Monday, April 13, 2015

Testing Tips for Homeschoolers

It is that time of year when many students around the country (homeschoolers, private schoolers, and public schoolers) are taking some sort of standardized achievment tests.

Here in Kentucky, homeschoolers are NOT required to take these tests; and if we do choose to test our children, the report goes to no one but us. We do NOT have to show our children's test scores to anyone for any kind of "approval." (I understand homeschoolers in some other states are required to do this. Visit to find out specific requirements for your area!)

I personally have chosen so far to test Big Brother for various reasons:

1.) To assure myself that he is right where he "needs" to be academically.

2.) To make sure there are no huge learning gaps in any certain subjects that I may have somehow missed.

3.) To give him practice with taking bubble tests so he will be prepared for taking tests later on like the ACT to get into college.

4.) To give him practice, just in case our laws here were to change!

Big Brother will be doing testing 2 mornings this week. This will be his 3rd year taking the Stanford 10 Acheivment Test. (I understand this is the last year the Stanford will be available! So we may be switching to the Iowa or CAT next year.) The past 2 years he has tested with students at a local Christian academy. The academy has closed, so this year we are testing with our homeschool support group.

Here are a few tips I hope you may find helpful if your homeschoolers are testing:

* If they have never taken a "bubble" test before, you might want to let them practice filling in little bubbles to answer questions. We have used some of the Spectrum Test Prep books for this.

* Give them some practice with following both oral and written directions. Most of these tests will expect the student to be able to follow both well.

* Choose a testing location and test administrator your child will be comfortable with. Some children will not test well if they are scared, anxious, or unfamiliar with their environment. Make sure the location, administrators, and other students who may be present are all a good fit for your child.

* Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep the nights before testing. A tired brain and body will not serve them well while testing!

* Serve your child a wholesome breakfast, and be sure to send a healthy snack with them to the testing site.

* Do NOT allow yourself to stress over your child's testing!! Your anxiety will be communicated your child and cause them unneeded stress and anxiety. Encourage your child to do his/her best, assure them of your unconditional love, pray with them, and DON'T SWEAT IT!!

* Arrive at the testing site in time for your child to find where he/she needs to go, make sure of where the restrooms are, and find out all the necessary instructions.

* Find out ahead of time if your child needs to bring any materials such as pencils, erasers, scratch paper, calculators, lunch, etc.

* If your child is testing with a group, it might be a good idea for them to bring a book to read just in case they finish a test section before other students are finished.

Please say a little prayer for Big Brother this week as he completes his testing!!

I hope you found this post helpful! Do you test your homeschoolers each year? Why or why not?

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