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Required testing

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I am seriously considering homeschooling my two boys next year, and have been doing a LOT of research.  We live in Oregon, which means that we would be required to take standard exams after grade 3, 5, and 8.  I HATE the idea of that, but I guess that's another topic... I AM wondering, however, how most homeschoolers fare on these tests?  

 

I would love to hear how your children scored on these, and the impact of just knowing about these looming exams had on your homeschooling in general.  Did you find yourself 'teaching to the test?'  Was it stressful?  How did your children react to taking them?

 

I did see some articles in my research saying how homeschoolers in general do WAY better on these exams than their public school peers, and I think that's great, but I have to wonder if those stats would be applicable to my own family... Waldorf-ish, perhaps a touch of unschooling in us.. I do plan on using the Oak Meadow curriculum though, supplemented by various learning activities in the Portland area.

 

Oh, and my boys would be Kindergarten and first grade, respectively, so I know the testing is a ways off, but I'm just trying to get as much information as I can so in the end I can feel really good and at peace with my choice, either way.  Thanks smile.gif

post #2 of 6
You can take them at the beginning of the year if you're really concerned. I always meant to do that, but never had the extra money for it. I did not teach to the test. My son did well, better than I thought he might. Usually homeschoolers do fine.
post #3 of 6

Not in Oregon, but in BC Canada where standardized testing in reading, writing, math comprehension and math computation is required in 4th and 7th grades for kids homeschooling under the type of program we currently use (where there is support and funding for families). It's low-stakes testing, in that it has no impact on our ability to homeschool. My kids have been through the tests on five different occasions. We're out-and-out unschoolers, though my kids tend to have some academic interests. 

 

We did no preparation for the testing format and no "teaching to the test" in order to prepare them for the content or skills. They did fine. On math and reading they scored well above average. For writing one or two of them were on grade level, the other couple were above grade level. My youngest will be doing the 4th grade testing in a couple of weeks and I'm sure her results will be comparable. For my kids it's been like a field trip to school: an object lesson in the sort of simplistic, standardized evaluative approach schools use. Kind of silly, and time-consuming, but not particularly toxic to them because it had no bearing on their education or self-concept. We always went out for a bit of a celebration afterwards: a skating party with fellow homeschooling test-takers, or a family dinner out or something. Just a "thanks for putting up with that, and we're glad it's out of the way now" kind of celebration.

 

Miranda

post #4 of 6

My state does 3, 5 & 8 as well but the test (even if you are in public school) don't really count- they are not for a grade- you only MUST show progress (that is really very loosely defined here as well) from the prior, 3 not counting.

 

I never had a issue, my DD was advanced and it was more less a joke for her. She was only required to do 2 subject testing as well. We went to the public school vs paying out of pocket and spent about 2 hours total each time.  Nothing big and more of PIA to have to do. I had no reason to teach to test.

 

Do you know what you have to show for your state requirements? Does it really count or more less a formality? Some states you can opt for what ever test you want, given by who ever you want- you do pay for it (pricy depending on what you go with and if you have to pay for a tester- it would add up in my state and IMO not worth it) but you should really check your state requirements.

post #5 of 6
Quote:
I did see some articles in my research saying how homeschoolers in general do WAY better on these exams than their public school peers, and I think that's great, but I have to wonder if those stats would be applicable to my own family... Waldorf-ish, perhaps a touch of unschooling in us..

 

I did know one family who's child was not reading well (really not reading and not able to do a sit down test) in 3rd so they picked the test and the tester to help them get a better score. 

 

If you child is having issue with formal things and has never seen or done a test you could have a problem-IMO You can buy practice tests.

 

Most I know who HS do not have issues and have children above grade level, so from personal experience they tested well above.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

As far as I understand it, your child is expected to test in the 15th percentile when they take the tests, or, at least show progress between tests.  By grade 8 (or was it 7..?) if they still do not perform in the 15th percentile, or at least show progress, then the state mandates that the child be placed under the 'supervision of a licensed teacher'.  

 

It sounds like I don't have too much to worry about though, based on the experiences I've heard about here and elsewhere smile.gif  Thank you everyone for your input!

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