Baseline Testing for Beginning Homeschoolers
Why test your kids as you start homeschooling?
“I wish I had had him tested when we first started.” I can’t tell you how many times I have had a first-year homeschool mom say this to me as we set down to go over their end of year test scores. Why does she wish this? Because there is no way to tell how well you have done at a job if there is no way to measure where you started.
Having your child take a standardized test in the beginning of the year will allow you to see how much your child’s reading, comprehension, applied math, spelling, grammar, etc. have increased over the schoolyear. In addition, by hiring a knowledgeable test assessor who uses the Woodcock-Johnson Academic test you will receive valuable input and insight. After testing a child, an educational consultant can tell you what learning style your child leans toward, they can give you advice on picking curricula, or tell you which teaching methods will work best for your child.
Having a baseline to base your child’s advancement upon is a wonderful bit of piece of mind. This is especially important if you are bringing your child out of school because they may be behind in a subject or two, and when you test them at the end of the year, they may still be behind. Without the baseline to show you that they have improved over the year they were home, you may feel as if you have failed them. Testing early in your homeschool career may be just the thing to give you confidence to continue, especially with children who are struggling to learn in a school environment. As you teach them at home, one-on-one, you will see improvement, even in areas which may be a struggle for them.
Testing at the beginning of your homeschool journey will allow you to assess your success as a teacher, the effectiveness of your curricula, and the progress of your student. This resource will be worth a great deal to you as you work to educate your child(ren) at the highest level.
There are other ways to measure your student’s progress besides testing: take a writing sample, record a reading sample, make a note of the math facts they have down pat, ask them to write a paragraph about themselves, etc. These items done at the beginning and end of the school year will give you a clear example of how much your child is growing and learning in those particular areas.
For a beginning of the year assessment in the Charlotte, NC area contact Misty Spinelli at Growing Scholars. www.growingscholars.com 704-394-2165