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Home School Testing Methods

Aug 17, 2007
Home schooling is a collective effort involving parents and their children. During home schooling, the child progress needs to be monitored to determine the learning capacity, interest level. In the end, these tests turn out helpful to keep track of past test records, and make necessary additions to the syllabus.

It is important to assess the progress of a child to be aware of his or her development. Based on the rules and regulations put down by the government, parents can decide upon their teaching methods. Furthermore, depending on these laws, the parents can administer tests to their children to review their progress.

Should I or Should I not?

Some parents choose not to test the child to relieve them from the pressure of studying the given curriculum. These parents feel they can know their child potential through their observation and involvement. Most are under the misconception that standard assessment techniques cannot determine their child education because of the varied situations.

Home schoolers have three kinds of options when it comes to tests

1. Informal

Informal tests work in alliance with both the government given curriculum and the parent personal evaluation of the student. One major drawback of this is the parent lack of expertise and knowledge, causing inability to evaluate the child accurately. This could lead to overlooking of subjects and prove detrimental in grading the child suitably.

2. Standardized

Developed by educational testing experts, standardized tests are evaluated to ensure the meaningfulness and accuracy of the test results. All students, both statewide and countrywide, giving the test, get the same version and allotted time. The scoring system is a three tier one with percentile rank, stanine and grade equivalent. Percentile rank being the most accurate ranks the child according to the previous sample group scores. Stanine grades range from 1 to 9, wherein 4-6 is the average. Grade equivalent is said to be the most misleading because of the grades allotted to the student. Moreover, parents cannot see the test results, making it unable for them to correct the students weakness.

3. Diagnostic
Diagnostic tests are based on the students knowledge, and not how good they are compared to the other children. This involves a fixed set of requirements that are scored using true test scoring criteria. These tests have the benefit of indicating the weaknesses and the specific strengths of the student.

Some institutions like the Educational Diagnostic Prescriptive Services provides diagnostic tests, which can be administered any time of the year. These tests come along with instructions to facilitate easy assessment, thereby not requiring help from a professional to grade them. Remedial section with ways to resolve weaknesses is also a part of the test.

Among the three tests, the standardized method is the most widely used by homeschoolers going by their saturation levels.

To conclude, besides being aware of the various types of tests, parents and students should be able to join forces so that the child can excel in his studies. However, pressurizing children to perform well could hinder their learning capacity and concentration. If the parents administer the tests, prior knowledge of the subject is necessary. Most importantly, children should be told the significance of these tests, and failure on their part should not be reprimanded. Rather, both the parents and their children need to work together to correct it.
About the Author
Thinking of Homeschooling? Citizens' High School is a full government accredited Home School provider that employers, colleges and universities value a more than a GED. Please visit http://www.citizenshighschool.com and sign up for a free information package.E-mail: inforequests@citizenschool.com Phone: 1-800-736-4723
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