This isn’t about the debate over whether homeschoolers should or should not be tested. It’s about giving homeschooled kids test practice before asking them to perform on standardized tests that really “matter”.
Some homeschooling families choose to test the children to measure achievement, mastery, performance, or to predict success in some area. In fact, in some states, standardized tests of this kind are required.
In other homeschooling households, however, testing children is viewed as unnecessary. The thinking there is that parents already know their kids well and do not need a test to explain how they are doing. Many homeschooling moms and dads don’t assign grades, either, but that’s the subject of another article altogether.
Nevertheless, once the children reach high school, starting somewhere around 10th grade, some rather important testing begins to take place. With few exceptions, college-bound students need to take these tests. This is where the testing practice comes in. Though there are probably plenty of homeschoolers who test well without practice, there are probably more who would benefit greatly from an occasional bubble test or a timed drill.
Test practice allows a student to experience the motions and emotions of taking a test. Scores are also said to increase every time a student takes the same test over and over, a bonus side-effect of this kind of practice.
In a new book, author Sian Beilock talks about how how not to “choke” in high pressure situations. I have followed her work for some time and can tell you that Dr. Beilock is the leader in the field of research on this topic.
On the other hand, you don’t need to buy a book to understand that practice really does make perfect in this case. There are many practice booklets for PSAT, SAT, and other standardized examinations. You can also enroll a child in a prep course, have them read online study guides, take practice tests, and so on. Practice gives the student a leg up on content, format, and most importantly – how not to choke.