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To test or not to test…The Homeschooling Testing Conundrum

Many of us attended a public school and remember all of the tests. Tests, tests, tests.  I remember being taught the test, taking all the practice tests, and then the long energy zapping days of the actual test! Sadly, it has made me dislike the word test.

Now as a homeschooling mom, my children don’t have any tests. We work on concepts until they understand them. We focus on practice and mastery, not prepping for the tests. I especially didn’t want my children to cram information and then dump it after the test like I had trained myself to do in school.  Lately, however, I have been wondering though if I should embrace homeschool testing.

 

Why Should We Test

  • Like it or not, my children are going to have to take a standardized test at some point. One day they will need to complete their written driver’s test and maybe even a nationally standardized test like the ACT. They need to understand the basic formats and what is required during these types of tests.

 

  • Tests can help show holes in my homeschooler’s knowledge of concepts that we have neglected to cover or that my child needs more practice to master.

 

  • Placement tests for homeschoolers can be useful in helping me know where to start with a new curriculum or subject. It is incredible to see how much my children have learned without me on some subjects!

 

  • Testing now can also help us work on stress management in a safe environment. Teaching my children good test-taking skills at home can prepare them for when the tests are high-stakes.

 

Do I Have to Test

Luckily, I live in a state that does not require homeschool standardized testing, so I have many choices on homeschool testing services. Most states do not require state testing or standardized testing for homeschoolers. States that do, may only accept specific tests so please check your state homeschool laws if you want to use your test results to meet homeschool evaluation requirements.

 

Testing doesn’t have to be a bad word. Adding a few tests on your terms for the right reasons can make testing an educational tool instead of an education woe.

 

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