Our family just finished up our yearly achievement tests. They are required of homeschoolers in our state, but it’s certainly not the highlight of our year! We used to be required to have the children take the tests in a group environment, but now we have the privilege of having Daddy administer them here at home. This year I observed all the testing closely, making notes of my own while the kids were working, so that I’d have my own opinions in addition to the results we’ll receive when the scoring is completed.
Here are some of my observations:
- Achievement tests help me objectively evaluate my own teaching. I tend to think that I’m covering all subjects equally well for all five of my students (yeah, right!). An honest look, however, tells me that some subjects aren’t getting the time they should be. This evaluation toward the end of the school year is very valuable as I plan my schedule and curriculum for next year.
- Sometimes we homeschooling moms don’t require enough of our own children. Why? Because we’re soft-hearted mommas, and we hate tears and such things. However, while I can be gentle and kind, I still need to help my children increase their attention spans, listening skills, and endurance.
- Sometimes I think my children know their times tables, capitalization rules, and other “facts” better than they really do. Content is wonderful, day after day, but review is also important. I need to build review into our routine.
- I get more nervous about the younger children, but watching my teenagers reassures me that they really are learning after all! Whew! 🙂
Resources for those who do achievement tests:
- Toad Hall Testing http://www.toadhalltesting.com/
- Homeschooling vs. National Averages http://www.prontolessons.com/homeschool-achievement-outperforms-national-average.html
- Thoughts about testing, with resources and links http://homeschooling.about.com/cs/learning/a/testing.htm and http://www.christianhomeschoolers.com/hs_testing.html