I received testing through Affordable Homeschool Testing Services LLC for free in exchange for my honest review. I have been compensated for my time.
I don’t know about you but as a homeschool mom I often wonder if my kids are progressing the way they should be, if they’re working on the right level, if we’re doing too much, or not enough…
For the most part as we move through the homeschool year I feel like they’re learning what they need to. We cover our lessons, they understand, we move on. But I think like most things as a parents we often question our selves and wonder if we’re doing the right thing. We worry and wonder and hope that we’re not screwing our kids up, and that they are learning all they need to be.
Or maybe we think our child is gifted in an area, they seem like a genius to us but then we wonder if it’s just because it’s our kid and we think they are awesome. We want to know what level they are working on so that we can challenge them if necessary!
So what do we do? What is the best way as a homeschool parent to check your child’s progress? I personally think there are several ways to go about it, maybe a combination of a few to get a great general picture of your child’s progress and level. By approaching assesment from different angles you can get a total view of what you need to focus more on, where your child is excelling, and where they are working at their grade level.
So what are some ways to check? Here are a few that work for our family and hopefully will work for yours.
#1- Testing– This may seem like a no-brainer, or it may be one that you tend to shy away from. Depending on your state’s regulations you might have to test every year so you already know that this is a good way to check your child’s progress. Here in Ohio we have the option to test or have a portfolio review so we’ve always done a portfolio. I’ve shied away from testing for a few reasons. Mostly because I didn’t want to administer tests to my kids, I knew they would want me to answer questions and help them. Also because my middle kiddo hates standardized tests and feels pressure with time constraints. However, since he’s entering High School next year I really wanted to check his progress and find out how he was doing. I was excited to discover Affordable Homeschool Testing LLC because it is a perfect fit for our family. They administer the MAP (Masters of Academic Progress) test in the comfort of your home, and the convenience of your computer! (even with a Santa hat on while holding your favorite bear!)
The process is so super simple. You can head to their website, make your appointment, and you’re ready to go! The day of your testing they give you a call, get you set up and started, and your off and running! The test is administered all online, which my boys loved. It is untimed so you can take your time, take breaks if needed, and pace yourself through it so there is no pressure of a time limit which is perfect for my kids! As a parent it’s great because there is nothing you have to do except set up the appointment and be tech help if needed! Each test takes about 1 1/2 hours and one test is given a day. You can choose to do Math, Reading and Language and Usage or all three. Once the test is finished you just wait a few days for the results to land in your email inbox!
It’s so easy. I loved seeing the results and where my boys are working! It made me realize some concerns I had were just me being worried, and also showed me areas where I could be challenging them more. All in all testing doesn’t have to be just for your end of the year assessment, you can use it throughout your homeschool journey to test your child’s progress and make sure they’re working at the correct level for them.
#2- Meet With Someone- Have you ever noticed that sometimes your kids will suddenly remember something when someone besides you asks them? Maybe that math or science fact they just couldn’t recall all of a sudden becomes clear when another mom or family member asks about it. A great way to check your child’s progress is to meet with someone who can help asses them and have them ask the questions. If you have a friend or acquaintance who is a teacher, enlist their help. Maybe ask a veteran homeschool mom for her perspective. By bringing in a third-party, someone who can be objective and honest can help you figure out how your child is progressing! Even if you’re not able to sit down face to face a phone call or even an email expressing concerns or questions can help you sort out how to best teach your child.
#3- Talk With Other Parents- Now I’m going to say loud and clear here, I don’t believe in comparing kids for one minute! I think the beauty of homeschooling is letting kids develop at their own pace and learn in a way that best suits them. That being said, asking other parents about their kids development and progress can sometimes help give us an idea of places we may need to study more or back off. Maybe you’ve been pushing your child to learn something and another mom tells your her child who is a grade ahead still hasn’t mastered it. That will help relieve that pressure. Maybe you voice a concern about the level your child is reading and another mom can give you some advice to help fill in the gaps. A homeschool network is a great resource for other moms on the same journey and what they’ve experienced. Talking with other parents can help you see a different perspective or reinforce that the path you’re on is the right one.
#4- Track Your Child’s Progress- This might seem super simple but it can really work! If you keep a record or portfolio of what your child has been working on year after year sometimes taking a look at where you’ve been can help you see how far you’ve come. Keeping a record of books they’ve read can help you see their development. Using curriculum that keeps track of what they learn and has reviews can help. Our math curriculum gives the boys mastery challenges in between lessons to keep them reviewing what they’ve learned then it charts their progress. There are a lot of ways to track what your child is learning and how they are progressing that can be so helpful. You can notice if there is a plateau in growth or if they’re loosing skills somewhere. Keeping track of how their developing can check progress and keep your homeschool moving in the right direction.
Each of these ways is a great one to check your child’s progress and to keep their education on track! You can get a complete picture of how your child is learning and what you need to focus on!
If you’d like to find out more about Affordable Homeschool Testing LLC make sure to visit their website and follow them on Facebook! When you schedule your testing make sure to use code MAPTest17 for a $5 discount!