool consultant and evaluator, and as a part-time teacher. Both of these provide me with joy and satisfaction, but I can get drained of energy. Can you relate?
The Need for Change
I began doing homeschool evaluations and consulting in 2007. My clients and I would meet in local coffee shops. Since the bulk of my evaluation requests come in during the late spring and summer months, I found myself spending all of my Saturdays and three to four nights a week away from my family at dinner time and on Saturdays doing evaluations. My family started to feel the effects of my absence. My girls were littler then and I missed them! That was when I decided to change the way I did things.
Most of my consulting work was done long-distance anyway, and I had many clients from other parts of Florida and other states already doing distance-evaluations by emailing or snail-mailing me work samples, so I decided to ask my local clients to do their evaluations online too. I knew that this would make it easier for me, but I never expected that most of my clients actually preferred doing their evaluations this way as well. Maybe they are all fellow introverts! 😉 Seriously, though; the process is just so much more convenient and thorough for everyone involved.
How are distance-evaluations done?
Online or distance-evaluations are super easy. You can upload work samples whenever you want to, and email them to me ahead of time. Of course, this is not the only way to show me the work that your students have done. Over the years I have had families share their work in these ways:
* Create a blog (I love these and many of my unschooling families do this.)
* Create a private Facebook page (Love this too!)
* Create a Youtube channel (some of my families who do this are amazing and I love to see and hear the students I am evaluating)
* Scan and email samples of work
* Snail-mail work samples to me
Florida asks evaluators to have a conversation with the student as well, and the way we fulfill this requirement is via a short phone chat, or Skype session. After that, the time is YOURS for whatever you’d like to discuss. Read more about how I conduct evaluations here.
Evaluation and Consultation In One
A big perk of scheduling a portfolio evaluation with me is that you are able to ask me any questions you want to during our phone session. Yes, the phone session is for the student; however, that time is for you as well. One of the benefits of doing a distance-evaluation with me is that you can decide what you’d like to discuss with me before-hand and give me a heads up about it so that I can research and ponder before hand. This is the best way to use our time together, and is the way that I have been doing consulting sessions since the beginning. Another benefit to you if you choose me as your evaluator, is that I will answer any questions you have via email all year long. If you have more in-depth questions about a particular topic such as curriculum choices, learning styles, etc. then we can schedule a consult; however, many questions can be answered via email.
Book Your Appointment!
Are you ready to book your appointment! Just click here for my appointment scheduler, and choose the time that works best for you and your family. I look forward to talking with you! Oh, and if you can relate to the introvert thing, leave a comment below! I know that there are plenty of us out there!