Homeschooling has become increasingly popular in the US over the past couple of decades, with an estimated two million children currently homeschooled. This has led to questions concerning the education different homeschoolers receive and if they take exams. This article will explore the various ways homeschoolers are assessed, including standardized tests, portfolio reviews, and exams, along with their corresponding pros and cons.
What Is Standardized Testing?
Standardized tests are set tests administered by the state or local education offices. These tests are used to measure the academic progress of students and typically take place once a year.
There is usually a fee to take the tests, which range in price from $50-100. In some states, students must take the tests as part of their required homeschooling program, while in others it is optional. There are a few pros associated with standardized testing.
These tests can help provide a gauge for measuring a student’s academic achievement, allowing for quick comparisons with peers of the same age and grade. Additionally, if a student scores well on the tests, it can help legitimize their homeschooling experience, as it shows they are on track with their peers in terms of academic achievement. However, there are also downsides to standardized testing.
For one, the tests can be expensive and time-consuming. Additionally, the tests are often multiple-choice and don’t necessarily measure the student’s full understanding of the material.
The tests can also be stressful for students as they often require memorization of facts and figures.
What Is a Portfolio Review?
A portfolio review is an alternative to standardized testing and involves parents submitting a portfolio of their students’ work and progress to a reviewer who assesses the student’s achievement. Reviews typically take place annually, although some parents request them more frequently.
Unlike standardized tests, portfolio reviews are free and are conducted by a certified homeschooling specialist. The pros of portfolio reviews include the fact that the review can be tailored to the student’s needs, allowing for a more thorough evaluation of their progress. Additionally, reviews take into account a student’s individual personality and learning style, unlike standardized tests which merely measure memorization of facts and figures.
Furthermore, parents can use portfolio reviews to gain insight on how they can better help their child with their homeschooling program. There are, however, some cons associated with portfolio reviews.
Reviews are limited to a student’s work that is submitted. If parents don’t show the reviewer all the work their student has completed, it could affect the review. Additionally, portfolio reviews can be subjective, as the reviewer’s interpretation of the portfolio can influence the outcome.
Lastly, portfolio reviews can be time-consuming, as they require parents to compile a thorough portfolio with all their student’s work.
What Are Exams?
Exams are tests designed to measure a student’s knowledge on a particular subject or topic. Exams typically take place at the end of each school year and can be administered either by the parents or the state.
Exams are usually multiple-choice and require students to answer a set number of questions correctly in a set amount of time. The benefits of exams are that they can provide a measurable assessment of a student’s understanding of a topic. Additionally, exams can help measure a student’s progress over the course of a school year, allowing for accurate comparisons across different students.
Exams can also help provide a sense of accomplishment and boost a student’s confidence. There are, however, certain drawbacks to exams. They can be expensive, as there is usually a fee to take them.
Additionally, exams can be stressful for students. The pressure of having to answer multiple-choice questions in a limited amount of time can be overwhelming, especially for homeschooled students who may not be used to taking traditional exams.
Furthermore, exams do not take into account a student’s individual learning style and abilities, making them a less reliable measure of a student’s knowledge. Conclusion: There are various ways that homeschoolers can be assessed, including standardized tests, portfolio reviews, and exams. Each of these options has its pros and cons, so it is important for homeschoolers and their parents to take into consideration which option works best for them.
With the information provided in this article, homeschoolers and their parents can make an informed decision regarding the best assessment option available to them.