Testing is a requirement for homeschool students in some states but not in all. However, did you know that testing provides important benefits for homeschool parents and students?
The Benefits of Homeschool Testing
There are three important benefits to homeschool testing.
- Testing provides tangible proof of your child’s education. Keeping records of your child’s homeschool education is strongly recommended whether your state requires it or not. Records provide proof that your child is in fact receiving an education and progressing year after year. Test results are one of the best records you can keep because they demonstrate your child’s knowledge and abilities in specific subjects. Test results may be used to show proof of education to your school district, a potential employer, or when your child is applying to college.
- Testing helps you as a parent to know what your child should be learning at each grade level. One of the more difficult aspects of homeschooling is knowing what your child needs to know, and when and how to teach it. Testing answers the what and when. It demonstrates clearly what your child is expected to know and at what grade level they should be learning it.
- Testing shows what your child already knows and where they need to improve. Seeing how your child performs in a test is one of the best ways of knowing where they are confident and where they still struggle. Even if what they struggle with is testing itself! The only way to know is to test them. Homeschooling testing is the best way to see what your child still needs to learn and their specific struggles.
There Is More Than One Way To Test
When you hear the word “test” you probably think of a Standardized Achievement Test administered in a room full of students with a “no talking” policy. Even though this is a real and acceptable form of testing it is not the only way to test. There are many ways that you can “test” your child without having them sit for 2 hours and fill in bubbles on a score sheet. Evaluations, assessments, quizzes, and assignments are all good ways to test your homeschooled child. All of these methods provide tangible evidence of your child’s progress and abilities.
What Does My State Require For Homeschool Testing?
Not all states require homeschool students to participate in testing. Among the states that do require testing, not all of them require you to submit your child’s test scores. Some states accept other forms of testing such as evaluations or assessments by certified educators.
For example, the North Dakota homeschool law requires homeschool students to participate in a standardized achievement test during their 4th grade, 6th grade, 8th grade, and 10th grade years. Parents are required to submit their child’s test scores to the local superintendent for filing.
However, in Washington the homeschool law requires students to participate in testing or evaluations every year but the scores/results do not need to be submitted; they are for personal records only.
Find out if testing is required in your state law; Use the menu at the top of this page to find your state’s homeschool law and read all about it.