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At least here in NY there are Regents tests, etc. I'm assuming homeschoolers/unschoolers have to take these too. How could your child pass these (very pointless) tests about things that don't naturally occur in the real world? Let's face it, very little real life stuff deals with algebra, for instance. So how can an unschooler do well on these stupid tests?
 

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I find that I use algebra all the time. You can find your gas mileage by using algebra, for example. We are not strictly unschoolers, but we do a lot of natural learning and I feel those lessons are more valuable than something contrived in a classroom.
 

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My 7 yo understands very basic algebra with no teaching. But back to tests, in PA it doesn't actually matter what the child scores. They just have to take the test every other year. They could randomly fill in circles.
 

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They just have to take the test every other year. They could randomly fill in circles.
Seriously?

In Colorado we have to take them on odd years starting in 3rd grade and score above the 13th percentile. Hmm... I was thinking it was a lot higher but that doesn't really sound too hard right?

I'm kind of freaking because my son, who is almost nine, is not really reading yet, but we have another year to go.

Anyway, we are not exactly unschoolers, or at least not radical, but this is the group that comes closest to what we do and I have been wondering the same thing, about how unschoolers score on the tests and if there are any areas parents see lacking when they get the results. Also, if you have the choice of a personal evaluation instead of the test, did you opt for that and how did it work out?
 

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We're registered through a charter school in California, and this year my almost 8yo is supposed to take the S.T.A.R. test for 2nd grade. I've looked at a sample, and no way will he know 80% of what is on there. However, the charter school teachers have stressed repeatedly that the score is a non issue. Part of their funding is based on the percentage of students who take the test, regardless of the scores.

Edited to add: As I was reviewing the sample test that my son will be taking, I realize why teachers have to teach to the test so much. For instance, there is this circle diagram thing on it, and you have to choose the sentence that would go in the middle. It happens to be about plants. My son can tell you all about plants - seeds, sprouts, soil, sunlight, water, etc. But he has never seen a stupid diagram this before, and would have no clue what they were asking.

Another example: There is a little essay about growing bulbs. They talk about using a glass jar. They don't specifically say why, but they allude to the idea that it is to let sunlight in by saying "put it in an area where it can get sun." Then, one of the questions is "Why should you use a glass jar?" Now, I can tell that the answer is supposed to be "To let sunlight in." But the first option is "Because glass can be recycled" and another option is "Because you can see the roots." Knowing my son, he would choose the recycled option, because he talks a lot about recycling and reusing, and we talk about why to use glass instead of plastic. He would get the question wrong, but it would be no reflection of his reading comprehension skills. And, he would probably be interested in seeing the roots. So in his mind, there would be three correct answers.

It is a really stupid test if you ask me. Here is a link in case you're interested:

http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sr/documents/cstrtqela2.pdf
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Raene View Post
At least here in NY there are Regents tests, etc. I'm assuming homeschoolers/unschoolers have to take these too. How could your child pass these (very pointless) tests about things that don't naturally occur in the real world? Let's face it, very little real life stuff deals with algebra, for instance. So how can an unschooler do well on these stupid tests?
Well, I have a NYS Regents High School diploma, and regents exams are very specific subject-related tests. I'm not a huge fan of testing, but I think regents exams work pretty well for the part of the population who test well. Based on my memory of preparing for regents exams, I don't think anyone could do well on a regents exam without spending a significant amount of time studying the subjects covered by the test. An unschooler (or anyone) could do well on a regents exam if he or she decided it was important to take the exam and do well, and chose to work toward that goal with adequate outside support and time.

However, according to HSLDA, homeschoolers in NY are not required to take regents exams.

ZM
 

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It is a really stupid test if you ask me. Here is a link in case you're interested:

http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sr/documents/cstrtqela2.pdf
Ack. My son's spirit would shrivel up and die in school.

We have the option of the Iowa Basics or a personal evaluation. I am really leaning toward the evaluation so that there is an actual person involved who can see what he really knows vs. if he can take tests well.
 

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Actually in Maine we don't have to take the test, you can do portfolio review if you like. I do know many kids that have taken the test though and some of them were unschooled. All did quite well. In fact I had to laugh a little at the fact that my DD's friend's score went down after she decided to sign up for correspondence school!
 
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