>Testing…1…2…3

>I home school the boy, you probably know that. NC has very few regulations for home schooling which is nice, but I sure wish they would help a bit more than they do. There are only two written in stone rules for NC. One is that you register with the state – duh, the other is that you administer some standardised test each year.

People home school for many reasons. Some good, some not so good. Our reasons are many, some better than others. But one of the biggest reasons is that I know on any given day I can move my kid/s much further down the road in their education working one on one than some poor harried public (or private in many cases) school teacher with 20 or more kids who learn at varied rates, ways, and on varied levels – teachers who must deal with government paperwork/rules/regs and parents who are sometimes clueless, pushy, uninvolved, and difficult and do it all with a smile. But eventually (high school) I do put them into the public system. Not because I can’t teach at a high school level (more about that later) but because it facilitates the process for getting into college.

Because we do put the kids back in for high school I’d love to administer the same year end tests the state uses so that, when we re-enroll, the school has a good idea where my kids are in relation to how the school classifies their students. It gives no real indication how advanced or how broad their education as been because these tests do not cover on all the areas we teach, but at least the yard stick would be pretty much the same as is used with the other kids. But guess what, the schools will not allow my kids to sit for the same tests, never mind I pay the same education taxes everyone else pays. So, not only do I have to buy all my own materials (gladly) but I have to pay for the year end testing as well.

The first year I tested my girls, some 10 years ago now, they both blew the top out of the test I administered (CAT). This made me a little nervous that the state would not believe their scores so the following year I paid a bunch more money and took them to a testing center for year end tests. They blew the top out of that one too (except spelling, we are all congenitally challenged in spelling – but we use spell check very well) so the following year I switched to what is known to be a tougher test (Iowa) and hired a friend to administer in my own home. The girls continued blowing the top out, but at this point we had a track record that showed it didn’t matter which test or how it was administered, they were just good at these tests.

Now we are getting close to the end of this “school year” (schooling never really stops around here) so this week is test week for the boy. He just finished his first section in 1/3 the allotted time and the second section in half the allotted time. Another perk to home schooling, testing is not a week long high stress period. We generally finish in a couple days, and that is with lots of other stuff happening too.

If any of you are interested in home schooling, how we do it, why we do it, whatever let me know and I’ll spend a lot more time on it. I could write a book. If it bores the snot out of you I’ll spread the posts on the topic and not bunch them together too much.

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