Saturday, September 19 will be a day of encouragement for homeschoolers and an opportunity for high school students to make a difference in the future of college entrance exam testing. Bryan College, in Dayton, Tennessee, will host ARC Beta Testing & Day of Encouragement for Homeschoolers from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the school campus.
In the beginning, the focus of the day was for students to participate in beta testing of the Assessment of Readiness for College (ARC) Entrance Test, which is a new exam that is not Common Core aligned. Because the event coordinators wanted to offer more to the students as well as the parents, the event blossomed into a full day of encouragement for all participants.
“Tennessee has a ton of veteran pioneer homeschooling authors and speakers, and quite a few expressed an interest in coming over and talking to the homeschoolers,” said Bryan College Homeschool Specialist Pat Wesolowski. “These people are a wealth of information.”
With them having a long history in homeschooling, it made sense to include these homeschool veterans in the day as students participate in a test that may change the direction of how college entrance exams are presented in the future.
“The test is open to students attending public, private and home schools.” said Wesolowski. “The more diverse students taking this test the better.”
Participating in the testing is free for students, and along with the testing, parents will be able to attend free workshops presented by homeschool veterans like Chris Davis, Mary Hood, Ph.D., and Wesolowski, who has been homeschooling for more than 30 years. Other speakers include Jason Glen, Beth Impson, Shawn Lamb and Jack Saunders. There will be a number of workshops from which to choose with topics like “Why Some Children Resist Being Taught,” “Understanding Common Core: A Homeschooler’s Perspective”, “From Getting Started to Finishing Well: How to begin, enjoy and end a successful homeschool adventure” and more.
The beta testing is geared toward students in ninth through twelfth grades, but middle school students may also take the test. Students who have taken the ACT or SAT before the beta testing date, are asked to submit those scores. If they take either the ACT or SAT after September 19, students are asked to provide those scores once they become available.
“That additional information will help statisticians make the ARC scoring competitive,” said Wesolowski.
There will be two sessions of testing from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., so families traveling a distance will have the option of participating in testing later in the day. While students are in testing, their parents may attend workshops. The workshops will be repeated, so they will have an opportunity to attend the sessions that interest them.
“There will be workshops going on throughout the day for teenagers,” said Wesolowski. “We will also have representatives from Bryan College to answer questions of students and parents to help them prepare their child for life after high school and let students know of opportunities at Bryan College.”
Wesolowski also noted the day is not only for parents of high school students, but for those with younger children and others considering homeschooling.
“We will not have workshops geared toward younger children, but will have workshops geared towards the parents of younger children,” said Wesolowski. “There will also be ones for those who are either thinking about homeschooling; just getting started or have been doing it and now they have high school students and don’t know what to do.”
If you are a homeschooling parent, you already understand the benefit of your child and you attending the event, but how do you convince your child to take a test that does not yet have an official bearing on their future?
“Students should come and take the test, because they will be blazing the path to putting this test in a place where it can be used and accepted by colleges, so we have another option that is fairer to every student who desires to go to college,” said Wesolowski. “Not only is this exam not aligned with Common Core, but the questions will be worded in such a way that students will not have to compromise their beliefs in order to obtain a higher score. The test is going to be more acclimated to what they (especially homeschoolers) are learning now as high school students.”
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