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.
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 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.
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 Performance Series Testing just for homeschoolers!
So what’s so great about the Performance Series Test?
- They can be taken in the privacy of your own home.
- Your student can complete them more than once during the school year.
- Your child tests at their own pace, eliminating anxiety.
- The test continues to asses 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.
- Scores will save, year after year; giving you a clear graphic of how your student is doing over time.
- Standardized and nationally normed; meets the requirements of states who require annual assessments for home educators.
- You will receive a complete PDF of subject scores, along with a Lexile Reading Score.
- True North includes a 15 minute review of the scores with a teacher/advisor FREE
The Performance Series test is available for grades K through 12 in the following subjects:
- Language Arts
- Can be submitted for state requirements
- 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 scores and ask about recommendations for your student based on results.
- True North Homeschool Academy offers bundles for families with multiple students and for co-ops Bundles save you money: bundles of 5 (save $6 per test!), bundles of 10 ($22 per test) and bundles of 15 ($20 each) all offer a substantial discount. You still get all of the benefits mentioned above, but receive a group discount.
We hope if you have questions you will contact us – or order it now online HERE.
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
- John Muir Exhibit – this exhibit by the Sierra Club offers a concise story of Muir’s life, writings, and works. It includes sounds, video, and text. Grab the videos here:
- Virtual Geologic Field Trip to Griffith Park – if you’re interested in geology and earthquakes, take a look at this site. It was developed for use on its own or as an introduction to an actual field trip to Griffith Park in Los Angeles. Perfect for an earth science project or presentation.
- What’s in the Sky – this resource links page is great for kids working on an astronomy report or just wanting to learn more about the sun, moon & stars for fun.
- Yellowstone National Park Virtual Field Trip– virtually visit one of the most popular and beautiful national parks in the United States. You can find more online learning resources for Yellowstone in the Explore Wyoming Online Course.
- Museum of Natural History– this room-by-room walking tour of the museum is so fascinating and engaging. There are many exciting artifacts to look at and cultures to explore. Perfect slumber party activity for creating your own “Night at the Museum.”
- San Diego Zoo- your animal lover will have a ball learning all about animals! This is just one of the many California places you can visit virtually.
- Monterey Bay Aquarium- watch sea creatures in real-time! Do your kids love zoo & aquarium cams? This is perfect for learning about the habits and habitats of their favorite underwater creatures.
- The American Museum of Natural History- there are so many exciting exhibits and virtual tours. It’s a perfect place to use a virtual field trip journal or notebooking page to capture it all.
- The Collection at The National Gallery of Art– you can perform a search by artist, title, or subject. The Fine Arts Virtual Art Museum notebooking page is perfect for helping young artists get excited about art. The alphabet scavenger hunt, included in the download, is a fun way to see art in a whole new way by closely observing it.
- Online Exhibits from Colonial Williamsburg– these 360 tours of Williamsburg are perfect for seeing what life was like in early American history. See restorations of paintings, examine types of currency, and explore colonial maps. Are your kids keen to learn about Colonial America? The Explore Virginia Online Course is a treasure trove of resources for learning about Colonial America.
- Explore Plymouth Plantation– explore Plymouth and interact with some of its people. At using the Plimoth at home virtual learning resources.
- Visit Gettysburg – learn about the Battle of Gettysburg with this 16 stop virtual tour of the battlefield.
- These online resources about Pennsylvania will help your family learn about famous people and places that make Pennsylvania great.
- Discovery Education Field Trips– Discovery Education offers various free, interactive tours designed for elementary school students. There is so much to choose from!. Use the drop-down subject search box to tailor-make your virtual field trip.
Use The World As Your Classroom with Virtual Museum Tours at 11 World-Famous Museums
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.