Can Testing Ever Be Helpful?

Can Testing Ever Be Helpful?

Do you use testing in your homeschool?

Over the years I’ve heard many complaints and negative aspects of testing. It seems like one of those subjects that every homeschooler has an opinion about.  It’s true that testing is not for every child.  But are there good reasons to test, even if your state does not require it?  I say yes!  

When can testing be helpful?

To gain experience with testing.

Like it or not, testing is part of our society.  We take tests to drive, to gain access to college, even to serve in the military.  It never hurts for your children to have at least a little testing experience under their belts. Some students are naturally gifted at testing while others struggle more, but it’s probably safe to say that everyone can use some extra testing practice.

To know where you stand.

Yes, there are times when testing may not accurately represent your student’s knowledge, but you may also find yourself pleasantly surprised at what your student does know. I think that sometimes our children read and glean things that we don’t even realize. They can learn from a wide variety of sources, so sometimes a subject you perceived to be a struggle is right on course. Other times we may have missed something important. Testing can point out these strengths and deficits.

Standardized Testing can be intimidating to Homeschool parents and students! Stress no more! True North Homeschool Academy offers state of the art standardized testing through Scantron’s Performance Series tests. We offer Reading, Reading Foundation, Math and Language Arts, Algebra, and Geometry tests for grades K-12. Tests can be taken in the privacy of your own home and can re-taken more than once throughout the school year. Delivered online, accessible through a computer convenient to you, the test is private and secure. Your student can go at their own pace, learning testing skills without suffering test anxiety. Tests can be “paused” and re-engaged, allowing students to gain testing skills, score well, and gain confidence!For peace of mind.

Sometimes as homeschool moms it’s hard to know if we are doing enough, or being enough. There’s been more than one day when I’ve felt like I was failing my children. Testing often shows me that things aren’t nearly as bad as I think. Maybe that math I’ve worried about all year is actually on grade level, or maybe there are places reading can be improved. Either way, I know where we stand, and I can correct what I need to and lay aside worries that I don’t need to visit.

So where do I find these tests?

You are in luck because True North Homeschool Academy offers the Performace Series Testing just for homeschoolers!

So what’s so great about the Performance Series Test?

  • These tests can be taken in the privacy of your own home.
  • Your student can complete these tests more than once during the school year.
  • Your child tests at their own pace, eliminating a big chunk of testing anxiety.
  • The test continues to test the student in the subject matter, as long as your student can answer correctly, so you get an accurate read on what your student knows.
  • If you test with us year after year, your test scores will save; giving you a clear graphic of how your student is doing over time.
  • The test is standardized and nationally normed and thus, meets the requirements of many states who require annual testing for home educators.
  • You will receive a complete PDF of test scores, along with a Lexile Reading Score.
  • True North includes a review of the test scores with a teacher/advisor FREE

The Performance Series test is available for grades K through 12 and tests in the following subjects:

  • Reading
  • Language Arts
  • Math

It’s Cost-Effective:

  • Tests can be submitted for state standardized testing requirements
  • Tests can be taken more than once throughout the school year at no extra cost to you
  • A personal consultation is included in the cost. Use this time to review the scores of the test and ask about recommendations for your student based on them
  • True North Homeschool Academy offers bundles of tests for families with multiple students and for co-ops – both bundles save you money: bundles of 5 tests (save $6 per test!), bundles of 10 tests ($22 per test) and bundles of 15 tests ($20 each) all offer a substantial discount. You still get all of the benefits of taking the test at your convenience, from your own home, and have test results delivered to you personally, but receive a group discount. Note: group tests may only be taken once per student.

We hope if you have questions about the test you will contact us – or order it now online HERE.

Order Before Price Increase

Just a heads up – the price of the individual test will increase to $34 on November 1, 2020, so get your order in now. You can use the test anytime during the year so you can nab the lower price ($29.99) and still use it for your annual testing this year.

