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Everest Academy is a ministry of Everest Family Church in Hayden. We offer freedom along with quality resources, information, activities and support to those homeschooling in Alabama. We believe that the parent has the best interests of their children at heart. We believe that the parent is the first and only teacher that a child needs. In keeping with this philosophy, we wish to be a very hands-off church "cover" school and allow the parent to lead and guide their children in the direction and at the pace they feel is best suited to their children. We ask only for what the law requires while offering support along with quality resources to aid families in their efforts.

Standardized Testing

Hey Homeschoolers! I am working on making a resource for new homeschoolers where they ask the questions and veteran homeschoolers give the answers. My goal is to provide advice, resources, and most of all to show that there is more than one way of doing things. 

Please contact me with your answer to the following question. I have already included answers that folks sent me on Facebook. Please let me know if you do not want me to include your name in the posting. Please give as much info as possible including links, details, explanations, etc... I will add your answers to this page so that new homeschoolers will have a resource to refer back to again and again.

You can contact me at everestacademy1@gmail.com with your answer or questions.  Please put "Blog Challenge" in the subject line.  

Deb Spradlin
Everest Academy Administrator

Question:  What is your philosophy on standardized testing?

My Answer: Everest does not require standardized testing; however, if you are interested in this option for your child, please look here for more info: http://www.alabamahomeschooling.com/2010/01/standardized-testing.html.

I believe it is important to get children acquainted with them because they will have to take them to get into college. That said, I do not believe they can accurately represent the knowledge the child possess.

My philosophy on standardized testing is that it gives teachers who teach a multitude of students a way to compare them to others across the school, school system, state and country. They are unnecessary for homeschooled children as the parent knows right where they stand. Unless, of course, the parent wants to compare his/her child's progress to others. I don't think it is important for us.

For K-12, I think it is a flawed but probably necessary evil.

Truthfully, I don't know much about it. I printed up the info you posted several weeks ago, but have not had a chance to dive into it yet. I guess it's good to have the same testing for everyone, so you can see where you are strong and where you are weak (compared to the norm)... but at the same time, I'd like there to be a difference between the testing for public schoolers and the testing for private/Christian, or homeschoolers ~ as I think the "standards for being normal" are very low out in the public arena, and the standards for us are much higher. 

Don't like it. Don't use it. I think it is pointless in that it does not show you the child's level of knowledge; it only shows the child's ability to manipulate a test. We use hands-on and LOTS of discussion.

It's great if you want your child's education to be standard. So, I'm not a big fan.

I think that standardized test are necessary for college, but not necessary for my family now. They are basically I.Q. test letting a teacher know the appropriate grade level a student can do. I feel as a homeschooling mom, I mix and match grade levels according to strengths and weaknesses already and don't feel there is enough of a disconnect there to need a standardized test to show me. However, I have thought it would be nice to put into the school record.

I don't really have one yet since I just have a second grader but from my own experience I know that it is not always an accurate representation of a child's knowledge.

I suppose it is a nice way to gauge how your child is performing against everyone else out there in the big wide world, but after a few years in the public school system we were left with a bad taste about the whole thing. IF it is used merely as a "check-up" i.e. the child just takes the test with no preparation and sees how they do - great. If it is treated as the goal for the year and weeks and weeks of instructional time are taken up in preparation for it (public school) then I despise standardized tests!

It can be a good “check up” to see how your kids compare but only if you have a child who is works well with tests. We’re hitting 7th grade this year so I guess we have to start thinking about them.

I don't believe in its relevance. I helped write part of one in CO many years ago and what was required to be in it was ridiculous!

I believe standardized testing is a waste of time. It only assesses a small handful of knowledge and tends to give a good idea of what the test taker doesn't know rather than what the test taker does know. It has caused teachers to teach children how to take tests instead of giving children meaningful, real learning and teaching children how to think. Obviously, I do not like standardized testing one bit. 

I grew up a horrible test taker and standardized tests stressed me out terribly. We have not yet gone through testing with our 9 and 5 year old and I suspect it will be stressful for my oldest when we do. I feel unfortunately, they are a necessary evil. When colleges are looking at potential students, they have to be looking at apples to apples I suppose and how else do you do that. I wish it wasn't the case, as I do not feel that it is an accurate representation of what a student knows---or certainly how "smart" they are.

My oldest child is in 4th grade. I have yet to do standardized testing. I'm not against it. I just have not felt the need to do it. I am confident in the curriculum I use, and I do not move on to something new until he fully understands everything previously taught.

While I don't think standardized testing gives the full picture of a child's abilities, I do think it is helpful in comparing their progress from year to year, plus it helps me to see how my child compare with other students in their grade level.

I have mixed feelings on standardized testing. I did well taking tests in school, as long as they were in essay form. I feel that standardized testing can be tricky for the test taker. Most of the time there is more than one answer that fits the bill, but there is a slight difference that may make one answer more true than the other. I feel that this can lead to frustration and discouragement. We will most likely avoid such tests until deemed necessary, and then prepare accordingly. Our tests will be oral or written, and will most like be in project form. I don't think a one size fits all approach to testing is good for anyone. This is one of the many reasons we have decided to homeschool.

I've read a lot of negatives, so let me just put out this little positive. We move around a lot and some states require that you have your child tested every 3 years (3rd grade, 6th, 9th, & 12th). Not knowing if we'd eventually end up in one of those states, we decided early on that we go ahead and follow that rule. Pros: It does help us gauge how our kids would do IF they were suddenly dumped in the school system; it gives them experience taking tests that they might need later on (such as college, or even a driving test); It's also a solid record for anyone who might want you to prove that you actually DO something at home. But other than that, I can understand why and agree with a lot of people wouldn't want to do it.