Just that one word is enough to send a little shiver down your spine, isn’t it? Whether it is tests at school, the doctor’s office, or the DMV, testing doesn’t tend to be our favorite thing. I would guess that most of us have at least a little test anxiety. Or perhaps our children do. Even my children who have never set foot in public school experience anxiety when it comes to testing.
Here in North Carolina, as homeschoolers we are required to test our students every year. This, more than any other legal requirement we have, tends to be the one that people fear. What test should I choose? Where do I get it from? How will my child perform on the test? It feels like the ultimate report card for us as homeschool teachers, and our children as students.
Can testing become a positive experience in your homeschool? I believe it can. Here are a few tips to help you overcome testing anxiety.
Keep Your Perspective
Remember that tests are just a small part of the overall picture of our homeschool and our students. So many amazing qualities are not measured by any test: giftedness in music, athletics or art, character, and leadership for just a few examples. Some truly excellent students are really awful test takers!
Do Your Research
Learning all about what is actually required by law regarding testing, knowing about the different test options, where to get them and how to choose the best one for your situation, and hearing about others’ experiences with testing all help reduce or remove that testing anxiety entirely.
We want to help! Part of homeschooling with confidence and joy is overcoming this testing hurdle. Our webinar, Required Annual Homeschool Testing, coming up on March 12 at 3 p.m., will answer all these questions and more. When the webinar is complete, you will still be able to view the recording by signing up. You can register here. In the meantime, you can find more information on our Testing and Testing Services webpage.
Help Your Kids Get Through It
There are also things we can do to help our children have a good experience with testing. Clear communication with them about the test is very important; we should explain our reasons for giving it and what to expect. We can make the time special for our students—have snacks you wouldn’t ordinarily have, or go on an outing to the park when testing is finished.
You can homeschool with confidence and joy . . . even when giving required annual tests!
– Amanda Wares, NCHE Helps Director