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Hey Mama Monday: Grading and Testing – Is It Necessary, Mama?

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Hey Mama,

 

I was quite nervous; we were not required to test our children in California. However, our new state of Colorado requires testing! Would they do well, or would the test prove that I am a failure as a teacher? I feared the latter. Although the test was for the children, I felt like their results would reflect on my ability or lack of ability to teach. I prayed, “LORD, help!” 

After a week of testing each child, the results came in. They all averaged at least three grade levels higher than the general population of test takers in their grades. What?!? Even I was a bit shocked. I knew it was not because of my great teaching skills (I feel like we have gaps. We don’t cover enough subjects adequately, and I don’t spend enough time with each child, etc.) and not because my children are superior or brainy (pretty normal kids) but maybe because we pray for wisdom, try to do our best, stay consistent, and leave the rest in God’s hands. We have time for creative and critical thinking, nature exploration, and lots of good reading. The kids get enough rest, good nutrition, and affection—all proven to be beneficial for increased learning. Who knew? Homeschoolers, that’s who!

Here are a few benefits of testing:

  • Test results can guide us in our curriculum choices for the next year. 
  • Our children learn to take the first of many tests that may come in their academic future. 
  • Test results confirm that our children have done well despite us. It encourages us to continue on the journey. 

Homeschooling rocks the testing world in so many ways. Check out NHERI’s Research Facts on Homeschooling.* Here are some amazing facts:

  • Homeschool students score above average on achievement tests regardless of their parents’ level of formal education or their family’s household income. 
  • Whether homeschool parents were ever certified teachers is not related to their children’s academic achievement. 
  • Degree of state control and regulation of homeschooling is not related to academic achievement. 
  • Homeschool students are increasingly being actively recruited by colleges. 

You are doing well (and so are your kids) by keeping your children Home Where They Belong!

 

Deborah Wuehler is the Senior Editor and Director of Production here at The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. She would say she is a very ordinary homeschool mom–with one exception: she has an extra-ordinary God Who provides all she needs for life and homeschooling. She has eight children aged 11 to 29. Deborah’s mission is this: to point other homeschoolers to the Lord in all they do, think, and feel—and to confirm that they, too, can find everything they need for life, godliness–and homeschooling–in their knowledge of Him (2 Peter 1:3, 4).

 

The Pros and Cons of Standardized Testing, by Zan Tyler

Grading Middle School and High School Essays With Confidence, by Sharon Watson

Is Your Child a Poor Test Taker? 3 Ways to Improve Scores, by Dianne Craft

*Copyright © 2016 by Brian D. Ray, rev. Mar. 23, 2016

 

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).
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