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Hi. I want some advice on using placement tests at home, especially in the early years, as well as recommendations. We started homeschooling DS8 and DD6 just over a month ago. Because of all the school cancellations and online "classes" (which we eventually stopped doing as our kids simply were not made for it) during the past 1.5 years there are noticeable gaps in their education. I was thinking of using some placement tests in English and math that they can do now and then again in about a year so that I can not only identify and correct current gaps but also have a rough measuring stick for their progress this year. As a parent it seems that it might also help me to do them annually so that I can see where some gaps are and correct them, which seems to be different from the purpose of these exams in the school system, which are meant more for overall school evaluations instead of personalized student evaluation. Here are some questions I have after searching through the forums. I'd greatly appreciate your feedback you may have: 1) Have you found doing annual placement exams beneficial as a rough tracking of progress in different subjects? 2) Do you recommend any (preferably free)? 3) Are Lifepac's placement tests relatively accurate for grade levels? 4) Are there any paid placement exams that do something significantly better that makes it worth paying, especially in the grammar stage? I'm an expat from NJ so I don't need to certify any testing (at least that's what I found online) so I don't need that feature. Thanks!
I started out the year using Sonlight LA 4. We finished our 3rd week, and I am not happy. My daughter will be 9 next month, and we consider her a 4th grader. She hasn't had a lot of grammar and writing instruction. We've tried BJU English, but it doesn't seem to stick with her. After spending some time with samples... I think the FLL and WWE combination would be a good fit for both of us. I need placement help. I've looked at the "placement tests", but I guess I'm hoping for some confirmation from those who have been there and used that. FLL - I was considering using FLL 3 with her. She has had a basic introduction to the 8 parts of speech and 4 types of sentences. She has not had a lot of practice work to help her understand exactly what those mean and how to use them. She has never seen a diagrammed sentence. I think FLL 3 would be good. Agree? WWE - This is where I'm stuck. She struggles with remembering a sentence to write it down. (dictation) If I ask her to write 1 sentence, she asks me to repeat it several times. Her spelling is awful, so that doesn't help. She can provide a decent oral narration when asked, but I've never asked her to write one out. Anytime I ask her to do any writing that requires thought, she shuts down. --- So.... I was thinking she might benefit from level 2. Is she a bit too old for that level? Should I put her in level 3 to match up with FLL? *** Also, I'm considering using Spelling You See (Wild Tales) with her. I do not like AAS. We've tried it in the past. We used the first 2 1/2 levels, and it has not helped her to become a better speller. Using basic spelling lists with daily review doesn't work either. At best, she remembers about 70% of the words, and I'm not sure she could actually still spell them 2 weeks later. Thank you in advance for your opinions and wisdom!
I need to figure out what "grade" to consider my middle schooler, and am grateful for help in figuring this out! I am thinking: 6th or7th? There is -- of course -- a long story about where we are now, but the shorter story is that I have homeschooled this child since PreK. He is precocious/accelerated, sensitive, not 2E, and is difficult to teach; and he grew up in our household with my husband's parents living upstairs from us. About two years ago his grandfather died, and shortly after that my son's academic abilities sort of just melted down. He went from being able to do AoPS algebra to having trouble with multi-digit arithmetic; he couldn't write grammatically correct answers to questions; his reading comprehension from IRs was about nil; and so on. I did not make the association with his grandfather's death, which was an incredibly stressful event for the family for many reasons, at the time. In response, and also in order to make sure that I could provide educational growth during a time when my husband's mother needed a good deal of attention and support, I moved him to Memoria Press as a rigorous educational option. I had to put him into their 2nd grade materials in order to avoid stressing him out; for math he began in 3rd-grade equivalent work. We've worked at our own pace and tried a lot of things, and this June saw him finish their 6th grade (corresponds to the work done in their 5th grade at the brick-and-mortar school). Here's where we are now: Reading: is a skimmer. He reads well above grade level and tests high, but does not read classics on his own. He can do, without stress, the reading that corresponds to MP's brick-and-mortar 7th grade. I would have to make him read their literature (at the level of Treasure Island) out loud to get him to read it carefully. Grammar: fine. We've done FLL, Grammar Island, MP's grammar, and are dabbling in Grammar Town. I am liking the looks of ALL!!!!! Spelling: Still remediating: we're in All About Spelling 5, having started in 2 or 3 at the beginning of the year. He is moving quickly and easily through AAS. Math: Nearly finished with Math U See Algebra. Please be kind about MUS :). Also drills; this year read Mathematicians are People Too. Science: been backburnered, can do Novare's middle school books (Physical Science, Earth Science) without stress. Strong knowledge base. History: we've done the Famous Men of Rome and Middle Ages, and we need a better balanced history. I trialed him on WTM methods and he can do decent summaries and 2-level outlines, he'd need a bit more practice before doing 3-level. Latin: finished 2nd Form Latin with online class, will do Third Form this year, summer work is some Familia Romana + review. Greek: finished Greek Alphabet, doing First Form Greek 1 page per day. Penmanship: totally legible, neat cursive. whoo-hoo!!!!!! ETA Composition: largely informal this year. He can write across the curriculum WTM-style at 6th grade level, and can do the writing in Classical Writing Maxim -- this is what we're doing, at a very light pace, over the summer. He is 11yo, turns 12yo on August 30 of this year. I started him in 1st grade at 6yo, which would put him in 7th, but I am unsure about his maturity. Well, I know he is "immature" -- he still carries his favorite stuffy around and in the car (but only around family members, not friends). But I am at a place where the work I plan will depend on how I think of his grade level, and if we are 2 or 3 years from high school, and so on. Especially if we move further from MP and closer to WTM methods and/or materials. He doesn't care what grade he is "in". thanks so much for your help!
So my son, 6, is doing pretty well at math. I am asking his charter school, who uses Saxon, to test him for acceleration - they use ability grouping for the kids so this is not a big deal. This would likely put him in Saxon 3 rather than Saxon 2. I honestly find Saxon kind of super boring and repetitive, and cannot see him bearing an entire year of stuff he mostly knows. (Last year, Saxon 1 was a cinch but they don't ability group in K). Anyway, I have been internally thinking about whether he wouldn't qualify because he is struggling with subtraction with regrouping for multiple digits. They will test him "sometime" in the next few weeks. Anyway, today I thought, is there a Saxon placement test online? - and looked it up. To qualify for Saxon 3, there are zero questions involving either adding or subtracting at all. Instead, his placement depends on being able to draw line segments in inches and centimeters, knowing money, writing fractions, reading graphs and thermometers, and telling time. To me these things are so easy to learn but we've spent little time on them (except clocks and money I guess). I am annoyed because these things all feel peripheral. I admit, I am assuming this is what they are going to use to place my son, and I could be wrong. But anyway, I am now facing a moral quandary about whether to practice ruler measurements (which is the one I mainly think he can't do) with him until they test him (which I won't be able to do anyway if they test him tomorrow). And I am hoping they actually use something better to assess placement. But really, shouldn't placement in early elementary be mainly dictated by major progression through arithmetic skills, understanding of place value, and understanding of patterns? Thanks for letting me rant. If anyone wants to weigh in on whether they think it's horrible to test prep him so he can be in Saxon 3, I'm listening. (I wouldn't use the exact problems on the assessment). And whether they think he'd be actually missing anything in the long run to skip Saxon 2. P.S. My plan for afterschooling is to go deeper rather than accelerate - I am planning to do Zaccaro's Primary Challenge Math along with logic stuff and maybe SM CWP 2 or some MEP problems - but I still don't want his hour+ a day of math in school (plus tedious Saxon homework) to be a waste of time.