A question I often get after people read my blog concerns testing. It goes something like this:
I love the idea of being creative in our homeschooling. I like the concept of classical unschooling. But what if the state I live in requires testing? How can I still do what I want while living here?
So I thought I’d write this blog post to answer this specific question. I have by the way written about it in my book, so if you want more details, pick up a copy.
Here’s the straight answer: teach to the test.
If you live in a state that requires your child to be tested to ensure that you can continue to homeschool, teach to the test for a fraction of the week. There is nothing wrong with this.
Think about it this way. You have time on your side. You don’t have a huge bureaucracy micromanaging how you spend your days. It is not hard to come up with a schedule or a template that allows you to spend most of your days doing as little or as much as works for your family. You can be as creative and as eclectic as you would like.
Just make sure that you leave some time each week to teach to the test.
How to Teach to the Test
First, look up the laws for your state. Chances are, if you’re asking this question, you already know. But make sure you comply in that regard.
Then, get a general idea of how the test will look. Will you need someone else to administer it? Is the testing done in a public setting like a school or an exam hall?
And, lastly, what will we be testing? What is actually on the test? If you can buy sample tests like these SATs, you are all set.
Remember that the test will not be the sum total of your child’s education. You are still in control. You have the upper hand. But short of moving, if you want to make creative homeschooling work in such a situation, this is your best bet.
Oh, and don’t worry – homeschoolers handle testing very well indeed.