For many parents, the most important consideration when beginning to homeschool is choosing the right education curriculum. Though finding a curriculum that matches both a childs particular learning style and parents teaching style is important, what is equally critical is placing a child into a curriculum at the appropriate grade level. Therefore, diagnostic and assessments tests that contain standard evaluation criteria are key in helping your homeschooling experience be more enjoyable. Here are a few reasons why:
Diagnostic tests measure strengths and weaknesses As a yardstick for measuring a childs progress, most placement tests are in-depth and offer a variety of questions that truly evaluate a childs abilities. Because the test results display a students proficiency of skills, a homeschool parent is able to be much more effective as a teacher. Parents will not only determine the best lesson plans and teaching approach to use with an education curriculum, but theyll also find a way to make learning more fun and exciting.
Diagnostic tests eliminate learning gaps Not every child begins his homeschooling education in kindergarten. For many, homeschooling may involve transferring from a traditional classroom setting in a public or private Christian school. In these cases and also in cases where a homeschooling family switches curricula, parents can easily eliminate learning gaps. Diagnostic testing takes the guesswork out of placing a child into the right grade level and makes sure foundational skills in Bible, language arts, history, geography, math, and science have been covered. Plus, placement tests prevent the Im bored look that usually occurs when education curriculum repeats material already learned.
Diagnostic tests customize curriculum Assigning an education curriculum based solely on a childs grade level is not an effective approach for academic success. As many experienced homeschooling parents have discovered, most children do not fit into one cookie cutter mold that includes the same grade level in every core subject area. Some children may excel in math, but struggle with learning language arts skills, such as spelling, reading, and writing. For other children, the complete opposite might be true. Testing a childs abilities prior to placing him within an education curriculum will provide a better individualized learning experience.
Diagnostic tests save money Assuming a childs grade level and failing to administer placement tests for each subject can be a very costly mistake for a homeschooling family. The added expense of shipping and return costs for curriculum that wasnt challenging or too difficult needlessly depletes the homeschool budget. Having to discard partially-used education curriculum creates an even worse expense simply because a childs correct grade level wasnt accurately determined from the beginning.
Diagnostic tests provide peace of mind Homeschool parents repeatedly ask themselves if their child is really learning everything he needs to know. With diagnostic and placement tests, parents can finally put this worry to rest and be assured their child is exactly where he needs to be in his schooling.
Diagnostic tests identify special needs Although the thought is distressing, diagnostic and placement testing indicate if a child is performing far from the skills and abilities recognized for a certain grade level. Because the tests reveal more than just a poor performance, parents will ascertain if further testing is required to determine if their child may have a learning disability or special needs.
Clearly, the difference between success and failure in homeschooling comes down to correctly placing a child within the proper education curriculum. As more parents take on the responsibility of home education, they would be wise to not only take the time to choose the right curriculum, but also to find their childs current skills and abilities to place him in the appropriate grade level.