Taking yearly tests can be stressful for the student and their parents. So, when you need to test, why not use a homeschool testing program that allows your child to be in a comfortable environment with no time restrictions?
For years, my kids have had to pack up and head to the local private school for a week of standardized testing to meet our umbrella school's requirements. It was not something any of us cared to do. It disrupted our week, put the kids in an uncomfortable environment, and created a lot of anxiety for all of us.
Recently I heard about a testing product called NWEA MAP® GrowthTM Assessments. I was intrigued.
What is Map Growth Testing?
MAP® GrowthTM is a nationally-normed interim assessment by NWEA® used in many public schools and now available to the homeschool families. This computer-adaptive test adjusts to your child’s performance as they take the test, whether they are working on, above, or below grade level. Because MAP Growth is tailored to your child’s learning level, it can precisely measure their academic performance and track growth efficiently.
This type of testing is quite different from the standardized testing we used previously. According to Affordable Homeschool Testing Services, this type of testing makes changes to the test as your student is taking it. This helps the test to determine what level your child is at currently.
Think of it like this. If your child is testing at a 5th-grade level and answers all the questions correctly, his or her test score will show 100% accuracy of all 5th-grade questions. What it won't show is how your student would have done on a 6th-grade test or even a 7th-grade test. Map Growth testing takes this testing one step further by asking questions that are on different levels to help you discover where your student is excelling or in need of review.
Advantages of Using Affordable Homeschool Testing
To our family, the biggest benefit by far was the ability to test in our home. The first day, my daughter sat down at the computer with her glass of chocolate milk in her pajamas and began her test. I won't go so far as to say that she enjoyed taking a test, but she did love not having to go into the school to take the test.
She was done in around an hour, and we went about the rest of our day as usual. It disrupted very little of our normal day.
On day two, I had to go into the office to work. Normally she grabs her books and goes with me and hangs out in the staff lounge. Since she was scheduled to take the math test on that day, she simply went into an empty office and took her test there.
I sat with her during the test in case she needed anything, but again, very little of our normal routine changed. This test took her a little longer. But, since there was no time restriction, she didn't feel pressure to rush through the questions.
The Test Results
After each test, my daughter received her score. It was a number that meant nothing to her or myself at the time, which I appreciated since it didn't cause her any stress trying to figure out if she was on grade level.
By the end of the week, we had all the test results and the explanations. What I appreciated most about these results was that beyond the numbers and charts there was a lengthy section that described each area tested.
In this section, it laid out skills that needed reinforcement, development or introduction. When I was able to see this, it validated what I already knew about my daughter's education.
The Pros and Cons of Affordable Homeschool Testing Services
I'm going to be honest; I wasn't sure how I felt about trying a new testing service. Testing is something that generally makes me irritable and brings up all sorts of self-doubt. Like most homeschool moms, I know my kids, and I feel like I know where they stand academically. But, the truth is there is all sorts of room for worry and irrational fears. So, I went into this dreading the experience before it even started. Here's what I got from it.
- Online - The test was online which means it was easy for us to access and I didn't have to mail in any forms.
- Immediate Results - We received the results of her tests immediately after she took them. There was no waiting and worrying. Within a couple of days, we received a full report of all her testing and how to interpret the tests.
- Not Timed - This took the pressure off of me trying to keep up with the time and her trying to hurry through a test.
- Comfortable Environment - As mentioned previously, the convenience of taking the test where and when we needed was greatly appreciated.
- Length - The tests were short and we only took one a day, so it was easy to fit into our schedule.
- Easy to Navigate - The online test was easy for my daughter to navigate without help from me.
- Standardized Test - It's a test. I know, I know. We can't get away from that. But, who likes to test? This is never going to be an experience my kids like, but at least this one was mostly painless.
- Stressful for a Perfectionist - The MAP Growth Testing gives valuable information for parents, but if your kid is a perfectionist, she's going to stress about having questions on the test that she can't answer. I reassured her often, but she really wanted to be able to answer every question with confidence. Of course, we spent some time later that day talking about the specific questions that bothered her and so created a little extemporaneous learning.
The Final Analysis
In the end, this was a positive experience. Testing is never going to be top on our favorite things to do in this house, but neither is cleaning the toilets. Unfortunately, they both have to be done. At least with Affordable Homeschool Testing Services, the experience wasn't unpleasant, and everyone came out of it unscarred.
I can't always say that about cleaning the toilets.
Win a Free Test from Affordable Homeschool Testing Services
I encourage you to give Affordable Homeschool Testing Services a try. It's inexpensive and convenient. But, even better, you could win a free service. Just enter the giveaway below.
Giveaway is valid only to USA residents. Affordable Homeschool Testing cannot serve families outside the USA.
Hi, I’m Dachelle. I’m a homeschooling mom of 3 in the South. I love chocolate and have been known to hide it from my children. I can often be found reading a good book (or even sometimes just an okay book) and enjoying a jar of Nutella — don’t judge. I blog, here, at HideTheChocolate.com when I’m not creating book clubs and making lists…lots and lots of lists (it’s an addiction). Learn more…