Virtual Field Trips

Virtual Field Trips

 

Virtual Field Trips are a great way to see the world, even if you are on a strict schedule or tight budget. With today’s technology, field trips can be just a click away. I’ve compiled a list of Virtual Field Trips below. Some are fun, but all are guaranteed to bring learning to you! 

Get ready to reclaim Field Trip Friday (or any other day of the week, for that matter) with these 26 virtual museum resources. Create engaging, active learning with fun virtual field trips.

This round-up style list of virtual museums has something to learn and explore for every age and curiosity.  Have fun as a family or invite a group of friends to hang out together because these are perfect for home or small learning communities that are gathering digitally to learn and use the world as their classroom. Where will you explore first?

Explore the United States with these Fascinating Virtual Museum Tours

Use The World As Your Classroom with Virtual Museum Tours at 11 World-Famous Museums

Th Thinker Statue wears virtual reality goggles.No passport is required! Learn about all kinds of things from the best museums in the world. From art to artifacts, science firsts to exploring Mars. It’s all right at your fingertips.  There is no better way to inspire and encourage a broad worldview than by visiting museums and outdoor exhibits that allow for inquisitive exploration. Now, thanks to technology, you can give your child the world right in your own living room.

Museums to Visit Online

  • Le Louvre – Studying art this year? Check out this World Famous Museum! So many resources and so little time. It’s perfect for art project ideas, artist studies, and art appreciation.
  • Secrets of Easter Island This is a beautiful website put together by Nova and PBS. It includes a tour of the island and the game Move a Megalith. So much fun!
  • Virtual Farm Tours: Learn more about the wonders of agriculture with your students through this panoramic tour of farms in Ontario.
  • Reach the World at home resources. Each of these kid-friendly journeys follows the experiences of a stand-out Reach the World traveler as they dive head-first into an exciting new country and culture. Super fun for geography & country studies!
  • Museo Galileo Institute and Museum of the History of Science View over 1,200 objects on the permanent exhibition!  There is so much to learn about Galileo Galilei in this interactive, online museum. Middle & High Schoolers may also enjoy a deep-dive Galileo unit study. The Let’s Study Galileo: Science & Truth is a unit study exploring the life and famous works of Gallileo using artifacts and resources from the museum.
  • Holocaust Museum Tour Find pictures, video, and art from the Holocaust Museum. Use the virtual tour along with teaching resources and survivor stories as you help your family understand the tragedy of the holocaust. 
  • Online Exhibitions from the Natural History Museum in London– explore art themes, botanical illustrations, and save images of your favorite exhibits. Perfect for an indoor nature study on a cold winter’s day.
  • British Museum investigate, and have fun adventuring through the many virtual galleries! Learn more about Roman Britain and Egyptian mummies with in-depth studies that correspond with gallery artifacts.
  • Tour the Sistine Chapel – explore the paintings on your computer. This is the same dizzying experience as doing it in person … but without the neck-ache. Being able to zoom in and see the detail of these amazing panels is actually better than being there in person! Grab your sketchbook and spend the day in Vatican City!  
  • The Great Wall of China Virtual Tour– this 360-degree tour of parts of the Great Wall is impressive.  You can advance on the wall as if walking. Jump on the stationary bike or treadmill and visit China for PE class today!
  • Ancient Greek Mythology Virtual Tour – studying the Ancient Greeks or mythology? This interactive virtual tour of the Acropolis in Greece is perfect for learning more about this ancient culture.

Virtual Tours That are Out of This World

  • Explore an Estuary – if your students are studying the tides, ocean, or water dwellers, this is an excellent site. Explore habitats, migration patterns, and climate impact using any of the resources from all over the USA.

Can’t get enough of these virtual field trip options? Don’t worry; we have more suggestions and companion resources for you! I’d love to hear how you incorporate virtual field trips into your homeschooling! Share your favorites in the comments below!

Learn more about the author, curriculum creator, and True North Homeschool Academy Teacher, Shannan Swindler.