Whether it’s standardized, basic, online, or just because, public schools test nearly every day. Many homeschoolers test because their state requires them to, or because they just want to, but more and more homeschoolers are opting out. Why?
Because a test is just a small snapshot of a child’s ability.
The more important thing to do is assess our homeschool students. An assessment tells us a child’s abilities, weaknesses and strengths. The results are much more realistic view of our child’s progress. Not just what they can score on a piece of paper.
But if you say no testing how can you assess?
Many homeschool families call this a portfolio. For some ideas as to what to keep in a portfolio check out this post. The basic idea is to include a snapshot of your child’s work from throughout the year.
This can be kept in a binder, a file folder, or another option that works for your family. By keeping records of your child’s work throughout the year you will be able to see what they are weak in and what their strengths are moving forward.
Does your child read much of their schoolwork alone? Why not have them narrate to you what they have learned? Narration can be done orally or on paper. Written narrations can be saved in a notebook and is a great way to keep records of their work.
Have Fun with Presentations!
Another option is to have them present their work to you. This can be done in a book report, science experiment, or skit. Presentations can be a fun way to gauge what your child has learned, but also teaches them public speaking skills and can show dad what you and the kids have been busy on all day!
Do you want your child to know his states or capitals by the end of the year? Make that a goal! How about your child being able to read a book alone, or able to complete a math drill? Make these goals!
Setting goals allows your child to work on a certain task until it is mastered. This also lets you know what their progress is without testing them on their work.
So, you don’t want to test your children? No problem! Any of the above methods of assessment are a great way to gauge how your child is learning without giving them a test.
Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued, homeschooling and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.
Copyright: flippo / 123RF Stock Photo
Mari Fitz-Wynn is the President and Co-founder of Heart for Home School Ministries , Inc. founded in 2000 by Mari and her late husband P. Wynn. The 501 3(c) organization sponsor seminars and conferences to help home school families educate their children with confidence. For 3 years, Mari hosted the weekly radio program, “Heart for Home School.”and although Mari no longer hosts a weekly radio program, she offers advice and wisdom drawn from her many years of experience through short commentaries, “Home School Highlights,” which are aired throughout the day on WRTP HIS Radio stations. Mari has over 20 years of experience as a speaker, a home educator, a home school advocate and lobbyist for one of her state’s home school organizations. Her most fulfilling role however, is being the proud mom of 1 daughter and 5 sons who were home schooled.
Speaker: Julia Nalle
Why do so many history programs miss the connections between Biblical/Christian history and world history? Why do we study Bible and World History but not at the same time? Why do we have our children reading books about the Giants of the Faith but fail to connect those stories within the pages of our history books? BiblioPlan’ unique four-year survey of history solves this problem by covering world history, American history and Biblical history all at the same time, from ancient times through modern times, weaving God’s story together with the world’s story throughout. BiblioPlan students are privileged to walk beside the Hebrew people from the Book of Genesis through the Book of Job, looking on as Father Abraham and his descendants encounter the ancient Sumerians, Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks and Romans. They learn church and missionary history alongside world history, discovering the roles that faith played in the lives of mighty figures like Charlemagne, Richard the Lionheart, Joan of Arc, Henry VIII and many others. And throughout all four years, they are introduced to other faiths in ways that help them understand their own faith better. Come spend some time in this session encountering the God of the Ages in the pages of history. Julia will be sharing personal stories and stories from history to illustrate how to weave His Story into History
Speaker: Julia Nalle
In most subjects, we start by teaching the basics: In reading, we start by teaching children the alphabet; in writing, we start by teaching children how to hold a pencil; and in arithmetic, we start by teaching children how to count. Since we start every other subject at the beginning, why should we start history in the middle— with Columbus’ arrival in the West Indies, or with the American Revolution? A well-ordered approach to history and literature allows students to follow history as it happened: In order, from ancient times through the present. A classical approach produces a well-rounded student who knows the stories from all of history— whether ancient or modern, Biblical or secular— that every educated person should know. This seminar will help you understand the importance of studying history in order and how to integrate history with literature reading, writing assignments, geography study, hands-on history activities in a classical four year Charlotte Mason styled approach. The entire family can enjoy history together (with appropriate material for each learning age) with this chronological study plan.
Peterson’s Dean Vaughn Total Retention System has revolutionized home-schooled students on a wide range of subjects.