"From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised." Psalm 113:3

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3

Yep, we did it. We have officially finished our testing for this year. Second grade and fifth grade are over.

This is the first year we have tested. Not so unusual, figuring it is only our second year homeschooling (and Firefly's first).

I'm not sure I'm going to do it again.

In our state, you have the option of using an umbrella school, standardized testing, or doing a portfolio. This year my intention was doing a portfolio of our year. As a matter of fact, I am still working on the portfolios / scrapbooks / reading lists. But for some reason, I got an itch to test as well.

As a second-year homeschooler, I am much, much, much more confident than I was when we started on this journey. I am calmer (well, a little). We have our stuff together more (theoretically).

So why did I feel that pull? Why did I feel like I needed to "make sure"? What if? Do I have something to prove? And to who?

So we tested. And as much as I tried to make it "fun", a "you can show what you know" moment, we still ended up with two stressed-out little girls, a worn out Mommy, and a four year-old who missed us since he was in the nursery all day.

I'm pretty sure I knew better.

And now I'm asking myself question after question after question. Who was this for? Was it so that the girls could have practice with testing? Was it so I could "show off"? Was it to punish myself when I see Firefly's math scores come in? I'm not sure why we really did it. I think I need to have some quiet time alone and with God to really look at the reasons.

Will we do it again? I think I may have a better answer in four to six weeks. (Nothing like waiting for the results first ; )

What about you? What are your reasons for testing or for not testing? I'd love to hear your input as I wrestle with the decision that we made.


  1. I don't homeschool. I've thought about it before and actually started researching when my son was only 2 or 3. I think in our state, the state has to approve your curriculum and the kids have to do testing. I don't think you have a choice. But, I could be wrong. Congrats on finishing year #2!!! Thanks for linking up with us again at the S&R weekend hop! Hope to see you next week again. BTW, if you have any quick & easy recipes, I have a weekly linky up now. Have a blessed week!

  2. nothing like a little test to see where weak points are :D!!

    new follower via the blog hop nice to meet you!!

  3. I think you're actually in a position where ideas that are normally executed badly (like near-constant testing in public schools) can show their use. When forms of assessment are applied correctly, they can reveal deficiencies (in teaching, learning, or both) in a useful way. (Is your student bad at second grade math, or simply misunderstanding borrowing in two-digit subtraction problems?, for example.)
    Public schools are doomed to waste all the good elements of standardized assessment by over-(over over over)testing and basically ignoring the results at the classroom level. They decry "teaching to the test" while ignoring the information about our teaching and our students' learning that tests offer.
    When I taught public school, I was constantly annoyed by the time standardized tests wasted, but I made sure to limit that waste by making use of the data. I didn't teach to the test, but I did teach through it, making sure that the skills in the exam were the minimum my students gained.
    I wouldn't avoid the test if I homeschooled. Let me know if you want to talk data when the results arrive.



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