Image by Виктория Бородинова from Pixabay 

Annual testing is required for all students regardless of the method used to educate them. Traditional students take these tests in the classroom with their classmates, and homeschoolers have options for completing them.

National standardized testing aims to measure a student’s level of understanding of the material covered by each section or booklet. It covers essential subjects such as math, reading, grammar, science, and other topics depending on the grade level and state requirements. Educators use the scores to determine if students are learning what they need in school to pass these tests, evaluate curriculum and teaching methods, and decide if they have met the minimum to enter the next grade. All students must take this every year, typically in April, and it can last through the week so students are not overwhelmed with the impact or schedule.

The top first-grade homeschool curriculum program provides booklets for students in K-2nd grades so they can take the standardized test the same way they perform their schoolwork. Still, parents must know the requirements for administering this series based on their county of residence. Some states allow parents to preside over these tests and mail them back to the school so the vendor can grade them, and the results are stored in the child’s record with a copy sent back to the family. Other states have stricter standards and require that licensed teachers administer the test series, or students may be allowed to join in with the local classes at the school and have the scores sent to their school of record. To avoid any issues, parents should research this ahead of time to find out what needs to be done and then work with the platform to ensure the proper protocol is followed.

Students in 3rd grade and above can take this test through an online portal connected with the homeschool program, which may be more accessible and less restricted by the state or county’s requirements because the system will automatically time each session as dictated by the test. There is also no way to see the information ahead of time like with the booklet, so once the student provides an answer, reviews it, and submits it, the information is captured and cannot be changed. The appropriate agency receives the answers, scores the tests, and sends the documentation to the necessary individuals where it can be kept for future records. Homeschoolers may do better on these standardized tests because they are used to working on a computer as their primary instrument and independently without the pressure of classmates or distractions. 

In addition to using the top first-grade homeschool curriculum, parents can use the scores to see where their child scored in the different areas and then adjust the daily schedule to focus on these areas. This test is an excellent resource of information so learning issues can be caught early for the benefit of the student, and they can receive the assistance they need. Grades and progress in learning can also help identify some issues. Still, when all the tools are put together, plus what the parent is visibly seeing, the chances of successfully seeing these in the younger grades are more excellent, so the student will not struggle when they get older.

On the flip side, this should not be the only measure of a child’s knowledge progress because not all students do well on tests for various reasons. It is not unusual, especially for elementary kids, to get overly stressed, let nerves get in the way, or ‘forget’ things they know and do poorly on this test. This is another reason why a combination of factors is utilized to determine student progress to ensure the student’s work is reviewed holistically to account for all types of work and situations. One way to reduce a stressful environment is to provide a familiar face as the administrator, take the test at home where the student is comfortable, and show the student through your actions that this test is like any other assignment so they don’t get overly worried.

Homeschoolers have various tools and resources at their disposal when they partner with an accredited online program with an extensive network for all grades. Whether you use the top first-grade homeschool curriculum or wait to start until the student is older, the platform is designed to meet the family where they are with the information they need. Parents need to be familiar with the legality and format of homeschooling. However, using an online program removes much of the pressure on the administration side, so they can focus more on supporting and teaching their kids. Standardized testing is a requirement, but it can also be a tool that benefits students, the school, and the parents to customize the lessons to turn weaknesses into strengths.