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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My DD has to take a test this year, in May. I got a prep book to see what kind of stuff to expect so she doesn't end up totally shocked. Wow, she is pretty far "behind" as far as the book is concerned. We haven't even discussed a lot of the stuff, yet.<br><br>
If your state requires testing and you unschool or are more relaxed, how do you handle required testing? I have no fears that she will <i>ever</i> know the stuff. I just don't want her to get anxious and upset if she can't answer half the questions on the test. I wish she didn't have to take the test. I'm glad it's only every 3 years.
 

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How does your testing work? In Iowa, if you choose the testing option, the first test is a "baseline". After that, the kids have to make X progress (6 months?) each year to continue homeschooling. So, if I were doing the testing here, I might hope that my child score relatively low the first year, so there's less pressure the next. If testing in GA works different, you might want to start teaching test-taking skills and going over some of the material you know will be on the test.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have started going over it w/ her, but I feel like I'm teaching her the test. That's one thing we're trying to avoid by HSing.<br><br>
As far as the score, I have heard from other locals that we(our family) are the only ones to see the results. The state should only see it if they come "knocking." I have to keep it on file for such an occassion, no matter how unlikely it is to happen.
 

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here it doesn't make all that much of a diference. and the school even sees them. The test is easy. My dd did very well and missed most of the questions. I would bet the test prep is harder than the test. also remember your child is not graded on how well they do on the test but how they compare to thier grade mates. at least here.<br><br>
what is she having trouble with? How old is she? Pretty much here on the first test so long as they can read and do basic addition and subtraction (word problems were a huge deal though so definitely get the whole key words in her head) you were pretty safe. Spelling was the hardest thing for dd but she had a 1 in 3 chance of guessing right. She still bombed <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br>
anyway, so long as she can read and understand and do basic math I wouldn't worry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lilyka</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">here it doesn't make all that much of a diference. and the school even sees them. The test is easy. My dd did very well and missed most of the questions. I would bet the test prep is harder than the test. also remember your child is not graded on how well they do on the test but how they compare to thier grade mates. at least here.<br><br>
what is she having trouble with? How old is she? Pretty much here on the first test so long as they can read and do basic addition and subtraction (word problems were a huge deal though so definitely get the whole key words in her head) you were pretty safe. Spelling was the hardest thing for dd but she had a 1 in 3 chance of guessing right. She still bombed <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br>
anyway, so long as she can read and understand and do basic math I wouldn't worry.</div>
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Thanks, that does ease my mind a bit. She has a good head on her shoulders and can read and do math very well. My DD is a horrible speller, too. That was the part of the practice test that she totally bombed.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> We went over the practice test today, and she knew the answers when she actually took the time to think about it. The book has a pre-practice test and a practice test. The 2nd test is twice as hard as the pre-test. I'll give that to her and see how she does. She may surprise me.
 

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I live in PA; standardized tests are required for grades 3, 5, 8, and 11. My solution is simple: My children will never be in grades 3, 5, 8, or 11. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> I don't have to file an affidavit until BeanBean is 8, so that first year I'll register him as a 4th grader. The following year, he'll be in 4th grade again and the year after that he'll be in 6th. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> If he's way ahead, I might say 4th, 6th, 7th, 9th or something like that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Who knows. However it happens, I'm never going to expose my child to those tests unless he decides that he wants to go to college, and then we'll study for the PSATS and SATS. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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We are VERY relaxed and are required to do a standardized test once a year. We choose to do the CAT-5 so we can test ourselves. I don't have the results back yet, but when I transfered dd's answers onto my copy sheet I "graded" her. Needless to say, I'm not in the least bit worried about how well she is learning with our methods. Try to remember that these aren't the tell all. Just explain to dd that it's just an evaluation of what she knows and so it's really not a big deal, just like doing worksheets from a workbook if she likes doing those (dd does sometimes so she found it to be fun), not a pass/fail thing.
 

