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Alternatives to Standardized Tests for Homeschooling Families

Posted by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 3:12 PM
BJ
  • 6 Replies
1 mom liked this

 Editor's note: The information here targets homeschooling families, but these really are great ideas for all families.
Cross posted from
Parent at the Helm with permission from Linda Dobson

homeschoolingFrom Susan and Larry Kaseman:
Your interest in your homeschooling child’s academic standing is understandable. Fortunately, we homeschooling families have many opportunities to observe our children’s development. We watch them exploring the world and, when necessary, translate what they do into conventional academic language. (Sorting rocks is science. Building with blocks is geometry and spatial relations. Recognizing one’s name is reading.) We can see the processes our children go through and support their early efforts just as we recognized and responded to their first words. We gradually come to understand that learning about baseball or horses develops basic academic skills.

Alternative Assessment for Worried Homeschooling Parents

by on Oct. 4, 2012 at 3:12 PM
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Replies (1-6):
kirbymom
by Sonja on Oct. 4, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Good article! :)  What do you think about it? 

kirbymom
by Sonja on Oct. 4, 2012 at 7:10 PM

I am not sure I completely agree with.. no testing whatsoever though. I think some testing can be a confirmation on the strengths and weaknesses that we suspect are there and can either work on improving any weaknesses or deepen the strength even more.  jmo

  

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usmom3
by BJ on Oct. 4, 2012 at 7:19 PM

 I don't believe in testing! If I want to know what my kids know I talk to them & observe them to see what they can & can't do.

Quoting kirbymom:

Good article! :)  What do you think about it? 

 

kirbymom
by Sonja on Oct. 4, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Yep. I agree with that. But, Sometimes some things just aren't apparent enough until you put it to paper. Now, I also do not like the way that the testing is set up now, at all.  I think it only caters to statistical numbers bull.

 When I was 9, I hated to read with a passion. But I didn't know that it was because I wasn't understanding everything I was reading. I only found out because we took a comprehensive reading test. I would read some paragraphs and then answer some questions based on those paragraphs. I could never understand the questions. That was when we found out that I wasn't getting from my mind to down on paper what I was understanding. It really wasn't that I hated reading. It was how I was comprhending  what I was reading. After that testing, I was re-taught how to actually read and from that moment, the world was opened up to me and I loved loved reading.  That is the kind of testing I'm talking about.  Not this testing that is going on today. 

Quoting usmom3:

 I don't believe in testing! If I want to know what my kids know I talk to them & observe them to see what they can & can't do.

Quoting kirbymom:

Good article! :)  What do you think about it? 

 


MessedUpMama
by Member on Oct. 6, 2012 at 12:22 AM

I hate the way Standardized testing is done. Not so much because it made me feel or think in the ways the article mentioned, but because I'd get so nervous that I'd make mistakes because I couldn't find the answer in my brain through all of that. I always did okay on them, but I could have done better. Those tests only test how well children can take tests, not how much they know about any subject.

In my state they still have to take state testing in grades 3, 6 and 9 (I think) even if they are homeschooled. I don't know what I'll do about the testing for DS and DCG. We might be able to get around it for DS because he has special needs, but I'm not sure. I hate to think of it, I hope neither of them will get as nervous as I did.

lucsch
by Bronze Member on Oct. 6, 2012 at 11:38 AM

I agree 100% with the article.

I do know what my dd knows and understands. She does oral and written narrations, which actually "tests" more than a list of predetermined comprehension questions, definitely more than a multiple choice, T/F, or fill--in-the blank test. Narration involves coming up with the important questions and the answers by oneself--try it yourself sometime and see how difficult it can be! A bonus is that oral narrations develop public speaking skills very early on. As far as math and other similar subjects, I can see how well she understands the subject by her daily work. We skip the tests and quizzes in math.

Current expectations in some areas have pushed critical thinking and other skills too far down into the lower elementary grades. They think if kids aren't "getting it" making them do it earlier will help. Writing is one example. They expect kindergartners to write before they can read and spell, which I feel encourages bad spelling and frustration. Some kids that age don't even have the fine motor skills to form their letters, yet!

So far, I've seen nothing but success with the metthods I've used with my dd9. She's right on track--for her. Trying to mold her into one of those standardized tests would be counterproductive.


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