Testing
Testing is a requirement in many states. We make it easy to comply with testing requirements by gathering information and resources for testing services all in one place.
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The Lost Tools of Learning
Is not the great defect of our education today that although we often succeed in teaching our pupils "subjects," we fail lamentably on the whole in teaching them how to think: they learn everything, except the art of learning. Dorothy Sayers authored this essay in 1947, discussing a classical approach to education, with the recommendation to adopt a modified version of the medieval scholastic curriculum.
Catholic Home Study Service
Catholic Home Study Service (CHSS), sponsored by the Vincentian community and the Missouri Knights of Columbus, offers free courses on the Catholic Faith. Six free courses, faithful to the teachings of the Church, are available. When you request a course, you will receive a textbook and a workbook with study questions. After reading a section of the book, you can send your workbook answers to us either over the internet or by postal mail. We will make whatever corrections are necessary and answe...
Unschooling or Homeschooling: What's the Difference?
Ask around at your next homeschool conference to compare what people answer when this question pops up: "What does it mean to unschool?" Some will answer that unschooling is homeschooling without using a pre-packaged curriculum. Others will say it's simply the degree of freedom that the parents allow the child in his learning. Still others will say that unschooling defies definition because each child is unique and will go at learning in his own way, in his own time. So what's the big difference...
Deschooling on the Road
A homeschooling mom travelled 3500 miles cross-country with her son and found educational experiences in some unexpected places. Drives home the point that learning can happen in many different ways and that we cannot always plan how our children will learn.
Lisa Nolan Montessori
Montessori for the Earth offers affordable on-line Montessori and homeschool programs and ebooks for parents, homeschool, teachers, and aides by a certified Montessori teacher. Their Montessori on-line Distance Learning programs are designed for parents and homeschoolers, teachers and assistants, educators, administrators, and college students who want to learn about (or review) Montessori education and curriculum so they can incorporate it into their home, classroom, or college studies.
Test Prep Services for Homeschoolers
The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review offers personalized private tutoring, test prep, and admission products and services to help students knock down barriers and achieve their academic goals. Search for schools and careers, find test preparation courses, get information on scholarships, and more. Covered tests include: ACT, AP, PSAT, SAT, SAT Subjects, TOEFL, ISEE, MCAT, DAT, OAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT, CFA, and USMLE.
Testing Issues in the Homeschool
Testing in the Schools
John Holt's article in which he lists questions that should be asked of school districts' testing policies.
ACT vs SAT: Key differences between the ACT and SAT
ACT vs SAT: which test is a better fit for your student? Students may take whichever test they prefer (assuming there are available testing locations for both tests). If you’re not sure which test your child would prefer, consider the key differences between the ACT and SAT. Some students find that the ACT caters to their strengths more so than the SAT, and vice versa. Need a quick side-by-side comparison of the tests? Check out this ACT vs SAT Comparison Chart.
It's Time for the PSAT/NMSQT
Although this article has some outdated date information in it, it is a good discussion of the use of the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) for homeschoolers, especially those who are interested in qualifying for certain scholarships.
The Case for Authentic Assessment
Assessment is authentic when we directly examine student performance on worthy intellectual tasks. Traditional assessment, by contract, relies on indirect or proxy 'items'--efficient, simplistic substitutes from which we think valid inferences can be made about the student's performance at those valued challenges.
What’s a Test? Why Unschoolers Test Scores Prove Nothing about Method
Most of us are familiar with the school perspective as so many of us have first-hand experience with it. It goes something like this: To learn, one must have a teacher dole out information. Your assignment as student, if you choose to accept it, is to work very hard to retain the information provided so you can score well on tests. When you score well on tests, you will be able to tack on four additional years of schooling by going to college. The better your test scores, the better the college you can attend. “Success” will ultimately be achieved when you getting a good job so you can make as much money as possible. Less familiar is the unschoolers perspective which goes something like this: “I would be against trying to cram knowledge into the heads of children even if we could agree on what knowledge to cram and could be sure that it would not go out of date, even if we could be sure that, once crammed in, it would stay in. Even then, I would trust the child to direct his own learning . For it seems to me a fact that, in our struggle to make sense out of life, the things we most need to learn are the things we most want to learn. ”
Students Against Testing
This website offers an alternative look at standardized testing. Students Against Testing was created to be a strong force against the score-obsessed education machine known as standardized testing. At the same time, SAT also exists as an advocate for bringing positive, creative and real-life learning activities into the schools.
What does the SAT measure? Aptitude? Achievement? Anything?
When the first SAT was created, it was named the Scholastic Aptitude Test, signaling that its creators and the education world believed it to be a test of aptitude, or, a student’s ability to perform well in college. Aptitude tests supposedly measure talents that indicate possible achievement in the future, while achievement tests supposedly reveal how much someone has learned in the past. All these years later, we know the test never really did measure anybody’s aptitude to do well in college.
