West Hill Farm & Ranch


  • Portfolio:

The following areas need to be addressed with samples of the student’s work:

Elementary School Level (grades 1-6) - the following courses shall be taught: English, to include spelling, reading, and writing; arithmetic; science; geography; history of the U.S. and PA; civics; safety education, including regular and continuous instruction in the dangers and prevention of fires; health and physiology; physical education; music; and art.

Secondary School Level (grades7-12) - the following courses shall be taught: English, to include language, literature, speech, and composition; science; geography; social studies, to include civics, world history, history of the U.S. and PA; mathematics to include general mathematics, algebra, and geometry; art; music; physical education; health; and safety education, including regular and continuous instruction in the dangers and prevention of fires. Other courses may be included at the discretion of the supervisor.

The portfolio should be well organized in an easy-to-read manner. A three-ring binder with subject separators is an excellent vehicle for displaying samples of the student’s work. A combination of worksheets, tests, written assignments, pictures, tests, time lines, and projects, etc. would be acceptable representations of student’s work.

  • Documentation Requirements

The homeschool law requires samples to be collected throughout the school year for each of the required subjects. While the law does not specifically state how much documentation is needed, I believe that adequate testament of progress and appropriate education can be proven by using the following guidelines:

Math: 10 to 15 lessons

English: 4 to 10 writing samples, varied length, content, and depth depending on the student’s age and ability

Books read: List books read by or to the student noting any classics. This list should be part of the "log." Spelling: 7 to 9 lessons if you do formal spelling in grades 1-6

Handwriting: 7 to 9 samples if you do formal handwriting in grades 1-6

History: 12-18 pages of notes, end of chapter questions, tests, time lines, pictures, and/or essays

Science: 12-18 pages of notes, end of chapter questions, tests, time lines, pictures, and/or essays

Art, music, and physical education: samples or brief write ups depending on depth of the program

Field trips: Include a complete list in the portfolio

Extra curricular activities and/or awards: include a complete list in the portfolio

Unit Studies: Separate work into individual subjects or label as a unit study and keep all documentation together

Note: If you are using an "unschooling" approach and lack documentation, just include a brief description of how the required subjects were covered. As always, a picture is worth a thousand words.

If you are using CD-Rom programs, include print outs or notes, etc. for documentation. This is especially true if the CD-Rom is your sole curriculum source for a subject.

  • Log:

The log is an ongoing list, in chronological order, of reading materials used in your school program. This includes books read to or by the student. Curriculum that is used regularly would be stated once and noted as "ongoing."

  • Record of Attendance:

You must document the state’s attendance requirement of 180 days of school or 900 hours for the Elementary level (grades1-6) 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 the requirement is met.

  • Health Service Requirements: (For your perusal)

This information is taken from the homeschool law.  This is what you are attesting to when you sign the affidavit.  As to what documentation needs to be turned into your local school district, please read the article below written by Senior Counselor, Dee Black of HSLDA.

Each year vision, height, and weight must be checked. Depending upon your child’s grade level, the following are required:

First Year: Dental Exam and Tuberculosis Test

First Year in PA: Medical Exam

Second Grade: Hearing Test

Third Grade: Hearing Test and Dental Exam

Sixth Grade Medical Exam and Scoliosis Test

Seventh Grade: Hearing Test, Scoliosis Test, and Dental Exam

Ninth Grade: Tuberculosis Test

Eleventh Grade: Medical Exam and Hearing Test

Homeschool Affidavits: Health and Medical Services/Immunization Requirements

by Senior Counselor Dee Black

Believe it or not, the most frequent legal problem in Pennsylvania with which Home School Legal Defense Association assists our member families has to do with the documentation required to be submitted to school districts about (1) immunizations and (2) health and medical services received by a child in a home education program. Health and medical services include such things as medical and dental examinations, vision tests, hearing tests, height and weight measurements, and tests for tuberculosis. The homeschool statute says the parent must file a notarized affidavit with the superintendent which sets forth certain information, including “evidence” that the child has been immunized and has received the health and medical services required for public school students. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, this evidence must be in the form of separate documentation attached to the affidavit. HSLDA has a somewhat different understanding of the law.

While the courts have not ruled on this issue, our view is that sufficient evidence of receipt of health and medical services may be shown by a statement in the notarized affidavit. The law does not state that any additional documentation of these services must be attached to the affidavit or otherwise submitted to the school district. While state law requires school districts to maintain health records for public school students, the homeschool law only requires that evidence be submitted to the superintendent each year that the services have been received. Many homeschoolers object to providing additional personal information based on privacy considerations.

The law is different for what documentation must be submitted by homeschoolers to the school district as evidence of immunizations. Section 23.81 et seq. of the Pennsylvania Administrative Code relating to the immunization of school children expressly includes children in home education programs. These provisions require that a certificate of immunization form furnished by the Pennsylvania Department of Health or another record of immunization be submitted to the school district for homeschool students. Although the information regarding immunizations for a child may not have changed from year to year, state law appears to require the filing of this documentation every year along with the affidavit.

State law recognizes the right of parents to claim a religious exemption from immunizations and health and medical services. HSLDA has developed a form for use by our members who wish to claim an exemption from either or both of these. A medical exemption from immunizations is also available if a physician provides a written statement that specified immunizations may be detrimental to the health of the child. These documents should be filed with the superintendent along with the affidavit.

  • Standardized Testing:

If your child is in grades 3, 5, or 8, the portfolio must include the results of a standardized test for at least reading, language arts, and mathematics. These test results no longer need to be handed into the local school district.  I will again be offering the Peabody Individual Achievement Test (P.I.A.T.). The PIAT is accepted by the PA Dept. of Ed. and can be given for all grades. If you need to schedule testing at the time of evaluation, please let me know when you make your appointment. If you need information on other testing options please feel free to contact me.

  • Interview:

I will review the student’s portfolio, log, and attendance record during the required interview. Your child may bring a project to show to me, and/or read a short selection from a book of their choice. This usually takes approximately an hour for grades 1-8. The interview time for students in grades 9-12 working for homeschool diploma credits depends on the number of electives and the intensity of their learning program.