• “TESTING” is NOT a bad word!

    pizap-com15512860422961-jpgThat dreaded word TESTING is getting ready to rear its ugly head as we wrap up our school year. Why does one simple word send shudders down our spine? Maybe because as homeschoolers we don’t worry about tests constantly like public schools. We do not gear the learning to “passing” the test so our school can be funded. We teach our children based on their abilities and wants and needs. But, unfortunately, some states require annual testing...even for homeschoolers. If you are unsure of your state, you can check your State Homeschool Requirements.

    My state, Oregon, requires state testing at the end of 3rd, 5th, 8th and 10th grades. Not too bad, but it is still testing. For a Mom that is terrible at tests herself, this brings up TONS of anxiety for my children. Will they test well? Will it affect my homeschool teaching? Will they fire me from homeschooling if my children tank the test? What if I am not doing enough to prepare them? You can see this snowballing, because we are all parents. We all worry about our kids and want what is best for them!

    Again, check your state requirements but most, if not all, allow you to have several choices in testing. You can hire a private tester, do a small group or a large group testing. Some only have state run facilities to test through. Check your area to see what is available. Oregon has all those options available. I was able to find a lovely lady who tests out of her home. She does private 1-on-1 testing or small group. Perfect for my ADHD son who fidgets all day. Moving, tapping, wiggling and while we are used to it, sitting next to that during a test would probably send someone over the edge. It cost more, yes. But it eased his mind about trying to control himself and let him focus on the test.

    We use an online school for our curriculum and prior to that, they had attended public school. So, they were familiar with testing. I did not teach for the test though. We just followed the curriculum and hoped for the best.

    We did prepare the morning of with:

    • Good night rest the night before(early to bed, technology off early to let our brain shut down, etc.)
    • Protein, brain powering fueled breakfast that morning
    • Power walk to get the blood flowing and the wiggles out before we left
    • Protein bar and electrolyte drink taken for snack to have during break

    Our tester was fantastic. Not only did she have a generous area for my boys to test, but she had my wiggler off by himself, so he could do his thing and not disturb his brother. The tests are timed for sections but in between, she had them get up, go out to her yard, play with her dog,and get the wiggles out. This helped create a great testing environment! So, chat with other homeschool parents about where they do testing! Proven testers are like gold.

    Should I test even if my State doesn’t require it? YES! Testing is a great way to see where you are based on grade standards! Especially if you are concerned about being behind. You can even order tests yourself and do it at home!
    Testing is not scary and can actually be a helpful, homeschool tool! I promise! Go forth and get that testing done!
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