The SAT vs. the ACT: Which to Choose?
Colleges will accept either the SAT or ACT. So which should you take? It's all about the numbers. Some students end up scoring substantially higher on the SAT; others do better on the ACT. The Princeton Review Assessment (PRA) is designed to help you determine which test is better fit with your abilities.
Testing and Assessment: What Do the Tests Tell Us?
Many parents arrive in the world of gifted education with a report full of tests results, supposedly defining their child as "gifted." But more often than not, parents have more questions than answers upon receiving those test results. And just as often, the short answers from the psychologist, the school, the teachers, and other parents do more to confuse than clarify.
The Evils Of Mandatory Testing
As home schooling grows as a movement, there is increasing politics from anti-home school forces to try to interfere with or legislatively control home schoolers. This has come to include legislative attempts to force home school students to take standardized tests along with public school students. But mandatory testing doesn't work in public schools, and it won't work for home schoolers.
Testing Services, Suppliers, and Resources
Educational Testing Services (ETS)
Educational Testing Services (ETS) is an organization that provides a range of products and services, including research, test administration, test scoring, and more. This organization develops and administers AP, GRE, and SAT tests, among others.
Seton Testing Services
Seton provides affordable, nationally standardized testing, including ability and achievement tests, practice tests, and test prep materials for homeschoolers, private schools, and home school groups. Testing services and materials are available for grades K-12. Tests include the Stanford 10 Online, CAT E-Survey, IOWA Form E, and TerraNova 2/CAT 6. Ordering is easy and you will get test results returned within two weeks. 
The College Board
The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the association is composed of more than 4,700 schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations. Each year, the College Board serves over three and a half million students and their parents, 23,000 high schools, and 3,500 colleges through major programs and services in college admissions, guidance, assessment, financial aid, enrollment, and teaching and learning. Among its best-known programs are the SAT, the PSAT/NMSQT®, and the Advanced Placement Program®(AP).
The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review offers personalized private tutoring, test prep, and admission products and services to help students knock down barriers and achieve their academic goals. Search for schools and careers, find test preparation courses, get information on scholarships, and more. Covered tests include: ACT, AP, PSAT, SAT, SAT Subjects, TOEFL, ISEE, MCAT, DAT, OAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT, CFA, and USMLE.
Bayside School Services
Bayside School Services offers do-it-yourself standardized achievement tests, available all year. Bayside gives you original publisher materials plus genuine CTB scoring reports, including free practice tests for all grades where available. Test prices include shipping, handling, scoring and all practice tests. Special pricing available for group orders.
Trust Tutoring
Trust Tutoring offers an Evaluation of Basic Skills, a standardized test of reading, writing, and math skills for ages 3-18.
Future School
Future School online learning systems support your entire family in both the classroom and the home using only qualified teachers to ensure its educational services. They offer tutoring students in the home, classroom and after school facilities, providing both face-to-face, telephone and online assistance in the two core areas of literacy and numeracy. Future School has also many years experience in the development of Basic Skill Tests in mathematics and English covering years 3, 5, and 7, including the materials, delivery, marking, psychometrics and reporting to Education Departments, schools, and parents.
Curriculum Associates
Offers BRIGANCE Screening and Inventories products. Designed for use in elementary and middle schools, the CIBS-R is a valuable resource for programs serving students with special needs, and continues to be indispensable in IEP development and program planning.
Catforms Testing Service
Catforms Testing Service offers the 1970 California Achievement Tests with their own answer sheets and computer scoring. Key features of this system include graphical results in color, cumulative comparisons from year to year, and a detailed analysis of strengths and weaknesses in each area of the test. In addition to the original 1970 norms, they also have their own norms, the Catforms Percentiles, which are updated annually from the tests they have on file. The Catforms Percentiles are not a national norm, but are useful in comparing your students' performance with others from Christian schools and home schools today.
National Merit Scholarship Corporation
Established in 1955, National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. NMSC conducts the National Merit® Scholarship Program, an annual academic competition for recognition and college undergraduate scholarships.
Testing Services, Suppliers, & Resources
National Merit Scholarship Corporation
Established in 1955, National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is an independent, not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. NMSC conducts the National Merit® Scholarship Program, an annual academic competition for recognition and college undergraduate scholarships.
Bayside School Services
Bayside School Services offers do-it-yourself standardized achievement tests, available all year. Bayside gives you original publisher materials plus genuine CTB scoring reports, including free practice tests for all grades where available. Test prices include shipping, handling, scoring and all practice tests. Special pricing available for group orders.
