HAHA Harrisburg Area Homeschool Association Evaluator Interview
Brook Euler M.Ed Licensed Teacher for Elementary and Secondary Education
1. Have you ever homeschooled? If so, how long?
My children have been homeschooling for four years. Before that I taught at a private k-12 school that focused on the children creating their own programs and curriculums. I worked hand in hand with all ages helping them achieve their goals both academically and interpersonally. This means teaching and interacting with students in pursuit of their interest. The students and I worked with every type of resource including text books in order to create unique approaches based on their own self-directed interest. I also wrote my own curriculum when I taught at the college level.
2. How many years have you been an evaluator?
I have been a home school educational consultant for 14 years working with families spanning several states and have been evaluating in Pennsylvania for two.
3. What areas are you certified to evaluate in? elementary, secondary, and/or special needs
I am a certified teacher in Pennsylvania in Elementary and Secondary education. I have also taught at the college level. I can evaluate special needs upon approval of individual school districts and am accredited through PHAA.
4. Do you offer other services related to homeschooling? If so, what are the additional fees associated with these services? For example (testing, consulting, curriculum suggestions, recordkeeping, transcript preparation, letters of recommendation, diploma programs, questions over the phone etc.) I offer testing and tutoring services. Testing prices depend on if the family wishes the child to be tested in their own home, my home or with others in a group. I offer private tutoring and specialize in Orton-Gillingham Reading and Spelling for Dyslexic children and adults. Orton Gillingham tutoring is approximately $40. per hour. I also offer one time only over the phone or in person consulting and curriculum/year planning for $25.00 an hour or $100. for a year of consulting support. All of my families who use my evaluation services may always contact me with questions pertaining to state requirements and evaluation preparation questions for free. I believe letters of recommendation are an appropriate use of your evaluator’s relationship with your child and I welcome requests for letters of recommendation for free.
5. Do you support all methods of traditional homeschooling? (work books, Charlotte Mason, unit studies, eclectic, unschooling, etc.) Yes. Every child and family is unique. I am here to support your choice in how best to enable your child to learn. I welcome clients who use traditional curriculums, work books, Charlotte Mason, unschoolers, life learners, cyber schoolers etc. It’s also fine to change courses or approaches during the year.
6. What would you like me to bring to the evaluation? Do I have to prepare a traditional portfolio as in the past or would other forms of documentation suffice (i.e. actual workbooks, an on-line portfolio, etc.) I send a pre-evaluation worksheet to you at the time of booking the evaluation meeting. I only require that you show me the minimum in order to demonstrate the progression of learning has taken place. For example a math sample from the beginning, middle and end of your school year. While I only need to see the minimum, I love seeing everything that you want to share with me. From work sheets, short stories, reading lists, art work, field trips, etc. I feel that I get to know your child better by looking over your portfolio (or whatever you choose to bring along) and this gives me more detail for writing longer evaluations such as for those seeking college. How much extra you bring along is the families’ preference. You should bring along as little or as much as you wish beyond what demonstrates sustained progress.
7. Do I need to submit samples each year from every subject listed on the affidavit?
8. Approximately how many samples do you require? If you’re providing samples, I like to see three in each. From beginning, middle and end of the year, demonstrating learning has occurred. More samples, paint a more in-depth picture but is your decision.
9. Do you require that I spell out which specific days we counted as our 180? No.
10. Do you require that my reading materials used appear on the same log as our attendance? No.
11. How long should we anticipate it taking for each child?
3o minutes to an hour depending on how in-depth of an evaluation you want. Some families want the short letter which serves almost like a check list. Others want my detailed letter which is an in-depth
evaluation and may include courses. Those evaluations generally take longer. Sibling evaluations typically move along faster.
12. What types of questions might you ask them?
My evaluations are supportive not judgmental. The parent is welcomed and encouraged to participate. To help get the conversation rolling, I may ask questions such as these. Tell me about your year? What did you feel worked well for you this year? What did you enjoy the most? Were their any challenges that you would like my assistance with?
13. What happens if my child is not “on grade level” according to their age?
I don't believe that "grade levels" fairly represent children, as every child is so different. Some children really excel in math during certain time periods of adolescence while another may be making strides in reading and not math. I place emphasis on "Sustained progress" in subjects for each child not grade levels.
14. What type of letter or form can I expect? Do you have a sample you can e-mail?
I offer standard form evaluation which I call the Short Letter. I also offer detailed letters of evaluation up through course credit and year at a glance letters. I have samples of each.
15. What do you charge for the evaluation and what form of payment do you accept? Do you offer a sibling discount?
For the Standard evaluation which I call the Short Letter- I charge $35.00 but HAHA members receive a $5.00 discount. I also give a sibling discount of $5.00. Payment can be made with a check, cash or paypal.
16. During what months do you prefer to conduct evaluations?
Typically April, May and June. I am available at other times as well if a family is ready.
17. How far in advance would you prefer that I set-up an appointment?
It’s simply more convenient to schedule in advance and you will be more likely to find a day and time that works best for you.
18. Do I have to have fulfilled all 180 days of 900/990 hours prior to our interview?
No. I can explain how, in person or through e-mail.
19. Where do you conduct evaluations? Do you travel to any other locations or to my house? Would you be available to do an interview over the phone or via skype or other electronic means?
Most evaluations are conducted at local libraries. I also go to state parks, churches or your home. I am available to perform evaluations over skype, email or the phone as well. While I am happy to do those, I really do enjoy meeting children and their families and prefer meeting in person. The most important factor is for the child and family to feel comfortable. So if that means meeting at your house, at your kitchen table, I'm happy to accommodate.
20. Can you provide me with references? Absolutely yes.