The term “standardized testing” is enough to strike fear into the hearts of most school kids. This process can often mean whether they pass a grade or remain behind their classmates during the next year.
For homeschoolers, though, standardized testing can create other concerns, especially because so many of us have students who are working at different grade levels in different subjects.
If you have a student who is working on fourth grade math and sixth grade ELA, will homeschool standardized testing even work?
In our family, we’ve resisted standardized testing over the years. Since our state only requires us to test every three years, we’ve been able to avoid a lot of the pressure that public school students in our area face.
But, we still have to administer a test, which means considering several factors before choosing an exam. Here’s a look at how we chose our homeschool standardized testing program and how you can use it with your own kids!
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Does Standardized Testing Work for Homeschoolers?
At heart, I’m completely anti-testing. I was a good student in school and I always did well on my tests. But, times have definitely changed since then.
For several years, our local public school system used the CRCT. The test was so difficult that many educators and administrators were sentenced to jail because of providing false test scores in order to keep their jobs.
We didn’t want to place that kind of pressure on our kids, so we only tested every three years, as our state law required.
My husband and I aren’t interested in teaching children to test well. We want them to learn material that will help them in their lives and future careers and, for many years, I just didn’t see how testing would help them reach that goal.
As my kids have gotten older, though, I’ve started to notice some things that caused me to reconsider my anti-testing stance.
For one thing, all of my kids have different skills and talents. One of them is a natural linguist and was bored to tears by studying the ELA material for their specific grade level.
One of them is a natural mathematician who has almost no patience to learn the math lessons assigned to their grade level.
And yet another is so eager to learn that they have already skipped a couple of grades.
It was time to assess where everyone was so I could omit the material they already knew and work on strengthening each child’s weaker areas.
What to Consider When Choosing A Standardized Testing Program
Another reason why I was hesitant to use homeschool standardized testing with my kids was their attention issues. Two of our children have ADD/ADHD and, honestly, the length of some of these tests are a bit much for my ADD as well.
So I knew I would need to choose an at-home standardized testing program that would be simple enough for me to administer and relaxed enough for my children to complete.
Which is why I was thrilled to learn about the Stanford-10 test.
I wouldn’t need to take my kids to an offsite testing location. I wouldn’t need to have someone else proctor the test. And I wouldn’t have to grade it myself. The ultimate low-stress standardized testing option for homeschoolers.
Do you use homeschool standardized testing with your kids? How do you go about choosing your program? Share your experiences in the comments!
Check out these other ways to make learning simple in your homeschool!
See even more ways to plan your homeschooling year on my Homeschool Planning Pinterest board!