Friday, March 6, 2015

Why Homeschoolers should Test Their Kids

WHY HOMESCHOOLERS SHOULD TEST THEIR KIDS

I must admit, I wasn't on board with homeschooling until 18 years after I'd started having kids. I was completely satisfied with the benefits of traditional education - as it was working for my kids.

However, once I started homeschooling my younger two kids, I didn't want them to lose the 'skill' of test taking.
 
BENEFITS OF TESTING

It helps parents know where you child's weak areas are.

It eases testing stress for students when they transition into a school that requires test (ie: college, military, career)

It teaches your kid to study and prepare for test.

WAYS TO MAKE TESTING MORE ACCEPTABLE FOR YOUR KID

Teach them how to prepare for test.

Don't take testing too seriously - tell your child that it's a way for 'you (the parent teacher)' to 'test' how you are doing in teaching your child.

Let your kid retake test that they didn't do well on the first time - to show them how studying and hard work can progress their knowlegde.

HOW TESTING HAS HELPED MY KIDS

Testing has helped me to pinpoint areas that my kids were having major challenges or learning gaps. Then we would try another teaching method, or exposure to the subject matter. We would teach then test on those areas until my child grasped the concept. There is no hurry in homeschooling.

I always let them retake their quizzes and test. Which became a learning opportunity for me - teach them the following (1) Notetaking (2) Study techniques using Quizlet, flashcards (3) Pinpointing what they needed extra help in.

TESTING REQUIRED IN THE REAL WORLD

Interview Pre-Test (Yes, I've had to take a test in order to get a job)

Military Testing

Trade School Testing

Continued employment training and testing required

College Entry Testing and Testing During Courses

WEEKLY WRAP UP

We started our lighter schedule this week. All of us are relaxing more.
Snow. Snow. And more Snow with Ice.

Speed Racer, 6th grader

He started Lacrosse this week while it was raining (in addition to his BreakDancing and Martial Arts). That means he had a sport everyday from Mon-Sat. But, Lacrosse was cancelled due to inclement weather (yay!).

This week he worked independently. The curriculum choices for Spring were specifically selected so he could work alone (mostely). I just review his progress with him mid-way and at the end. If he has to redo anything (and we have time) he does so that day - otherwise, it goes to Saturday homework.

His day ran about 4-5 hours with breaks. He worked daily on Biology (Time4Learning-HighSchool), Language Arts (Time4Learning-HS), US History (Time4Learning-HS), Language Extensions (Time4Learning-HS), Math 7 (Teaching Textbooks), Writing (Time4Writing), Vocabulary (Wordsmart), Underground RailRoad (Minecraft Homeschool), Language Practice (IXL),  Mod Design (Youth Digital) and his Speed Reading Comprehension Worksheet. The subjects he works with me are Saxon Math, Sequential Spelling, with Spelling You See with me.

He had very little that he didn't finish correctly. However, some of his quizzes and test on Biology and History he didn't do to well on. So it becomes his 'Saturday' work to retake the quizzes and test until he gets a B or better.

Tiger Lilly, blended 9th grader

Tiger Lilly is now at a point where I am helping her with some study skills to prepare for her coming mid-terms next month in her Dual Enrollment courses. (Sociology, Interpersonal Communication and Art Appreciation). This week she's got her rythm and only asked me to review several papers for her. However, I was concerned that she was rushing to finish them on the due date. Therefore, she and I reworked her schedule so she would do the more intensive work assigned during the beginning of the week.

On Wednesday she takes Web Design with Currclick.com which she had 1 project due, Python class with Landry she got stuck on her project and had to email the teacher for help, Psychology with Currclick on Monday she did a group activity she liked. Blender Animation with Youth Digital she is adding her own touches and showed us her work. Chemistry with Education-Portal, she is working through the videos - I don't require her to take the test - only the quizzes after each section.

After her Digipen-Animation with 3D Maya class she compared animation tools Blender and Maya that she's using and thought Blender was easier to work with. However, Maya is an industry standard so she is determined to learn it. Her current project requires she uses it.

Pre-Calc with Abeka she got an 'A' on her test.

Still she's studying for her CLEP exam in US History to 1877. In her last few lessons of CLEP Professor Algebra - She did well on her weekly diagnostic test. She also took a Practice test for the Math Accuplacer (college entry exam) which she go a really high score on.

For PE she is doing dance and Martial Arts. She and I are supposed to do exercise videos but - mom's bailed on her a few times. So...I will try to do better next week.

WORKING PARENT's LOG

Meals. I did a lot of meal prep over the weekend. As long as I got dinner cooking as soon as I got home, or had my daughter start it, we had dinner. But there was one day that we just ate out because it was more convenient.

Cleaning. The house is clean! Yay! I didn't do anything outside the house this weekend so the kids got their chores done. Hubba and I cleaned the rest.

Work & Life Balance. Crazy weather messed up my usual schedule. Thursday I got off because of snow, and Tuesday I left work early because of it. Work has been hectic at the day gig. With the wacky weather my hours have been very erratic. So I've pretty much left the kids to work independently and what they didn't finish, they did on the weekend.

Lesson Planning. The lesson plans are now easier to do weekly. I got them finished Sunday night and placed them on the kids desk in their notebooks.

Rest. I've been getting a good share of 6-7 hour sleeping nights since I've been getting to work later in the day. I worked later, which I don't like, but it allowed me to be more refreshed during the day. And  - I didn't need my nap.

Marriage Check Up. We didn't do date night. But we did stay in bed late on Saturday and watch TV since the kids slept in too. I also sent him some 'I love You' text during the week - since we barely got to see each other.

1 comment:

  1. Even though I choose to have Year-end evaluations for my children, I do believe that kids should be able to handle test taking, a skill we also teach to our kids. This is a Great topic, which is why I am going to share your post with a homeschool/working parent group I am apart of ;)

    https://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=8190802&trk=anet_ug_hm

    ReplyDelete