Frequently, I am asked about subject placement testing. Actually, the conversation starts with the parent sharing they plan on using a specific curriculum for their grade 6 child. They tell me that their neighbors child who should be in grade 5 is doing grade 8 work. So, they believe it would be best their child who is just starting to homeschool to start in the grade 9 level.
Whooo! Stop right there!
What the new parent doesn’t know is that the other family has always homeschooled. This family started homeschooling in grade 1 when their child was 4 because the child was already reading. As to why they are so far ahead, its’ simply because they school year round. They don’t take 2 months off in the summer, therefore they don’t have to waste the month of September reviewing everything the child forgot while playing in the pool.
Don’t compare your child to any other child. And for heavens sake don’t even compare them to their siblings!! Instead, lets take a few minutes and figure out what your child already knows then match them up with the best curriculum for their ability. Take time for subject placement testing.
No one is at fault here.
Frequently, parents are shocked to learn their grade 6 child needs to start with grade 4 math. The student can have gaps in what they currently understand. This is perfectly normal for a student leaving the system. It’s not really a bad reflection on the teacher your child had last year, rather, it is a reflection on the unforgiving nature of how schools just have to be run. The teacher can’t stop and not teach the math lesson one day because your Suzy is sick, simply because tomorrow another student will be sick. She as the teacher must simply push forward.
With homeschooling, when a child doesn’t get something we can stop. We can take the time to find a way to teach the subject to the child so they do get it. That’s one of the golden blessings of homeschooling.
Ok, so how do we determine where a child should be placed? One way is we give our children subject placement testing. In addition, if you find that you want a very clear picture of what your child knows and understands then I can not recommend the DORA and ADAM tests enough! *Some assessments cost a small fee.
Math – these links are for specifc curriculums
Math Assessments -not aligned to a homeschool curriculum
ADAM (Adaptive, Diagnostic Assessment of Mathematics) K-7: Designed specifically to be fully aligned with the Common Core Standards, ADAM assess across 44 constructs within NCTM’s five instructional strands. **NOTE: ADAM K-7 is now aligned with Kahn Academy
DOMA Pre-Algebra intelligently assesses students in 14 Pre-Algebra constructs and follows with a detailed roadmap for remediation/instruction.
DOMA Algebra intelligently assesses students in 11 Algebra constructs and follows with a detailed roadmap for remediation/instruction.
Reading – these links are for specifc curriculums
Reading Assessments -not aligned to a homeschool curriculum
DORA Phonemic Awareness – ideal for non-readers or struggling readers, measures nine phonemic awareness skills using audio and picture-only items, for a thorough assessment of oral phonemic awareness skills.
Diagnostic Online Reading Assessment (DORA) is a K-12 measure that provides objective, individualized assessment data across eight reading measures that together profile each student’s reading abilities and prescribe individual learning paths.