May 19, 2010

End of Level Testing and Miriam

When Timothy and I first started throwing around homeschooling as a choice for our family (alright, I threw it around and Timothy mulled it over), testing became a sticking point. Timothy wanted our kids to take their end-of-levels, and I thought it was a waste of time. I think there are good arguments for both stances.

Pro Testing:

1) Helps your child get used to the format/set-up and expectations of that kind of test. Face it, even if your child never sets foot in a public school, he will still need to be a good high stakes tester.

2) It gives you a good reason to practice test taking skills. I think this is so very important.

3) It gives you a general sense of where your child's skills are strong and weak.

4) Curiosity. Your own curiosity about how your child stacks up to public schooled kids by way of test scores.


1) It is easy to give too much credence to the results. Whether the scores indicate that your child is behind or ahead, what you know as a homeschool mom is that your child needs to be working at his zone of proximal development and no one test can tell you where that is.

2) Often what the schools are teaching has little to do with what you are teaching at home. That might lead to some pretty low scores in some areas, which might embarrass or discourage your child.

3) Your child might ace the tests leading to both of you getting swelled heads.

4) Curiosity. Your own curiosity about how your child stacks up to public schooled kids by way of test scores.

Miriam has spent the past two mornings at the local elementary school doing her end-of-levels. She'll be there again tomorrow, in her assigned classroom, with a teacher and a bunch of other six year olds. It is a weird thing for me, peeking in the classroom and seeing her there at a little desk with a pencil. Since I adored school my whole life (even junior high), my guilt complex was activated the first day when I picked Miriam up and she said, "Can't I stay longer?"

My reply: "Why?"

Miriam: "Because I want to see the library."

Me: "Ahh." She's so constant.

Today most of the kids in the class waved goodbye to her and said variations of "Bye, Miriam, see you tomorrow." They seemed like a very nice bunch and the teacher is a sweetheart. Regardless, after getting Miriam to the school by 9:00 am two days in a row I've about had it. Me no likey getting kids places in the morning. I'll end this post with that whine. Happy testing tomorrow, Miriam.


  1. It's hard to get the kids to school only for the first while, then you kinda get into it and it's easier. When do you find out the results?

  2. I can see the good and bad with testing, as well...One of the main reasons we are homeschooling our children is because of testing, actually. :) We both feel like testing is a test to see how well a child tests. :) Of course, when you have 25+ kids in a classroom there needs to be a way to evaluate what is being taught and retained and the quickest way to do that is through standardized tests. I don't know...I just feel bad for those kids who will never test well, despite everything else.