When we began homeschooling, my husband and I agreed that my son would undergo homeschool testing every year to make sure he was on par with his peers.
Standardized tests can help homeschoolers identify areas of weakness in their home schools. In some instances, homeschool testing is required by state homeschooling law.
Homeschool parents can have their children tested through local homeschool support groups or umbrella schools. If you are a college graduate or certified teacher, you may be able to administer standardized tests on your own through Bob Jones University's BJU Press Testing and Evaluation Services.
I thankfully live in a state where testing is not required. So while I may test my son so he can gain test-taking experience, I now realize standardized tests are not accurate measures of my goals for my child for several reasons:
Relax! According to these homeschooling statistics, homeschoolers tend to outscore both public and private school students on standardized tests.
If your state requires homeschool testing, choose your normal curriculum and add on a simple test preparation program. Don't make your school revolve around testing - that time is better spent on true learning.
Here are some additional test taking tips.
If you are in a state that does not require testing, advocate for children in your state who are subject to standardized tests, and be alert for politicians who want to bring high stakes testing to a homeschool near you!
For more information on the negative effects of standardized tests, read Susan Ohanian's, What Happened to Recess and Why Are Our Children Struggling in Kindergarten?
In the words of John Holt,
"What is this test nonsense, anyway? Do people go through life taking math tests, with other people telling them to hurry? Are we trying to turn out intelligent people, or test takers?"
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