Homeschooling: Preparing Children For Mandatory Testing

Tips you can use to prepare your child for mandatory testing

In several states and localities, homeschooled children are required to take mandatory tests. Even in places where those tests are not mandatory, a homeschooled child or parent may want to take achievement tests to be sure the child is on track or to get the child enrolled in higher education programs. Here are some things you can to do prepare your child for mandatory and achievement testing.

Improve vocabulary: The best way to improve a child's vocabulary is to have them read on a daily basis. By reading age and grade appropriate books, your child will learn new words passively and in context. Another way to improve your child's vocabulary is to introduce them to a new word every day. You can do this by picking a new word out of the dictionary and making a concerted effort to use the word as much as possible. You can make it fun by giving the child a prize every time the word is used properly. You an also find internet web sites that will email a new word and its definition to your child every day.

Improve math skills: Once your child knows all the math functions necessary for his or her grade level, you will need to provide opportunities for them to practice on a daily basis. There are a great number of children's learning games both on the internet and on CD Rom. Using games by Math Blaster and Clue Finders, for example, children solve mysteries while calculating math problems. You can also type the keywords "math games" or "math drills" into your internet browser to find timed math tests and other fun games.



Improve critical thinking: A large part of taking a test is knowing how to find the right answer when you do not know it. You can purchase workbooks and software that are designed to teach your child critical thinking. For example, there are critical thinking materials that teach a child root words and suffixes allowing them to decipher a great number of words they may not know. There are also materials that force a child to read the directions and search for clues within the text in order to answer the questions. This kind of training in learning how to think is invaluable.

Practice tests: Finally, before you have your child take a test, you need to have them practice. By taking practice tests, your child will become familiar with the process of taking tests, as well as the way in which questions are posed on particular tests. This will also give the parent information as to what area they need to spend more time teaching before the actual tests. Once your child takes his or her mandatory test and passes it, do not stop there. Continue to administer practice tests often so that you do not have to scramble when the next testing date comes up. If your child only needs to take a mandatory test every few years, have them take a test yearly anyway. This is so the child stays comfortable and familiar with testing. Do this especially if you are required to use a testing service instead of administering the exams yourself.

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