Standardized Testing Week

That's why we homeschool, really, so we can live life together.

We just completed our required testing for the year this past week. In previous years we used the Stanford, but this year we went with Iowa. The biggest difference between the two is that the Iowa is a timed test, and Stanford is not.

We test at home through BJU Press Homeschool. You have to meet a couple of simple requirements to become a test administrator and also purchase each test and any practice tests you decide to do. This year we skipped the practice tests, but we've done them every year up to now. It was a cost issue this year; had they been free, I definitely would have used them. I recommend them especially if your child has never filled in those little bubbles before. I think practicing the timing part would have been helpful for us this year.

The Stanford takes a long while to do, but it was overall less stressful than the Iowa tests -- with the exception of the time I accidentally gave Charlotte her older brother's math test. Being timed proved very challenging in a couple of areas, particularly for Chris, a fourth grader. In other areas -- in most actually -- there was more than enough time to complete every problem and go back and make corrections if needed, but those one or three that ended with "Stop. Pencils down." were riling.

In previous years we used the Stanford, but this year we went with Iowa. The biggest difference between the two is that the Iowa is a timed test.

I would continue using the Iowa for upcoming years, however. The frustrations were not much beyond the normal breakdowns of our day-to-day, and they provided good moments for teaching and practicing self control. And I mean that for all of us. It is by no means uncommon for me to yell or be unforgiving when a soft tongue would be more appropriate. And then I speak too softly when a stern jolt would've served better. It's worth having to say "You can control yourself." And in context.

That's why we homeschool, really, so we can live life together.

To find out more about compulsory education requrements for homeschoolers in your area check out HSLDA: Homeschool Legal Defense Association.

Check out http://mommyweneedyou.com/testing-resources-2/ for more details about testing from this time last year.