prayers, protected my child, preserved
my ability to homeschool for the next
year, and encouraged me in a way I have
not forgotten to this day.
;e next year things clicked for John.
He once again marched con;dently into
a public school room to take the annual
standardized test. When I asked him how
it went, I’ll never forget his classic response:
“Mom, you can’t believe how much easier it
is to take a test when you can read what’s on
it!” His scores were excellent that year, with
most of them being in the upper nineties in
terms of percentile ranking.
Educators o;en view standardized testing as the easiest way to objectively measure the academic e;ectiveness of any educational option, not just homeschooling.
As the above story demonstrates, standardized testing has its problems:
1.Standardized testing is limited in
what it can assess. It does not measure a child’s spiritual understanding,
character development, creativity, or
2 Standardized tests should be used as
diagnostic tools, not as yardsticks to
determine the worth of the student or
3. Standardized test scores do not always
measure or re;ect e;ort or work habits. Some children don’t test well, even
if they have been taught well, have
learned well, and have worked hard
throughout the course of the year.
Conversely, some children who are
lazy in school score in the 90th percentile with little e;ort or concern.
4.An over-emphasis on standardized
testing results from teachers who
spend too much time teaching to the
5. As homeschooling parents, we sometimes fear that others may judge our
entire school year and the e;ectiveness
of homeschooling based on one set of
Standardized testing does have its bene;ts:
1.Used properly, standardized testing
can help you determine where your
children excel and where they might
need some extra help. You can look
at results and make decisions regarding curriculum choices. Are your
child’s test scores in math weaker
than you would like to see? Maybe he
has a learning problem or disability.
Or maybe you just need to consider
changing your math curriculum.
2.Homeschoolers as a group do extremely well on standardized testing.
Even though many educators, legislators, and the community around us
might not agree with homeschooling,
they understand the language of test
scores. When they see the composite test scores of homeschoolers, they
may not become fans, but they see that
homeschooling not only works—but it
works exceptionally well.
If your children are taking standardized tests
this year, here is some advice from one who
has a love-hate relationship with the process:
equips you with specific actions to
overcome shame, hurt, and loss to
bring real hope for the future.
1. Relax. Refuse to succumb to the notion
that your year is a success or failure
based on your child’s test scores.
2. Encourage your children to relax. Explain the real purpose of standardized
testing to them.
3. If your children have never taken a
standardized test, purchase preparatory resources that cover the type of
material that is tested, the use of time
limits, and the process of taking a multiple-choice test.
Don’t let testing rob you and your children of your joy. Remember that God is in
control. He is the ultimate Superintendent
of Education. He will go before your children to prepare the way, make the rough
places smooth, and open remarkable
doors of opportunity and service for them
(Isaiah 45: 1–2, 1 Corinthians 16: 9).
P.S.: John is now 31, married to a wonderful Christian woman, has two amazing children, and is an attorney.
Zan is the Director of Apologia Press, a
division of Apologia Educational Ministries; the author of
7 Tools for Cultivating Your Child’s Potential; and an international speaker. Her goal is to empower
and encourage parents in the eternally signi;cant task of homeschooling. Zan and
Joe homeschooled their three children from
kindergarten through high school, for a total of twenty-one years.