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When homeschooling first came on to our radar, my husband was adamantly opposed. Yet, after time and prayer, he reluctantly agreed to try it out. However, homeschooling came with stipulations. One of those stipulations was that I would be required to standardize test our kids. Now that he is 100% pro-homeschooling, we are still choosing to opt into homeschool testing.
Do I think everyone should test? NO! Do I think homeschool testing gives a truly accurate portrayal of what my kids know? NO! Do we choose to test anyway? Yes!
Here are 4 reasons why we do homeschool testing
Standardized testing provides me with accountability. I am pretty strict when it comes to our school schedule, but have to confess that sometimes it’s easier to chalk school out the window. Especially when we have had days of sickness or times of busyness. However, knowing we test at the end of each year, requires me to be more accountable.
Our State Requires Evaluations
In Ohio, we are required to submit an evaluation each year. One option is standardized testing. Homeschool testing seems like the natural option since my husband prefers our kids to test anyway.
We skipped testing one year and opted for the alternative-portfolio review. Honestly, it seemed almost too easy. Also, I have family who is adamantly against homeschooling. And, I realized I missed the validation on paper of “knowing” my kids were keeping up. Now, I am not against this option AT ALL. But, for me, the validation (whether right or wrong) is worth the cost and time of the testing.
If something ever happened and our kids ever had to go to public school, we would have records of their testing scores. Also, if our kids go to college, plan on taking the ACT, or are required to someday (by the state) take these tests they are experienced in them.
Homeschool testing is not for every family and is not always appropriate. But for us, in this season we choose to test our kids.
Now, I know I will get comments and questions regarding this so, in advance, I want to share the following things.
- We go through a homeschool friendly company called Family Learning Organization.
- I am allowed to test them myself (I am the proctor, they are the administrator).
- We test at home, and for a week.
- We break up the days and the kids only test about an hour and a half each day. This is less than our normal homeschool day.
- We don’t put a huge emphasis on the scores.
- We do NOT teach “to the test”.
Do you test your homeschooler? Why or why not?