Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Homeschool Year End State Testing Day!

My kids (on left) are always happy on test day. It means it is the last day of school before summer break*.

Our dear friends (on right) have been testing alongside us for many years. I have to admit there is something relaxing about seeing friendly, familar faces, which makes the "drive" worth it. When we moved to Washington (state) 2 yrs ago, the laws & requirements for us changed quite a bit, but the required 'test' was still the same, thus I choose to go to our familar testing center (a church in our small hometown).

All was not as usual this year though. We have been doing the CAT (California Achievement Test) for the past 9 years. This year, however, they threw us a curve ball and banned the CAT for the Terra Nova Test. In general, that is fine, but for a student that already struggles with testing, this is not so fine.

For my readers whom also homeschool, do you do testing? If so, what is your families attitude towards it? We do testing because it is required. I find it rather vague in exposing knowledge, but rather to know how to take the (a) test. The test does not reflect intelligence. After all, many of us parents have graduated from highschool, a few of us have a few years of college underhand also.... so, years later, does it really matter what a predicate nominative or reflexive pronoun is? Better yet, diagramming sentences? Really, is that even necessary?

My kids are graded on:
obedience~ to do their work that is required, and in a timely manner.
quality~ Neatness and effort matter.
attitude~ the kids don't necessarily have to like what we are learning, but respect for education is a must.

We are on summer break*. Technically anyways. ;^)

Our "school" year begins the first monday of August. We follow a 9 weeks on, 2 weeks off outline. With 4 quarters in our official year we usually wrap up our year by mid May. Thus our summer lasts about 8- 10 weeks. Interestingly enough, in the summer we still read, practice math, and do an abundance of science & nature projects, all in the name of *fun*

What do your summers look like?


Robin said...

I am not thrilled about standardized testing, some kids are just good test takers and some not. We did not test when we lived in Florida, but in Iowa under our "HSAP" it is required. We take the Iowa Basic Skills test (was in November this year). We are almost to summer break--enjoy yours!!

tonia said...

My kids were thrown off by the new test too. Well, maybe we'll be happily surprised...maybe?


Always a treat to see you and the family. Thanks for taking a picture for us!

Danielle said...

Hey girly!! My kids just took the Stanford Test. It's not required here. Where I am at there aren't any rules for homeschooling. I'm interested to see how they did since it was a new test for them. Theya are used to the Terra Nova or CAT's. Not sure what we are doing for school next year. Both kids want to go back to school. since the schools and classrooms in England are smaller I think we are going to try that. Actually both kids want to attend actual British schools....we shall see.....

Danielle said...

Hahahaha.....my previous comment has errors too...LOL! And....I'm an English major ;)

Hollinger Family said...

Robin~ I find it strange to take a test at the beginning of the year, but maybe that would take the pressure off a bit? Enjoy your summer, & keep your feet up. ;^)

Tonia~ hehe, and I thought I was the hopelessly positive one *smile*
Love you & your family!

Danielle~ I am so proud of you for adventuring into the homeschool journey. I admire even more that you listen to your kids, and that they are blessed to get a variety of choices. British schools? *hee* I can hear the accents already! Love ya.