Some homeschooling families voluntarily use testing to measure progress, while standardized tests for homeschoolers are required in many states.
The idea of standardized testing for homeschooling is anathema for many homeschoolers who fled institutional education to avoid such testing. However, twenty-two states require or permit homeschool testing scores as a method for measuring adequate progress. For many families, standardized tests for homeschoolers are a necessary part of their child’s home education.
The options vary depending on the purpose behind testing for families searching for standardized tests for homeschoolers.
Homeschool Testing Rentals
The most popular homeschool testing rental services include:
Family Learning Organization: offers the California Achievement Test, 5th edition and the Basic Achievement Skills Inventory as homeschool rest rentals.
Thurber’s Educational Assessments: offers the California Achievement Test, 5th edition for parents using standardized testing for homeschoolers.
Brewer Testing Services: offers the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, Iowa Tests of Educational Development, Basic Achievement Skills Inventory, and Cognitive Abilities Test for homeschool testing.
Each of these companies offers standardized tests for homeschoolers that can be administered at home. The fees for tests and shipping vary. Parents order and pay for requested tests online. The company ships the tests on requested dates and parents are given a time frame – typically two weeks – to administer and return the testing materials. Within four to six weeks the company sends a results sheet from the tests.
When students are going to be completing their testing online, having a quiet, clean space and all the supplies needed for testing BEFORE the testing begins, will greatly improve their test scores. Try your best to eliminate anything that can be a distraction.
A quality headset is extrememly beneficial for all online work but especially for testing. The Jabra Evolve2 65 offers memory foam cushions that mold to your teen’s ears. You will be amazed at how comfortable they really are.
With crystal clear audio that is even customizable using the Jabra Sound+ app, there will be no question of what the audio is saying during the test! There is a built in professional microphone if your student needs to make calls for co-op classes/Zoom meetings or if they are taking a foreign language exam that requires recording their voice. If that was enough you can get 37 hours of usage out of only 90 minutes of charging, which makes it very reliable to last through all of the test without concern of the battery dying out in the middle of the test!
Administering Standardized Tests for Homeschoolers
For parents who voluntary offer homeschool testing to their children to track progress, online test rentals provide the test, scoring, and a results sheet. How the test is administered is up to the parent, as long as the person administering the test follows the test norms in terms of the amount of time given, no prompting from the administrator, and so forth. The results are private and parents can do what they wish with the homeschool testing results.
In states where the results of homeschool testing must be sent to a school district or state education official, however, testing options may be limited. Of the twenty-two states that require or permit standardized tests for homeschoolers to be used to measure progress, three – Arkansas, Maine and Vermont – administer the standardized tests for homeschooler via school district.
The following states require that such testing be administered by a “qualified person,” typically a certified teacher in that state:
In many cases, standardized tests can be given in the home, but the qualified person must administer it.
The remaining states that permit homeschool testing as a form of evaluation allow families to give the test at home and there are no restrictions on the person administering the standardized tests.
Homeschool Testing Choices
How to select the right test is more a function of requirements and personal choice than any objective criteria. Some states require that homeschooled children take the state’s specific standardized test, while other states allow any standardized tests for homeschoolers to suffice. Parents should ask education officials in their school district for specific instructions on which testing choice is best.
In addition, parents need to research the issue of standardized testing for homeschoolers to choose the best test, testing company, or reporting system. Talk with fellow homeschoolers, investigate information in print and online, and be sure to follow state requirements where relevant to get the best educational experience and value from homeschool testing.