Standardized Testing

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!

It’s March (how did that happen?) and for many of you, Annual Standardized Testing is looming in your future. Yes, I capitalized it, because let’s face it, for most of us it’s a life event that requires preparation and marking on the calendar, and general upheaval. Kind of like a holiday, but way less fun.

For my first few years homeschooling, I went into full-fledge panic mode when it came time for testing. I couldn’t understand how veteran moms could blow off testing as a “no big deal” issue. Then I became a veteran homeschool mom.

Really, I promise, it’s not a big deal.

The people who see the test results:  YOU!

That’s it. You don’t turn them in, you don’t report them to anyone. No one has to see the test results.

These tests are one hundred percent for your information. Feel better?  You should.


Then why take them?

The testing is a way to evaluate your curriculum. It is not a reflection of your teaching abilities or your student’s learning abilities.

What do I mean? After a couple of years of homeschooling, I switched spelling curriculums. That year our standardized tests results showed that our spelling hit a plateau. Neither child advanced from the previous year. Did that mean my kid’s weren’t learning as well? Or that I suddenly failed at teaching spelling? Nope. What it meant was the new spelling curriculum wasn’t working for us. That’s it.

More recently, my oldest child took the ACT in fall of 2017 and in the fall of 2018, we took a comparable standardized test. My girl was bitterly disappointed when her math scores hadn’t changed much from year to year.

Her scores were a warning bell for me that our math curriculum was no longer working. I spent some time consoling our girl that it wasn’t her abilities that were lacking, but it was the curriculum that was letting her down.

We’ve switched math curriculums. Her grades are soaring, her confidence is growing, and she’s actually excited to take her next standardized test to see how much her math has improved.

Deep breaths

So don’t fret my homeschool teachers. Take a breath.  Remember your results are only for you to evaluate your curriculum, not your teaching ability or your students. Don’t stress yourself or your students over theses tests. Don’t sweat the small stuff. And trust me, these tests are the small stuff.


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