Do you administer standardized testing in your homeschool?
10 Reasons We Don’t Do Standardized Testing in Our Homeschool
Standardized tests do not measure the things we value most.
Curiosity. Leadership. Compassion. Persistence. Courage. LOVE. Things like that. You measure these things by observation and experience. No test can tell you if your child has enough curiosity. In fact, it’s my belief that teaching to standardized testing pretty much quells any and all curiosity.
Standardized tests do not mesh well with our delight-directed, unit study homeschool method.
We didn’t do state history in 4th grade and so far Ben doesn’t know how to write in cursive. But he is a whiz at the Revolutionary War and science topics that aren’t usually taught until middle school. That’s because we follow his interests. The idea of teaching certain topics at certain grade levels doesn’t appeal to us, therefore standardized testing would be a useless measure of Ben’s knowledge. He would likely score exceptionally well in some areas and not so well in others.
Testing all 5th graders to find out what they know is great for the 5th graders in public school who are all learning the same exact things. I really don’t care if Ben knows what they know. What they know is of little value to Ben.
Standardized tests assume falsely that all students at a certain grade level should know the same material.
Who decides this anyway? What if your child is gifted or learning challenged? What if they just don’t fit into the standard mold at all? Again, it’s of no value to us to assume that all 5th graders should know the same material.
Standardized tests measure a child’s progress against the progress of other children rather than a personally designed or chosen course of study.
I know when Ben is progressing in math and writing. I want to see steady progress in all areas, based on how he was performing the day, week, month or year before. It is of no consequence to me how he measures up to other 5th graders or a course of study we don’t find necessary to follow.
Standardized tests affect self-esteem if scores are poor.
Ben struggles in math. I’m able to use curriculum at his level so that he is encouraged in his progress and not discouraged because a test said he didn’t know enough.
Standardized tests bring about a sense of sinful pride if scores are excellent.
Ben reads at a near college level. His comprehension is high as well. I suspect he would do well on this portion of any standardized test. But you know what? He has no idea that he has these special gifts. And I would prefer to keep it that way.
Standardized tests diminish one of the main goals of homeschooling — the love of learning.
Teaching to the test means that children aren’t given the freedom to learn those things they are interested in. Allowing passions to dictate learning means that Ben is always in love with learning.
We don’t have to!
Yes, in our state, we just don’t have to. I might have to move should that ever change.