Here in Florida we have to have our homeschooled kids evaluated in 1 of 5 ways at the end of the school year. For the past 12 years, we have done the end-of-year evaluations two ways; portfolios and standardized testing.
This year all the kids will be doing the standardized testing at H.E.R.I.
I have to confess that I am really nervous about this year. My youngest makes me want to pull my hair out at times. If she feels like I have pushed her too far, she flings herself under the table for hours. Some times she flings her backpack at the floor or at the garbage can because she either doesn’t need them anymore or I am sending her to boarding school.
So yes, I am concerned. To help get over this hair-pulling attitude, I decided to simulate the group testing now until April. Last week, I even reserved a quiet room at the library to pretend we are testing.
Before starting the practice test, I went over how the test was going to happen and what was expected of The Peas. I did that for two weeks. The first day Pea #2, did run from the table. The next couple of days I heard, “I CAAANNN’T”. We are over that part now…I think.
- Practice tests. I do not recommend the ones in the photo.
- Pencils #2, not click pencils.
- Scratch paper.
At the library, I read over how to fill out the bubble sheet where they will transfer the answers.
I went over all the rules and directions for each grade.
Then I timed them. There was no talking, no griping, no hitting pencils on table and no questions once the test began. If they finished before the time was up, they were to read a book and not talk.
I was very pleased with their behavior and how well they did on the test.
I do this for only one reason and that is to prepare them on what to expect during the testing. It does help that these practice test will give me an idea of what they might need to review on, but I am not concerned about that. I know they will do well.
Doing this for several months ahead of time, getting them to bed early the night before, and serving them a good breakfast will help make “this just another school day” experience.