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Questions for fellow WA homeschoolers

testing social studies

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#1 bluejay

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 07:39 PM

I hope you all and your families are doing great!  Been a busy year for us with growing kids, with the younger very eager to join in and catch up with the older.  :)

 

I really like WTM but one thing troubles me.  I notice that in certain areas like Science, History and Social Studies, it does not seem to agree with Washington standards.  As I understand, WTM recommends you go through history chronologically instead of going back and forth between U.S. history and world history.  I really like that.  We were planning to teach our eldest U.S. history starting in 2nd-3rd grade once we've gotten that far in history.  But in the Washington standards I've found online, it looks like you're expected to cover U.S. history, government and civics from the beginning.  How are we going to fulfill state standards while still following the Classical model taught in WTM?

 

It is the same with Science.  We have been doing BIology for year 1, Earth Science & Astronomy for year 2, etc.  But the standards seem to expect students to know a little bit of everything including Physics and Chemistry.   This is frustrating.  I know my kids will cover all those subjects in the next 4 years, but it looks like WA state wants it differently. 

 

So what can you advise?

 

Also, what online testing services do you recommend?

What U.S. social studies / civics and government book do you recommend? 

Can I buy a practice test so I know what to expect?  (not showing my kids, of course)

Cam I test my child even before we file DoI just so I can assess his progress?

Can my child test for a lower grade?   What if the child has to review some lower grade subjects while mostly doing the next grade?


Edited by bluejay, 18 May 2017 - 09:08 PM.


#2 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 07:47 PM

I have never worried about yearly state standards and I have graduated one child from 12 years of homeschooling in WA state. He's doing fine in college.

We never joined a co-op but we do yearly testing with a co-op. It used to be the SAT 10 but now they have switched to the IOWA.


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#3 nixpix5

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 07:54 PM

https://www.familyle...org/testing.php

I use the above company and do the testing myself. They also have practice tests as well.

I am in Washington State but am associated with a homeschool resource school offered through the public school system. They give us money for curriculum and/or extra curricular classes and we submit a monthly plan to them about what we do. We are not required to do anything in any certain order our updates just have to match our learning plan. I have never done it without utilizing them so I am unsure about other routes. I find Washington to be one of the more easy going and flexible homeschooling states :)
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#4 loowit

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 08:46 PM

I don't worry about state standards.  I follow the homeschool laws that require certain subjects to be covered, but what year and what order is up to the parent.  My children have always done fine on their yearly testing.

 

We use a local tester who offers group testing for homeschoolers in our area.

 

I would recommend that you check out the Washington Homeschool Organization website.  They have a lot of information about homeschooling in our state.


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#5 EKS

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 09:01 PM

We never followed the state standards.  It is not required of either private schools or homeschools.

 

For testing, we used the ITBS/ITED.  Most of the time we went through BJU.


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#6 bluejay

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 09:44 PM

We never followed the state standards.  It is not required of either private schools or homeschools.

 

For testing, we used the ITBS/ITED.  Most of the time we went through BJU.

 

Thank you. What are those?  I keep getting Iowa testing when I google these.   Are they national?  I was under the impression you go to a local testing provider approved by the state. 



#7 bluejay

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 09:47 PM

I don't worry about state standards.  I follow the homeschool laws that require certain subjects to be covered, but what year and what order is up to the parent.  My children have always done fine on their yearly testing.

 

We use a local tester who offers group testing for homeschoolers in our area.

 

I would recommend that you check out the Washington Homeschool Organization website.  They have a lot of information about homeschooling in our state.

 

Thank you.  I too was of the understanding that it is OK as long as you cover all subjects.  Not that one has to cover them all every year. But I'm worried my kids will get surprised and frustrated during testing when they encounter questions/subjects we haven't really studied yet. 



#8 bluejay

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 09:49 PM

https://www.familyle...org/testing.php

I use the above company and do the testing myself. They also have practice tests as well.

I am in Washington State but am associated with a homeschool resource school offered through the public school system. They give us money for curriculum and/or extra curricular classes and we submit a monthly plan to them about what we do. We are not required to do anything in any certain order our updates just have to match our learning plan. I have never done it without utilizing them so I am unsure about other routes. I find Washington to be one of the more easy going and flexible homeschooling states :)

 

nixpix5, you probably get asked this a lot but here goes.  Are you considered "publicly enrolled" because of this? 

