Last week, the kiddos took their annual standardized achievement test. We have done this for five years now. Our umbrella school makes it optional for first grade, but they ask that you bring them in for testing starting in second grade and on.
Well, we wanted them tested in first grade, too. There is a lot of water under the bridge between kindergarten and second grade. So we have been doing it for five years and use the results to help us in planning the following school year.
They were very relaxed before the test.
We do not stress too much about this test. Of course, we prepare for it, but we do not make it into a big deal. It is an assessment of their mastery of different learning objectives. As such, it paints a picture of growth areas and strengths. Continue reading
Last week, my children took their annual standardized tests at our umbrella school in Knoxville. In Tennessee, one can sign up under the local school district, or with an umbrella school. Umbrella schools come in different shapes, forms and sizes. Some are remote places that will not require much of you in exchange for the piece of paper which shows that you are not truant.
Test Prep books we used – our test is called Terra Nova 3.
Others are local brick-and-mortar schools with a homeschool umbrella program. As such, they will give your child a diploma when high school graduation comes around. The diploma will not even mention the word “homeschool,” which makes the umbrella school hold parents to a high standard. Many such local umbrella schools require annual testing. Continue reading
We received our son’s Terra Nova 3 test scores and we were very pleased. His scores were excellent, way above the national average and showing that he does work beyond his grade level. We are very proud of him indeed. We will continue doing what we have been doing.
We learned several things from his test scores. Even though he did not score low in any one objective, he scored lower in some objectives and higher in others. Looking back at our school year, some of the scores surprised me and others confirmed what I already knew about him; all the more reason to keep testing every year.
We are not in this situation, but we know that if a child tests lower than expected, we should all consider several reasons. It could be that the child has never learned the subject matter presented on the test. Or, perhaps, the child never really understood what was taught to him. Last but not least, the child may know the subject, but he may very well just be so nervous about the test, that he freezes and forgets the answers.
All this to say that tests are good tools to assess where your child is, where you are, where you need to grow.