standardized testing

If you are at the end of your school year, you are probably breathing a huge sigh of relief. You have just spent the last nine months (or more) teaching your children everything that was listed on your to do list for them to do. There was math, reading and writing with a little bit of science, history and literature squeezed into the mix. As you look at your children, are their heads spinning as much as yours was while you were putting together lessons plans for the school year? Here is a question for you? Did they learn everything they were supposed to learn this year?

Standardized testing. That is one way you can determine if your child has learned everything they were supposed to learn for a specific grade level. Some parents like testing and some do not. Many families not only choose HomeLIfe Academy (HLA) for the services and support it offers them, but also because HLA does not require annual standardized testing.

The idea of standardized testing is not a bad thing. In fact, students should get in the habit of periodic testing, especially if they have plans to continue to post-secondary education.

When it comes to testing, children respond in several ways. Testing can cause anxiety in some children (as well as in their parents). The act of being tested, just knowing that is what is happening, can be overwhelming. Other children may perform well with an oral test and fail miserably on paper. There are those children who thrive on being tested and the results become their identity; if they excel, great, but if they fail, that can also be a problem and cause other issues. And then there are children who take tests, are comfortable with their scores and use them as guides for future learning.

Somewhere along their academic years, your child is going to have to take a standardized test. For many, it will not be until they are in high school with the ACT, CLT, SAT or other tests. Waiting until your child reaches high school and having them only take a college entrance exam is fine.

Why Do Standardized Testing?

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. Testing is typically done at the end of the school year but may be administered at any time throughout the year. As an HLA parent, it is your choice of when during the school year, in what school year or if at all to test your child.

There are several testing options available to you if you are curious as to where your child scores academically. Some of the tests give the parent the option of administering the test to their own child and others require a proctor. Check with local homeschool support groups, co-ops or tutorials to learn if annual standardized testing options are available to your family.

Annual Testing Options

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

BJU Press Testing & Evaluation
Must be administered by an approved tester.

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.

Well Planned GAL
May be administered by a parent.

Testing Services

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

Use the Results as a Guide

Be careful about how you view the scores or results you receive if you do decide to test your child. Continue what you are doing if your child scores well. If they do not, pay attention to the results, but use them as a guide. These tests are written to focus on the standard scope and sequence for that school year. An example is if your child took an earth-space science instead of life science, the score could be off as well. Gear your instruction to concentrate in those areas where more study is needed.

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 just does not do well at testing. More practice with taking tests may help that matter.

Something 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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©2018 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 /.