Is There A Benefit To Testing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 12-01-2012, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone, I have a question on testing and whether or not there is a benefit to having a child tested?


My daughter is 5 and we suspect she is gifted. She was talking in sentences at 9 months, having adult conversations at 1, could say her abc's and count to 20 by 15 months, started reading at 3, now reads at probably a 5th grade level. She loves math and can add or subtract with ease, but also has recently started to multiply numbers. Her vocabulary is extensive. She is very inuitive to the world around her.


We are currently homeschooling and because she is so advanced in many areas, I am not concerned about her getting behind. Instead, we go at her own pace (which means most days we spend a lot of time reading and doing math). To me, it doesn't really matter in a sense if she is gifted or not. She is still my daughter and either way, she obviously is advanced and may or may not slow down at some point and join the rest of her peers. I'm okay with that and will love her no matter what! I guess what I'm saying is, her giftedness (or non giftedness) does not define her and I don't want it to.


But I've read a lot that says you should have your child tested. I'm wondering why and what benefits there are to it? Also, where would I even turn to for testing?


Thanks! I've enjoyed reading along on this board when I have a chance! :)

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#2 of 5 Old 12-01-2012, 10:53 PM
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My kids have been late talkers, but otherwise similar to your dd: multiplying at 4, reading at 3. We too are primarily homeschoolers (unschoolers, actually) although eventually my kids have chosen to go to high school. 


The benefit of testing tends not to come from the testing but from programs and processes that require testing at a certain level as a qualification. As homeschoolers we have never encountered any reason to test. Two of my kids were eventually tested when they entered school as teens. Results basically confirmed what we'd known all along, but were helpful to the school in getting funding for certain types of accommodations. One of my teens, currently in school, has not been tested and is getting acceptable accommodations without. My youngest who is just 9, is still unschooled and we have no reason to test. 


Sometimes when there's a suspicion of a learning disability that is perhaps being partly masked by high ability testing can be helpful in teasing apart the factors muddying a complex picture. That would likely entail more extensive testing than an IQ test.


We live in a rural area in Canada, a much less test-obsessed country. Where I live opportunities for advanced kids seem to be available on a common-sense basis without the requirement for verified testing. My youngest is doing math contests offered to 7th-graders at age 9 because because she's keen and she's capable. No one suggested she should have to prove she was gifted. She's often been accepted in advanced orchestras, classes and sports, beyond her age-group, in keeping with her ability and focus. 


In your area there might be an amazing science club for gifted & talented girls or some such thing that your dd wants to join when she's 8, and it might require documentation of giftedness. Or maybe there's a marine biology camp offered through the G&T summer program at a local college that you know she'd love. In such scenarios, testing may provide her with an admission ticket. But the bottom line is: have a specific reason to test. Know what the results could get you, and whether the program something that suits your child's needs.



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#3 of 5 Old 12-01-2012, 11:42 PM
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A benefit to testing for us is that there are academic programs that require test scores for admission. My 12yo ds is going to be doing a winter program at Oregon State University for gifted kids this year. We homeschool and I was able to use his standardized test scores from last year to get him in. It looks really cool. He's going to be able to take Lego Robotics, Engineering and Creative Computing.

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#4 of 5 Old 12-02-2012, 04:47 AM
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Sheesh, Canada sounds so much more sane. It is kinda silly how test obsessed we are.

Still, I will offer a slightly different perspective. My daughter did not talk, read, or do multiplication ahead of schedule. Because we have always homeschooled, I knew she was bright, but really had no idea how she compared to other kids -- and didnt need to know either. I never thought in terms of giftedness. Never even used the word. Then a friend with a PG daughter asked me about my daughter's giftedness and I was like, huh? That made me start wondering, and eventually she tested into CTY. I did eventually have her tested formally to see if she might be a candidate for Davidson Young Scholars -- she is -- and the information has been pretty eye opening.

It has been great to gain access to academic programs like CTY, but there has also been value in me getting over my gifted denial and impostor syndrome.
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#5 of 5 Old 12-02-2012, 07:49 AM
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You get your children tested when they need to be tested. As a homeschooler, the need may never arise. If she does eventually enter school AND they have some sort of gifted program, she may need testing but certainly, wait until that happens. Most schools will only accept certain tests or require that they administer themselves. Depending on your area, there could be various activities where scores can be handy but I live in a huge county with a wealth of childhood activities and I can count on one hand those that would require an IQ test (and none were things my kids were remotely interested in.) Talent searches have their own tests and programs tend to be more for older elementary students and up. 

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