helpful resources for homeschoolers

homeschool basics
great for anyone starting out, especially in pennsylvania

HOMESCHOOL CENTRAL: Information on  homeschool resources, curriculum, support groups, and more.
LOCALHOMESCHOOL.COM: Helps you find homeschool support groups, no matter where you might live!
THEHOMESCHOOLMOM: Another great resource on both a local and national level -- LOTS of information!
PA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION: Frequently asked questions on homeschooling.

high school diploma programs
These are the top 2 homeschool diploma programs
in northampton & lehigh county areas


lehigh valley & pocono COLLEGES for homeschoolers


Advocates for Homeschoolers


pennsylvania evaluators
All homeschoolers in PA must be evaluated at the end of the year

Here is a small list of some of the evaluators in the Lehigh Valley that Fireside is familiar with. This list will grow as information is available. (If you are an evaluator in the area and want to be included, please contact us!)   PLEASE CALL AND SCHEDULE YOUR EVALUATION EARLY, AS MANY BOOK UP!

Timothy Anger (Secondary : Grades 7-12)
"I have been helping parents in the Lehigh Valley area prepare their teens for graduation and college for over twenty-five years. I can help students with the new Act 196 parent-issued diplomas, and I also work with the PHAA, Mason-Dixon, Susquehanna, and BuxMont Diploma Accreditation programs.  I meet with the student and parents at my office in Emmaus at the end of the school year for the annual evaluation interview, and welcome emails or phonecalls from the families I work with throughout the year as questions arise. Many parents find it helpful for their son to have a man as evaluator! (And don’t let that last name scare you!) I prepare thorough and professional narrative reports that are well respected by all the school districts who have received them. My wife and I have homeschooled all of our children for part or all of their K-12 schooling, and I have over 25 years experience teaching math and science in the Christian School setting. I would welcome the opportunity to serve as part of your educational team!" Contact: Timothy Anger, M.S.,, 484-519-0109,

Jennifer Cole (Elementary, Secondary, Mason Dixon Diploma Program)
"My name is Jennifer Cole, and I would be happy to complete your homeschool educator evaluation. Depending upon your location, this can be achieved via face to face meeting, phone or Skype session. I have a Master of Arts in Instruction and Curriculum and have taught language arts, public speaking, and theatre arts at Clark Public Schools in New Jersey for eight years. I have certifications in PA and NJ for both elementary and secondary students. I have been homeschooling my children for many years, and have taught at Fireside Academy Community for Homeschoolers. As an evaluator, my first priority is support for the homeschooling family. I have nothing but the greatest respect for those families who take on the education of their children. As part of the PA homeschool community, I have witnessed families find success with many different approaches and curricula. I strongly believe that you know your student best, and I will strongly endorse your decision as a parent regarding the best curriculum and methods for your child's learning style.   Contact:

Nicole Hanlon (Elementary, Secondary, Mason Dixon Diploma Program)
I am a Pennsylvania certified teacher that has grading experience in both elementary, secondary schools and for the Mason Dixon Diploma program. My BA is in elementary education. I am currently taking classes for my MA in classroom technology. I have been teaching since 2000 in the Reading School District. My sister home schools all six of her children and has proven to me that home schooling is a personal choice that can have great results. I have 3 boys in the Wilson School District. My number one hobby is photography. Please feel free to contact me and/or set up an appointment for evaluation. Contact: (610) 804-4254 or

Lisa Hays (Elementary,  Secondary)
First and foremost, I am a mom to 10 little ones. I have been lovingly home educating since 2001. I have been through it all as a school at homer, Cyber Schooler, eclectic and now an unschooler by heart. I am a certified teacher for K-8. I have worked with children of all ages, gender and nationalities for years and children are my passion! I truly believe that children and people grow daily, it is part of our nature. I began evaluating in 2006. I am also happy to do consulting and support of burnt out moms (I have been there!). I am opposed to over-compliance and I am happy to help you learn the laws. I will travel for groups, do distance or in-person evaluations. I would be happy to work out whatever system will make your child most comfortable with the process.  Contact: 610-588-5719, Bangor, Pa. 18013

Roland "Jake" Jacobus (Elementary, Secondary,  Special Ed)
I am a PA Certified Teacher employed by Catasauqua Area SD in learning support. I have been doing evaluations for 5 years, and my wife and I have home-schooled our 6 children for over 21 years. I enjoy meeting with parents and their children at evaluation time, and would look forward to meeting with you. In addition to a rewarding and encouraging interview for both you and your child, you will receive from me a professional and well-written narrative regarding your child's accomplishments throughout the school year. I normally travel to your home, but will perform interviews at our home when convenient. I am willing to travel distances, but do charge for extended travel time to offset fuel costs. I charge $45 for your first child and $35 for each additional child. Short forms are also available for a flat $30. Tutoring available.  Contact: Roland (Jake) Jacobus, (610) 264-4955,
Tierra Jones (Elementary)
I am a PA Certified Teacher (K-6). I currently teach first grade and have 5 years of experience in a public school. In addition to evaluating, I am available for tutoring children with reading difficulties. I hold a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Literacy and am passionate about helping struggling readers become confident readers. Located in Allentown, serving families in the Lehigh Valley. My home, your home, local library or phone/internet (distance) evaluations available.  Please email a detailed request. Contact:

Patti  A.  Mahaney,  M. Ed. (Elementary, Secondary, Special Ed, Mason Dixon Diploma Program)
I have been a teacher in a variety of settings for more than 30 years.  I have enjoyed teaching in public schools, private schools, residential schools, international schools and homeschool co-ops.  Presently I am using my experience to help local homeschool families.  I am able to do evaluations for students of all ages including those with Special Education needs and those pursuing a high school diploma.   I am  also available for consultations and standardized testing.  Contact: or (570) 578-1874.

Dawn Sweeney (Elementary, Secondary)
My name is Dawn Sweeney and I have been a home school evaluator for 11 years.  I have evaluated various philosophies from radical un-schooling families as well as families who follow comprehensive curriculum on a set schedule and those in-between.   My philosophy as an evaluator is that I support each family and their own unique home school style.    I request from families to provide the information necessary to certify that progress has been made during the school year such has class work samples, reading list, subjects covered and 180 days completed.  I do in-person evaluations in my home in Chester Co. and I do distance evaluations through the mail.  My evaluation is a 1-page form with all information required for a PA home school evaluation and my fee is $35. Contact:, 610-913-0132, PA Certified K-12