One question every homeschooling parent faces sometime along their journey in home education is if their child is on track academically. Whether you follow a checklist according to the public school standards or set your own grade-level goals for your child, assessing the academic achievements each year of your child is important.

Grades and attendance will be due for the first semester later this month. Are you wondering how your child really did, so you can determine if you need to make adjustments for the next semester or next school year? Standardized tests are a good way to learn the answer to that question.

A standardized test accomplishes two things for your child. The test helps determine where they are according to grade level requirements and gives him an opportunity to prepare and practice taking formal exams, which they will be required to do as they advance in grade.

Depending on how your child is enrolled as a homeschooler, standardized testing may be required in your state. Currently, standardized testing is required in the state of Tennessee for students, who are independently enrolled through the public school system, in the fifth, seventh and ninth grades. Usually, those students are required to take tests with their peers in the school district under which they are registered. In Florida, students registered through the school board must be tested annually by a certified teacher. Alabama does not require students to be tested. HomeLife Academy also does not require students registered under them to be tested.

If your child is required to test or you are curious about where he scores academically, there are several testing options available to you. Some of the tests give the parent the option of administering the test to their own child.

Basic Achievement Skills Inventory (BASI)
May be administered by a parent.

California Achievement Test (CAT)
May be administered by a parent.

Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS)
Must be administered by a proctor.

Stanford Achievement Test
Must be administered by a proctor. This test is not the Scholastic Achievement Test also known as the SAT.

If you would rather leave the testing responsibility to someone else, a testing service is another option.

A Beka Testing Service
Christian Liberty Academy
Classical Conversations
Seton Testing Services

Testing is typically done at the end of the school year. If your child is not required to test, it is your choice when during the school year, in what school year or if at all to test your child.

Regardless of when your child does test, be careful about how you view the scores or results that are received. If your child tests well, keep doing what you are doing. If he does not, do pay attention to the results, but use them as a guide to areas where more concentration may be needed in instruction. A poor score does not mean you are not doing a good job as a teacher or that your child is not learning. It may be your child does not do well testing.

Something else to remember, a standardized test is created to measure the competency of the masses and not your individual child. Be encouraged and continue on your homeschool journey.

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©2015-2017 HomeLife Academy. Article by Jennifer Smeltser. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the publisher /.