Tomorrow Rachel must go for standardized testing. In our state home educated students in 3rd, 5th, 8th grades must get standardized testing.
Standardized testing is a tool that schools use to show where their students are in light of the curriculum chosen by the state to teach in say grade 5. They find results that show that some students are above grade level, below grade level or average. The teachers take weeks to prep their students for standardized testing. They "teach to the test" so to speak.
Home educating families typically don't do this. I don't use the same curriculum as the public school. I use a lot of readers for history, we use a different math program, etc. When it comes time for standardized testing, most 5th grade tests will have all the things state educated 5th graders have been studying. My 5th graders typically are learning the history their high school sister is doing. So if she were to take a 5th grade history test, based on what the state schools are doing, she may not do well. Does that make sense?
Sometimes students both home educated and state educated are behind grade level in certain subjects. With standardized testing it makes them seem as if they are failing, when really it is only that they haven't learned it on the state's time table of when they decided student should know a certain thing. What does it matter when they learn it, as long as they learn it?
Sometimes kids just need time...my kids have been all over the place in their educations, behind in certain subjects, ahead in others. By the time they graduate they are good, well rounded people who know how to learn. They are interested in many things and love to learn, but they don't know Calculus like their friend Liz. Liz has a gift my kids don't have and that's alright. We don't need to compare our kids to each other - they are all unique, just how God made them!
Rachel is a little bit behind in her math. Not far but a bit behind where the 5th grade standards are set. So we have been doing a wee bit of test prep with her, so she will feel comfortable with the test and the material. I have been very pleased at how quickly she has grasped material that just a few months ago she wouldn't have been ready for. Again, sometimes they just need time. She may never go beyond Algebra 1 or perhaps not past a good general math course. That is ok. Did I ever tell you how she practically taught herself to read? Her gifts lie in other places than math.
That's the beauty of a home education.
Fortunately for us, our state only requires that home educated students be tested in math and language arts. We are using a CAT test this year and it is being given by a friend of ours at her home.
She won't need to do testing again for 3 more years. Sarah will do testing next year in 3rd grade and her issues are more reading related, though she is coming right along.
Well, I need to get back to a bit of test prep.
Have a lovely day, friends!