The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review offers personalized private tutoring, test prep, and admission products and services to help students knock down barriers and achieve their academic goals. Search for schools and careers, find test preparation courses, get information on scholarships, and more. Covered tests include: ACT, AP, PSAT, SAT, SAT Subjects, TOEFL, ISEE, MCAT, DAT, OAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT, CFA, and USMLE.
Trust Tutoring
Trust Tutoring offers an Evaluation of Basic Skills, a standardized test of reading, writing, and math skills for ages 3-18.
Future School
Future School online learning systems support your entire family in both the classroom and the home using only qualified teachers to ensure its educational services. They offer tutoring students in the home, classroom and after school facilities, providing both face-to-face, telephone and online assistance in the two core areas of literacy and numeracy. Future School has also many years experience in the development of Basic Skill Tests in mathematics and English covering years 3, 5, and 7, including the materials, delivery, marking, psychometrics and reporting to Education Departments, schools, and parents.
Seton Testing Services
Seton provides affordable, nationally standardized testing, including ability and achievement tests, practice tests, and test prep materials for homeschoolers, private schools, and home school groups. Testing services and materials are available for grades K-12. Tests include the Stanford 10 Online, CAT E-Survey, IOWA Form E, and TerraNova 2/CAT 6. Ordering is easy and you will get test results returned within two weeks. 
Educational Testing Services (ETS)
Educational Testing Services (ETS) is an organization that provides a range of products and services, including research, test administration, test scoring, and more. This organization develops and administers AP, GRE, and SAT tests, among others.
Curriculum Associates
Offers BRIGANCE Screening and Inventories products. Designed for use in elementary and middle schools, the CIBS-R is a valuable resource for programs serving students with special needs, and continues to be indispensable in IEP development and program planning.
Catforms Testing Service
Catforms Testing Service offers the 1970 California Achievement Tests with their own answer sheets and computer scoring. Key features of this system include graphical results in color, cumulative comparisons from year to year, and a detailed analysis of strengths and weaknesses in each area of the test. In addition to the original 1970 norms, they also have their own norms, the Catforms Percentiles, which are updated annually from the tests they have on file. The Catforms Percentiles are not a national norm, but are useful in comparing your students' performance with others from Christian schools and home schools today.
The College Board
The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the association is composed of more than 4,700 schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations. Each year, the College Board serves over three and a half million students and their parents, 23,000 high schools, and 3,500 colleges through major programs and services in college admissions, guidance, assessment, financial aid, enrollment, and teaching and learning. Among its best-known programs are the SAT, the PSAT/NMSQT®, and the Advanced Placement Program®(AP).
Local & State Testing Services
Christian Cottage Schools
This private school offers services to homeschoolers including assessment, custom curriculum development, mentorship, and support, and involvement and protection. We offer a full service home schooling solution for your family regardless of the educational challenges or questions you may have so you can be successful having school at home. They specialize in special needs curriculum.
eXL Learning Homeschool Hangout
This resource center offers homeschool assessments, speakers and events related to homeschooling topics, classes and tutoring, portfolio development and college preparation, and additional diagnostic assessments.
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Featured Resources

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Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning: An Approach to Distinctively Christian Education
Author Douglas Wilson makes the argument that education must have a foundation of religion, which informs worldview. Education is the asking and answering of questions, and learning to read and write is simply the process of acquiring the tools needed to do that. 
Bead Sequencing Set
Stack the durable, brightly colored wooden beads on 5 hardwood dowels in sequence to match the design on one of the pattern cards. Builds complex reasoning skills as well as sorting and coordination. Includes over 45 brilliantly colored beads, 5 dowels, and 10 patterns that increase in difficulty.
Climb Inside a Poem for Children Big Book of Poems
The poetry anthology, Climb Inside a Poem: Original Poems for Children, uses the writings of contemporary children's poets, whimsical illustrations, and an expansive big book format (14"x 18") to create a 36-page poetry playground. The children's poems crafted expressly for this collection are written by acclaimed children's authors.
Smart Mouth
Ages: 8 years and up; For 2 or more playersSmart Mouth is a quick-thinking shout-it-out hilarious word game that helps build vocabulary skills. It includes variations of the rules for category play and for younger players. Players slide the Letter Getter forward and back to get two letters. The first player to shout out a word of five or more letters using those letters wins the round. The game includes tips for teachers. This is a fun game to play with children and adults together.
In Their Own Way: Discovering and Encouraging Your Child's Multiple Intelligences
Children learn in differing ways. Thomas Armstrong specializes in helping parents identify the unique areas in each of our children that enhance their special way of learning and expressing creativity. This work on multiple intelligences talks about the eight different kinds of multiple intelligences, showing you how to discover your child's particular areas of strength.