Although Texas homeschoolers are NOT required to take standardized tests (no, not even the TAKS), most homeschoolers choose to administer some type of nationally-normed achievement test yearly. Third grade is when most homeschoolers begin letting their children take this type of test. Some choose to administer tests every two years. Others administer a test at the beginning of the year, and at the end of the year. It is really up to you. With that in mind, I've put together some web sources that could help.
Sonlight provides free diagnostic tests so you can determine at what level you should start your child. I suggest testing them at a level below what you think they should be on.
Mindsprinting- Take free reading and math assessments here. The site provides tutoring sheets to help teach the concepts that your child need help with. The price for tutoring sheets is around $50 per year.
Below are some tests to help you in determining your child's learning level.
Another way to have a record of your childrens' work is to put together a portfolio. Doing a diagnostic test may be what you need. This is a test that you would administer at home. To find out about diagnostic testing and where you can purchase such a test, check out the EDUDPS web site.
If you choose to administer your own test, here are sometips to help you and your children prepare.
FAQ - Frequently asked questions
What is the difference between the Stanford Achievement Test (Stanford 10) and The Scholastic aptitude test(SAT)? Many people confuse these tests. The Stanford Test is the standardized test used by most school districts. More detailshere . The SAT is a test a standardized test for college admissions.More info on the SAT can be foundhere.
Some homeschoolers use tests other than the Stanford 10. Why? The reasons vary. Some tests have limitations on who can administer the tests. Most of these decisions are based on the child's needs as well as the parent's views regarding testing . If your child gets "stressed out" by the process, you may want him/her to be tested in more familiar surroundings so that you can get a truer measure. If your child is college bound, you may choose to expose him to testing surroundings that would mimic what he would experience when he takes the SATs for college admissions. For more info on the different tests, click here.
If you would like to give your child practice on taking practice tests, but do not want to spend money on workbooks, here is a suggested solution.
You can go to catpin Productions and create, then print bubble answer sheets to match the tests you print from quizhub.
Go to quizhub and look at the "practice tests for state exams". I've reviewed this site, and this is what I think of the various links I sampled.
California has printable PDF format tests for English, Math, Reading, History and Science.
Florida has Reading, math, and Science tests for 3rd, 6th, 8th, and 10th grade
Illinois has sample Reading and Math tests for 3rd through 8th grade
Indiana has sample tests from several years for 3rd to 10th grade
Massachusetts has an online database that can generate questions by grade level 3rd through high school. You can also filter by subject. I love this site because they can do the test online. Then you can re-generate the test and have it show answers.
Michigan site does not provide much.
New Jersey has a very limited sample.
The NY Regents exam site has a lot of sample tests complete with teacher handbooks, answers, and sections for listening.