One of the Home School requirements, by law, in North Carolina is to administer standardized achievement tests once per year. It’s test time in our house!
This is our second time doing this as we started Homeschooling in November of 2017. We’re noobs, but we figure it out and we get it done. Kind of what homeschool is all about, lol.
The hoops we have to jump through are similar to what public schools do. If you remember taking these standarized tests when you were that age or you have kids taking them, you know the drill.
They are very hyped up and the kids feel a lot of pressure even though the tests don’t count towards their report cards. It takes a better part of a week, the students usually don’t enjoy it, and then it’s done.
It kind of goes that way for us too. (Except we have to shell out $50 for them.) And we don’t hype them up (AT ALL). The boy still has a lot of anxiety about them, leftover from public school though. It’s part of the de-schooling process he needs to go through. He took the tests very seriously in public school because that was what he was taught, and now he’s still learning that it doesn’t have to be at that level for him. Care, but don’t obsess.
NC Homeschool law states that…
“At least once during every school year, you must test your child using a nationally standardized test or other nationally standardized equivalent measurement. The test you choose must measure achievement in the areas of English grammar, reading, spelling, and mathematics. For one year after the testing, your child’s test scores must be kept “available” at the principal office of your homeschool at all reasonable hours for annual inspection by a duly authorized representative of the state of North Carolina. Although the DNPE has attempted to perform home visits under this provision, the law gives its officials no right to enter homes or to inspect any records besides test scores.” ~HSLDA.org
And a little Q&A…
“Are there minimum scores for home school students taking the achievement tests? Are the testing sessions monitored?
No, to both questions. Although the law does require standardized testing on an annual basis, no minimum score is stipulated and no external monitoring is provided. (North Carolina State Board of Education)”
So we roll with it! We buy the tests, we take the time to administer and take them. We take the whole process seriously, but not public school seriously. We send them away to get graded and we discuss the results as a family when they arrive in the mail. We use them as guides to celebrate his strengths and recognize the topics we should give more attention to. We also keep the results on hand in case anyone should ever ask for them.
We feel like all of this is fair and we are happy to do what we are required to do. We love homeschool and are so grateful that this option is open and possible for us. We aren’t extremests in any of the typical ways people might expect homeschoolers to be. We are just a typical American family giving this a shot and loving it! It has been one of the best decisions we have ever made together!
Do you homeschool?
How do you feel about standardized testing?