 

I will check out FOL.

 

Has anyone else here tried Family Academy at http://www.familyacademy.org/? Tried to contact them but no one answered.


Edited by bluejay, 18 May 2017 - 09:55 PM.


#9 bluejay

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 10:12 PM

Jean that is awesome.  Congratulations!



#10 loowit

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 10:34 PM

Thank you.  I too was of the understanding that it is OK as long as you cover all subjects.  Not that one has to cover them all every year. But I'm worried my kids will get surprised and frustrated during testing when they encounter questions/subjects we haven't really studied yet. 

 

I think a lot of that will depend on the kid.  I warn mine ahead of time that they may run across things on the test that they haven't studied yet and that is okay and just do their best. 

 

My youngest did get frustrated last year, but that has more to do with his OCD than the testing itself.  It wasn't that we hadn't covered stuff, he just gets upset if he gets anything wrong, and he got one of the practice problems wrong.  He would have had the same problem even if we strictly covered everything the schools do and taught to the test.

 

My older two love testing days because they get to go an meet up with friends and have a couple mornings out of the house.  They usually tell me that the tests are pretty easy and they didn't see much that they haven't already covered, especially when they were in the younger grades.



#11 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 10:57 PM

Thank you. What are those? I keep getting Iowa testing when I google these. Are they national? I was under the impression you go to a local testing provider approved by the state.


Many homeschoolers do group testing around April or May. I just googled to find group testing the first time. After that they had me on their email list so I got reminders. Some people like to test at home or with an individual tester but my kids liked to do it as a group. It was their social outing of the year! They liked to trade lunch. ;).

In Washington state you are required to test every year from 3rd grade but the test scores don't go to anyone but you. I told my kids not to worry about how they did. I found the test results to be helpful to some degree but honestly I didn't need the tests to tell me how my kids were doing. I knew that from working with them daily.

Also you asked about knowing things in the right order. Math is the main thing that needs to be in order. But most math books do things in basically the same order anyway. Core subjects like science and social studies aren't even included in some tests. And when they were included in the tests my kids did fine because they had reading selections that they were supposed to read and interact with so it's not like you have to have facts memorized or anything like that.
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#12 nixpix5

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 12:04 AM

nixpix5, you probably get asked this a lot but here goes. Are you considered "publicly enrolled" because of this?

I will check out FOL.

Has anyone else here tried Family Academy at http://www.familyacademy.org/? Tried to contact them but no one answered.


I sit in a strange grey area. Yes, I probably am considered publicly enrolled but the school stresses that parents are the educators and the school is a supplement. We spend an hour a week checking in with an advisor and they take piano, theater, karate etc there in the afternoons if they so choose. It is a pretty nice deal. If we were to graduate from the school though their diploma would come from the school. I guess knowing that then they are assuming responsibility for us. They don't put any stipulations on us besides we cannot count our Bible study as hours towards education. The other benefit is they have a massive library full of curriculum. I can check out anything and keep it until the end of May. Plus my children have access to friends there as we have a lunch room, indoor and outdoor play area etc if we choose to use it. It is quite the luxury. If you have something near you similar it is a nice way to circumvent dealing with Washington laws. They also do free testing starting in 3rd.

#13 bluejay

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 12:10 AM

Thanks, Jean.  That's reassuring.  We prioritize Math and Language Arts because as long as they are "current" with that (and even a little ahead), they can tackle other subjects.  We aren't near a major city.  I don't know if we can do group testing. We might end up doing an online test or something.  I'll talk with the FOL staff and see what they can advise, if that's what we end up using.

 

By the way, if we file a DOI in 2017, do we have to do the test in the same year or in the following year? 



#14 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 12:46 AM

I'm on a phone so I can't see if you have a signature listing your kids' ages. Letters of intent are required at grade 3. Testing would start in grade 3 as well.


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#15 EKS

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 07:57 AM

Thank you. What are those?  I keep getting Iowa testing when I google these.   Are they national?  I was under the impression you go to a local testing provider approved by the state. 

 

They are the Iowa tests, but they are used nationwide.  They are one of the tests that is approved in Washington for annual assessment.  Any test reviewed by Buros Institute of Mental Measurements can be used (which is funny because not all tests get positive reviews).

 

This link may help: http://www.sbe.wa.go...hp#.WR7rQRPyuV4





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