Q&A

Q. Is there a test available that only has the language and math parts? I understand if I use a regular test, I do not have to use the other subject areas, but I feel that looks bad when we turn in our results.

A. A few test publishers provide a survey version of standardized achievement tests. These tests only include language arts and mathematics. Look for “survey” in the description.

A typical achievement test includes language arts, mathematics, history, and science. Thousands of homeschoolers comply with the law every year by submitting only the language arts and mathematics portions of an achievement test—that’s what the law requires.

The homeschool law states for option (i) that parents must provide “…evidence that the child has attained a composite score in or above the fourth stanine on any nationally normed standardized achievement test…” A composite score is usually made up of the language arts and mathematics portions of a test. It is not necessary to provide more information than the law requires. There are several reasons to consider.

First, you will be letting the test will drive your curriculum, meaning you must teach the same history and science topics at the same grade level as government schools. You would  not be free to teach to your child’s interests or abilities. It doesn’t really matter if you study the solar system in third grade orfifth grade, or the American Revolution in fourth, fifth, or sixth grade.

Taking, scoring, and submitting the science and history portions may set a precedent with your school district. If some parents include results from the complete test, the superintendent may decide to request that all homeschoolers in your district do the same. This could create confusion among homeschoolers.

You can be confident that you have complied with the law if you submit only the language arts and mathematics portions of the test.

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