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You express concern about "teaching to the test" but really, you should teach it to her. She's not exposed (thankfully) to the incessant, intolerable lectures and xerox sheets that would prepare most public school kids to take that test. What you are doing is familiarizing her with the necessary tools to do well--and that's what you should do. If she is anxious about the unknown when she goes to take it, then it will affect her score. There's nothing wrong with test prep. There is a lot wrong with that being the core of the educational services provided to our children.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>eilonwy</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I live in PA; standardized tests are required for grades 3, 5, 8, and 11. My solution is simple: My children will never be in grades 3, 5, 8, or 11. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> I don't have to file an affidavit until BeanBean is 8, so that first year I'll register him as a 4th grader. The following year, he'll be in 4th grade again and the year after that he'll be in 6th. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"></div>
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Really? We have the same thing here, and I just assumed that if you registered for the first time in 4th grade, that they would require the 3rd grade test be done, and then require you to take the 6th grade test in another three years, regardless of what grade the child was supposedly in at that point. If there is a loophole in this, legally speaking, I would love to know.<br><br>
ETA: I guess I'm thinking that if you did say, "we're skipping this grade," they would say, well, you still have to take the test for the previous grade. How do you get around that. Are you thinking they just won't notice?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>onlyboys</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">You express concern about "teaching to the test" but really, you should teach it to her. She's not exposed (thankfully) to the incessant, intolerable lectures and xerox sheets that would prepare most public school kids to take that test. What you are doing is familiarizing her with the necessary tools to do well--and that's what you should do. If she is anxious about the unknown when she goes to take it, then it will affect her score. There's nothing wrong with test prep. There is a lot wrong with that being the core of the educational services provided to our children.<br><br>
Good luck!</div>
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Thank you for putting it into another perspective. I do agree w/ that. She actually likes doing the prep tests. I think that is b/c she doesn't have to do worksheets day in and day out. She enjoys going over the test and seeing how much she knows(got right) and is very responsive to why her other answers were wrong and what makes them correct...does that make sense? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I'll stop worrying about it. Thanks for everyone's replies. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br><br>
Reesecup - I just found out about the CAT-5 yesterday, but I already registered and paid for the ITBS. darnit! Next time.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
eilonwy - I have heard of that, but I'm not comfortable w/ it. When it's over, we won't have to worry about it for 3 more years....well, for my 8 yr old DD, at least.
 

