Our Adventures in Annual Homeschool Testing




Summary: This article shares experiences with annual homeschool achievement testing, plus favorite resources for doing homeschool annual testing in the home.  We share favorite resources that we have used or would use in our homeschool.  Please see my disclosure policy.



We found out that our child was gifted when she was quite young. Since she was eager to learn and precocious we began homeschooling when she was around 4 years old.

In WA state, annual achievement testing is required starting in 3rd grade.  
When our daughter was 8 years of age, we went ahead and arranged for her annual testing along with our niece's too, as we also helped with her homeschool education.

We used the BJU Press Testing Servicewith oral instructions.  My child did nicely with this test, but our niece had difficulty following the testing instructions given in this manner.

Here was my niece who had been doing great with all of her homeschool studies.  She was an avid reader, a kid who enjoyed writing in her daily journal, and one who enjoyed doing her math.


Making Accommodations



If your child does not do well with oral instructions, this is a simple fix.  Many standardized test use written instructions.  

We contacted Family Learning Organization (FLO).  They offer both annual tests with oral instructions, and another one that is done with written instructions. They also offer more informal assessments, in addition to regular testing.


Annual Testing at Home


The California Achievement test, or the CAT, is done with written instructions. 

We enjoyed the support and services from FLO, and the fact that we could test our daughter at home.  Many homeschoolers test in at home, but can also do this in a group setting, organized and provided by their homeschool support groups.  

FLO offers standardized assessments plus teacher reviewed assessments, both of which they have done for over twenty years. 


At Home Testing Options

Are you interested in testing at home, too?  Here's some links to at home annual homeschool testing options:


1.  Family Learning Organization - It is owned and operated by a homeschooling family who are based in Washington state.  



3.  True North Homeschool Academy  My friend Lisa, veteran homeschool mom and owner this Academy offers the Performance Series Test at a frugal price. This test is considered state of the art standardized testing, and includes Reading, Math, and Language Arts for K - 12 grades.  The test is delivered online to any computer that is accessible to you.  For more information, click here.


3.  a2zHomeschooling - They offer a list of 10 more testing companies



Test Prep 


I decided to do a little test prep the second time around, to help build up my niece's confidence. For this, we chose Spectrum Test Prep.  Spectrum offers a nice series on test prep, for grades, 3 - 8.  I have a review of Spectrum Test Prep 3 right here.

We continued to use their series each year. It helped my daughter to get used to the type of questions that were asked on standardized tests. 

Later, we found the Academic Challenge Cup by the Critical Thinking Company.  

It's a video game, for test prep. But, of course, test prep is not necessary to do. Tapping into play with this test prep video game, was a helpful way to reduce testing anxiety.  

My niece developed confidence in test-taking, so by the time she needed to do it for real, ie the SAT's  test for college application, she was ready.

What testing or assessment option do you like to use in your homeschool?  I would love to hear about that in the comments or on Facebook. 

My friend, Amy offers more information on this at How to Choose a Standardized Achievement Test for Your Child.

This post is a part of the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum blog hop, Tips, Advice and Help When Having Your Gifted Child Tested.  Click here to read all of the articles in this blog hop.



Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy


Betsy is a veteran homeschool mom who blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshigh schoolcollege and wrote -Homeschooling High School with College in Mind, 2nd Edition.   She offers homeschool help t at BJ's Consulting and has had some of her articles picked up by the Huffington Post.


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2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review on how you test. We have used the CAT test for the last few years. I used to use Hewitt's homeschool test but it too longer. I think the test is valuable for practice for when they get to college.
    Blessings, Dawn

    ReplyDelete

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