Monday, September 13, 2010

Testing, one, two....

Since I homeschool, I'm often asked about standardized tests.  No, in Utah they are not required, and I'm pretty sure my kids know how to fill in bubbles with a number 2 pencil.  Does anyone remember the purpose of testing any more?  Anyone?  Anyone?

The purpose of testing used to be to find out what students had learned, and what they still needed to master. In a classroom setting, testing is important, because teachers need to prove that they have taught effectively.

In a homeschool, testing is virtually unnecessary.  Parents who are taking on the responsibility for educating their children are well aware of the areas the kids are deficient in. 

Eventually, of course, they will need to take the ACT and SAT.  In the meantime, they are already better educated than their peers, who are in classrooms and only after the grade.

I "test" them sometimes by having them read to me, explain what the last history lesson was about, talk to other adults about what they've learned, and solve real-life math problems.  Sometimes what they've learned isn't what I thought I taught, but that's OK - that happens all the time, too.

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