Q. When testing, do you administer all or part of the standardized achievement test?
A. The Virginia homeschool statute, § 22.1-254.1 (C), requires a composite score in or above the 4th stanine (or 23 percentile or higher) on a standardized achievement test. A composite score is made up of several subjects. For homeschoolers, the subjects are typically language arts and mathematics and their sub-tests. These are known as the basic skill subjects.
Non-skill subjects like history and science are not necessary for a composite score; therefore, it is unusual that homeschool students complete the history and science sections. A student can disregard these sections of the test. A student’s composite score is not lowered if he does not take the history and science portions.
Why do we NOT want to take these sections of the test?
If homeschoolers were required to take the history and science sections, we would need to follow the subject content of public school textbooks. We would have to teach the same content at the same grade level as public school teachers. We would no longer have the freedom to teach history and science topics that fit our children’s interests, abilities, and maturity levels, i.e., no individualized instruction. We would be in lock-step with government schools.