Standardized Test

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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.

Boy and girl in front of evergreens

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 »

Illusion vs. Reality

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I have been reading Don Quixote and one thing is for sure: this book is about illusion vs. reality, which is a human dilemma through and through. At first, I saw myself in Don Quixote. Now, I see other people in him. Events in different people’s lives can be a certain way in their minds, when the reality is completely different.

What does all this have to do with homeschooling?

Don Quixote

For one, it’s a good argument for annual testing outside the home. We have chosen to test our children every year starting in second grade, using a national standardized test (Terra Nova 3, which used to be called California Achievement Test). I may think my children are doing really well while they may not. Illusion vs. reality.

They might struggle with particular aspects of Language Arts, for instance, and excel in Science. Or the other way around. Since we don’t quiz them incessantly at home, I don’t know how much they remember from everything we do.  Continue reading »