I spoke to a mom last week about her state’s homeschooling laws and requirements.
I have never been more thankful to live in California.
She was asking for direction in how to best approach the annual testing required by her state, for her son with significant learning differences. She was also a little panicked.
Maybe you can identify?
Please know, although I was compensated for my time in writing this post, I only share products that genuinely work for my family, in the hopes they might help yours as well!
For many of us, one of the reasons we made the decision to homeschool was because of the increased focus in schools on standardized tests. For many of our children, these types of tests can be overwhelming at best, and discouraging at their worst.
But the truth is, whether we homeschool or not, sometimes these tests are simply a necessity. Plus, when done in a healthy way, they can and do provide valuable information for us as teachers and moms.
The trick to making testing work for your child with learning differences?
Finding a test that best meets your child’s learning challenges and needs.
Homeschool Testing When Your Child Has Learning Differences
We recently completed some testing of our own – not because our state requires it, but because I wanted a snapshot of how my children have progressed over the last few years.
After a bit of research on options available to us, I decided to use Homeschool Testing Services.
Focused on at-home testing that is actually helpful to families (and not just checking a box) Homeschool Testing Services was a perfect complement to my children’s needs.
The Value Of A Healthy Assessment
My sons both completed the Stanford-10 test in a variety of subjects, including social studies and science.
I think this can be especially encouraging when children have learning differences, because testing covers a variety of subjects and skills – not just the ones that are delayed. For example, my youngest son was able to sail through the science portion of the assessment with my reading the questions for him. I was able to get a helpful gauge of his science ability and he developed testing confidence without having the frustration of his reading delay.
Here are the benefits we experienced in using Homeschool Testing Services –
Time and Skills Accommodations
Because the test is administered at home and by you, it is easily adapted to your child’s needs. Test times are flexible, we were able to stop and take breaks as needed and perhaps best of all, we could spread out the test over the course of several days based on my boys’ abiities.
Since I administered the test, I was also able to provide the same skills accommodations my boys would receive with an IEP in a traditional school, including acting as a reader for my youngest with dyslexia and providing a calculator for my oldest with dyscalculia.
I only wanted to test a couple of areas for my oldest son (he is in a hybrid school that also provides us with valuable assessments of his skills and abilities). Because of the flexibility built-in to At-Home Testing with HTS, my son was able to only complete the portions of the test I found helpful and necessary. (This is huge, in my opinion!)
Test Design Is Ideal For Children With Learning Differences
Perhaps the most surprising benefit of the Stanford-10 test provided by Homeschool Testing Services was the design of the test itself. Tons of white space, color graphics and even font choice made a significant difference in my son’s ability to stick with the test without the fatigue that comes from too much copy, all in back and white.
Assessing our children’s progress does not have to be a negative thing. Finding the right testing service, especially for children with various educational needs, makes all the difference.
Because I think healthy assessments can be so helpful, I am excited to be able to offer you the chance to enter this giveaway from Homeschool Testing Services.
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.