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Okay, I never post here but I lurk a lot. My oldest is only 4.5 so we haven't really started any type of schooling. I live in PA and you don't have to test in 11th grade. The law specifically states in grades 3, 5 and 8. And a way many people get around it is to not have their kids in those grades. I have also heard of people filling out the test themselves, leaving it blank or just letting their kids fill in little patterns. According to the PA law ( I have it sitting around here somewhere) the kids are just required to take the test and the scores are to be turned in with their portfolio in those 3 grades, but the scores are not allowed to be used against them. Proof of learning is supposed to be an evaluator's letter. Actually some school district's in PA (thankfully mine) don't even want to see the portfolio or the scores, all they want is the evaluator's letter stating that an appropriate education is occuring. There are a lot of unschoolers and relaxed homeschoolers in PA, from what I have seen on other message boards. I haven't actually met anyone in person yet, but then we are not technically homeschooling yet.<br><br>
Fran in PA
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>fourlittlebirds</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Really? We have the same thing here, and I just assumed that if you registered for the first time in 4th grade, that they would require the 3rd grade test be done, and then require you to take the 6th grade test in another three years, regardless of what grade the child was supposedly in at that point. If there is a loophole in this, legally speaking, I would love to know.<br><br>
ETA: I guess I'm thinking that if you did say, "we're skipping this grade," they would say, well, you still have to take the test for the previous grade. How do you get around that. Are you thinking they just won't notice?</div>
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They may notice, and may even be irritated by it, but the law clearly states that the child's grade level is to be stated by the parent on the affidavit submitted at the beginning of the year. They can't really question it. I've heard of many, many people doing this and never heard of anyone being harassed by a school district about it, to say nothing of prosecuted. Some school districts may be irritated if you skip grades, but it's very simple to point out to them (especially if you count hours, and I will) that a home educated child can easily complete 2-4 "years" of school in the same amount of time that a schooled child completes one. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"><br><br>
No, they can't request the previous year's tests. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"><br><br>
I've also heard of people having their 3rd graders take the 8th grade achievement tests; as long as the child scores in the 10th percentile or above, the district is not permitted to do or say anything, and if they've taken the 8th grade tests, they can't very well demand the 3rd and 5th grade exams. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> I'd rather skip the tests entirely, though, because I think that they're evil. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/demon.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="demon">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>eilonwy</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I've also heard of people having their 3rd graders take the 8th grade achievement tests; as long as the child scores in the 10th percentile or above, the district is not permitted to do or say anything, and if they've taken the 8th grade tests, they can't very well demand the 3rd and 5th grade exams. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> I'd rather skip the tests entirely, though, because I think that they're evil. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/demon.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="demon"></div>
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That's a good point. The law states they have to take an approved test in those grades, not that the test has to be for that grade. Lots of families, especially those whose children are "behind" in certain subjects will give a test for a lower grade. For example, issueing a first grade standardized test for a third grader. It's done quite often here. Ahh, to live in a state where you don't have to analyse the loopholes in the law!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pamama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Ahh, to live in a state where you don't have to analyse the loopholes in the law!</div>
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Yeah, it's almost enough to make you want to move to New Jersey... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>fourlittlebirds</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Really? We have the same thing here, and I just assumed that if you registered for the first time in 4th grade, that they would require the 3rd grade test be done, and then require you to take the 6th grade test in another three years, regardless of what grade the child was supposedly in at that point. If there is a loophole in this, legally speaking, I would love to know.<br><br>
ETA: I guess I'm thinking that if you did say, "we're skipping this grade," they would say, well, you still have to take the test for the previous grade. How do you get around that. Are you thinking they just won't notice?</div>
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FLB, I haven't done my paperwork yet so I'm not sure how the grading works, but I do know a couple of things about it. (I'm in Oregon too)My dd just started going to a part-time school set up on democratic/ unschooling guidelines as a school for homeschoolers and we just talked about testing at the parent meeting tonight. If the child manages to score less than the 15th percentile, they have to take the same grade-level test again the next year, and show progress. So, if they got an 8 one year, they could get an 8 or a 9 the next year and be off the hook. If the score actually drops in a year, then they are considered truant the next year and have to either go to some sort of school or arrange for tutoring or something.<br><br>
But really, 15th percentile is extremely low.
 

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wow, 15th percentile is very low. I watched dd take her test. She missed at least 75% of the math problems and still scored in the 70th percentile (which is sorta scary) and she missed half of the spellnig words and scored inthe 33 percentile.<br><br>
Some people had had luck with skipping graes but my fear is if too many homeschoolers start doing this sort of things states with liberal testing policies muight start cracking down and requireing moer testing and oversight to close up any loop holes. I just feel testing is so small a deal that itis worth it to play by the rules and just be done with it rather than raising the attention of law makers.
 

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Yeah, it's annoying to have to take the tests, but the laws are actually very relaxed.<br><br>
Plus, there are 4 counties (mine is one) that actually require the test results to be submitted. In the rest of the state, you're supposed to do the testing but nobody needs to know the results, unless you are asked for them. Which wouldn't happen unless someone came nosing around...
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Hera</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Yeah, it's annoying to have to take the tests, but the laws are actually very relaxed.<br><br>
Plus, there are 4 counties (mine is one) that actually require the test results to be submitted. In the rest of the state, you're supposed to do the testing but nobody needs to know the results, unless you are asked for them. Which wouldn't happen unless someone came nosing around...</div>
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Your county is not legally permitted to request anything outside of what the state requires. You might want to let them know that.
 

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Prep tests should be enough,but you could test on your own prior to the one handed in.<br><br>
I don't have those prep tests and decided to go ahead and test my child on my own(iowa) prior to her required iowa testing a few weeks later.<br><br>
I don't put much stock in the tests,and at this point dd still finds them fun. Best wishes to your dd!
 
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