Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Interview with Marsha Hubler: Homeschool Evaluator

Hi, Marsha, thank you for coming to my blog today in your role as homeschool evaluator. You’ve evaluated our children as well as many others. On the average how many evaluations do you do every year?

Thanks for having me, Sandy. I appreciate it. I do an average of 130 evaluations a year.

Why did you decide to do this? read more

I became an evaluator quite by accident. From 1987 to 1995, I worked at the Bethesda Treatment Center, Milton, PA, for conduct disordered kids. One day a mother stopped by and asked if someone there could “evaluate” her little girl’s homeschool program. I was chosen to do it, and I was so impressed, I looked into the PA state homeschool law and became a certified evaluator with PHAA, Susquehanna Valley Diploma Program, and Erie County Homeschoolers.

What qualifications do you have to make you eligible to evaluate homeschoolers?

I have a master’s degree in education from Bloomsburg University, and I’ve been working with students of all ages and various mental capacities since 1968, including teaching in public school, being the principal of Kreamer Christian Academy for 14 years, the administrator of the Bethesda Prep School for 8 years, and private tutoring down through the years.

I know from being in your office that you use verbal questioning as your method of learning about a student’s school year. What do you listen for as you ask questions that tell you if a student has progressed during the preceding school year?

I like to observe the interaction between the child and parent, and I like to see the parent instilling confidence and independent study in his/her child as well as strong moral values. The method of teaching and the curriculum each family uses is somewhat important, but as long as the child is on his correct performance level and “progress is being made,” I will write a favorable evaluation.

What kind of achievement would you call exceptional?

As an author, I like to see “composition work” from the lower grades on up. A student who can express himself well on paper is destined for success in any field he chooses to pursue.  When I see a nice portfolio filled with the student’s written work, that’s a good sign that the parent is on the right track. Also, if God has given certain talents to young people, such as playing an instrument, wood crafting, painting, or whatever, I like to see the results of the student using that talent. I’ve seen some beautiful projects and have heard some gifted musicians over the years.

What do you think helps the most to make an exceptional student instead of an average one?

I can summarize my definition for an exceptional student in three words: eager to learn. Regardless of the student’s mental capacities, if I see a child who wants to learn and does his best to achieve at whatever performance level he’s working, then I consider him an exceptional student.

Would you tell about one of your memorable times as an evaluator?

I’ve been evaluating for over 20 years. I wish I could recall many of the excellent moments I’ve had with homeschooling families.  But I can recall so many nice memories of seeing beautiful portfolios (like scrapbooks), guitars, violins, and flutes being played, arts and crafts like quilts and hand-carved coat racks displayed, and so on. I’ve been quite impressed with Mennonite families who come for evaluations, including many of the fathers. One family, in particular, sang a hymn in perfect four-part harmony one time. Another father brought his two teenage girls, and the girls were so mature, they answered every question and showed me everything I needed to see for an excellent evaluation while the dad put his head back on my sofa and fell asleep part of the time. (He had had a rough day at work.)  I could go on and on. In all the years I’ve been evaluating, I think I’ve only had to write three or four negative evaluations, and they were for folks whose hearts weren’t in it, the teens had been expelled from public school, or the family was ticked off at some teacher and wanted to just “get the year over with.” Overall, I’ve enjoyed all the years I’ve worked with homeschoolers. They are doing an excellent job here in the state of PA.

How would people contact you if they would like you to evaluate their child?

They can call me at 570.837.0002 or go to my website, , click on the contact link and send me an email there, or email me at

Look for these books on Marsha's website as well as many more.

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