Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Standardized Testing

I decided to give my dd a "standardized test" just for the fun of it.  I found one at Internet4Classrooms.com.  It was from 2002 and available to print for free.  You know me and free!!!!

My dd hasn't been doing as well as I had thought, so it made me analyze what is going on with the test.  After all, it can't be my dd!  Here's some insights I've been gleaning from this process.
  1. There are 3 sections to each subject (Reading, English/Language Arts, Math).  She gets gets better scores with each new section she takes.  My dd has never taken a test before, so this shows that she's actually learning a new skill as she gains familiarity with test taking. 
  2. Verbage.  I have been teaching dd using correct terminology while this test simplified things.  For instance, "syllables" became "word parts."  "Alphabetical order" became "ABC order."  "Verb" became "action word." 
  3. Subject matter.  This is nothing new.  I dealt with this issue when I taught in Christian schools, as well.  Standardized tests are geared to the public school system which they serve.  Therefore, when a Christian school or homeschool student takes the tests, there may be things they didn't cover that year because of the different curriculum used.  For instance, First Language Lessons doesn't cover comma usage, using the dictionary, or adjectives, so those types of questions were more challenging.  However, proper & common nouns and pronouns which were covered in the book were not tested.
So, there are my thoughts.  Would love to hear some other thoughts on the issue!

1 comment:

whateverstate said...

Interesting! Thank you for posting the link and your thoughts. I would like to see you explore each of these 3 points further, for home educators who are newer to the "testing" subject and may not understand what you are referring to.

You didn't tell us "how she did." Were the results what you expected, or were you surprised?

And what is your bottom line? Do you recommend these free tests for all home educators? Are they more appropriate for certain situations?

~ Lea Ann Garfias
facebook.com/HomeEducation

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