Wednesday, January 27, 2016

5 Reasons to NOT use Standardized Tests in Your Homeschool

Last week our area homeschool group parents got into a discussion about testing.  Many parents in our area, have paid money every year for their kids to have Independent Standardized tests.  I have taken a different approach for checking where my kids are at, and making sure that they are understanding what I'm teaching.  In fact, a part of me really doesn't like the standardized tests at all!  Here are some of the reasons why I think they are NOT effective (all my opinions):
  1. Many homeschool children aren't having formal testing done regularly, so testing once a year is not going to really test their abilities as a student, as much as test their ability to test.
  2. Most public school systems are teaching towards the test. As a homeschooler, you can't compete with this, or even dream of considering the test results to be fairly representing your children, good or bad.  Weeks (and maybe even months) before the testing in the public schools, the teachers are teaching the students in the classroom concepts that will assist them in being more successful on the test!  Let's face it, there's a ton of Federal funds on the line for them!  They have to test well, to get more funding!
  3. The tests are standardized! That means they are standard to all levels of kids in the public schools -  not homeschooled, Christian children.  We homeschool because our we want our children to have a different, better quality education, so why test them against the public school children?
  4. Results are not used in any way, shape or form by colleges to check your children for knowledge.  Why have your children spin their wheels and stress out for a test that has no use?
  5. As a parent (unlike a public school teacher and school system who have anywhere from 24 to 100's of children to track) that is involved in all aspects of your child's education, and spending 24/7 with them, YOU alone should know for a fact that your child is comprehending and able to apply what they are learning.  No test on the earth can replace your own personal experiences with your child as you go on this education journey!  Trust yourself and your abilities!
This all leads me to the next article that I started out to write: 5 Ways to Know that your Homeschool Works!  Stay tuned for that article soon!

Please know that this is all my opinion based on my personal experience of  homeschooling my own five children for the last 13 years.  Please review your state laws for requirements for standardized testing and homeschooling in your state!  I hope before you pay someone to test your child, you consider not wasting your money.