Not every homeschool family gives tests. Our curriculum have self-tests and tests. While it’s great to test the kids’ knowledge and understanding of the subject, it’s also a good idea to not get too worked up on grades. Especially in elementary. Here’s why I think that way.
The other day, my 5 year old was writing a science test and one question got him thinking. The question was: Put an X on each thing you might smell outdoors. Well it seemed very simple to him, except for one of the options, the cup of coffee. He stopped to ask me what I thought. I asked him: “Why do you believe that this is an outdoor smell?”. This was his answer: “Well, Nanny always brings her coffee with her when she goes outside to smoke. So when I’m at Nanny’s house, coffee is an outdoor smell.” Simple enough for me! I would have given him a point for that. Of course! Smart kid! Our children’s knowledge is based on their experience. What they’ve been exposed to. Not only what they’ve read in a book or been taught in class. I’m glad I gave him the chance to explain his thought process, because if not, he would have gotten a different score on his test.
Each child is different and each situation is different. Sometimes, tests need to be taken very seriously. Especially in the high school years. My kids are in elementary and middle school years right now. I take their thought process into consideration when I grade them. I also use tests only to guide me as a teacher. It shows me where they need more help. I use the information collected to shape my next lessons. Since I have the opportunity to do one-on-one with my children, I refuse to let errors slide and never correct them. I want to make sure they know what they got wrong and why. I won’t keep going until they’ve understood everything on their test. That’s how I do things anyhow.
How do your tests benefit your schooling? Do you even use tests???