Wednesday, April 19, 2017

TN Ready Testing for the Homeschooler

Find this test prep on Amazon.




My middle child is in 5th grade and this week she started her TN Ready state testing (TCAP) at a local public school.  
As an independent homeschooler in the state of Tennessee, we are required to have her tested in 5th, 7th, and 9th.  

"In grades 5 and 7, same state board approved secure standardized tests required of public school students In grade 9 same state board approved secure standardized tests required of public school students but NOT the high school proficiency test."

This came straight from TN.gov's Website.  Of course, each state is different so if you are in another state you would google your state's homeschool laws to see if you should expect a call from the local school district. 

As for the testing itself, we had trouble finding practice tests online.  Most places we looked said free for teachers and gave only online questions.  We wanted a bit more to prepare our daughter.  She is very anxious about testing and doesn't do well under pressure.  After many days looking we found a website that had downloadable pdf files that we printed.  They gave a sample of what type of questions were on the test.  

You can find them HERE on East Middle Library's page.

Now that you have access to a printable test prep, here are my thoughts on state testing.  I know the reason why they test homeschool children.  They think it will help them keep track of parents that don't teach their children or children with learning disabilities.  I'm sure there are more reasons than this but I'm not going into that rant.  

That being said I don't agree with it.  Not at all.  Yesterday's testing was social studies.  My daughter said the test was made up of questions about wars and revolutions.  That's fine.  Only we haven't studied American History in depth yet.  We've been exploring Ancient Times.  We've been working our way slowly through Story of the World.  We are taking our time and going in depth in areas where she is interested.  Supplementing with documentaries and living history books as we go.  If she were testing on what she has studied then she would do better than being tested on what the public school children are currently learning.  We teach our children different things at different times but they learn the same thing in the end.   

Now my youngest daughter is in 4th grade in public school and she is taking the TN Ready test also.  She said that that the social studies test they took in class tested on things she doesn't remember them even learning.  What does that tell you about the testing?
See my problem with testing the independent homeschooler?  
  
They have only completed the first two days of testing.  It will be spread out over two full weeks.  So we have to go in for an hour each day.  Here is the schedule if you would like a peek at what they have planned.   Hopefully, you will be able to see it.  So we shall see what my full thoughts are after all the testing is completed. 



I am aware that in TN if you are enrolled in an umbrella school then you may be exempt from this testing and wouldn't even have to worry about it.  And that may be the path we take in 7th grade.  But I would rather spend that $100 that the umbrella school would charge us on books and learning material for her.  Or even on a field trip where she can learn something hands-on.  

Hope the link will help someone and that my mini-rant wasn't too off-putting. 

Hope you all have a blessed day.