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visiting testing and looking forward


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Back in the Fall I brought up the fact I have a child who is special needs. He would be listed this year in PS as 4th grade due to the age he began school in Canada. When we moved to NC they kept that but he was actually a year older than his peers due to his birthday. He turned 9 in late Sept.


He could not handle mainstream and after 3 schools in the district they put him in small class placement. It failed, I pulled middle of of the year. He learned zilch! So we started from root.


Last year we tested him second grade as that was pretty much where we were, but with struggle. He placed 80%. The same subjects he was scored low on, or missed some, were the same things he really had a hard time with when we bumped up to 3rd. He was just not there, not ready and needed more help to get the basics. If anything, Science, Reading and Math are par if not a little higher. Forget the rest, he needed some time to re-learn, re-focus and mature.


We ended 3rd and backed up with a new lesson plan. Amazingly enough he did it. He accomplished and seems to have matured enough in his work and some behaviors to actually learn and make it grounded. Soaring grades, some help along the way but I say it is a combination of maturity, change of learning and finally feeling at ease with Homeschool (all of us). I had learned my child - big accomplishment!


Fast forward to today, almost the end of January and he is bumping up to 3rd grade. Mostly we are focusing on subjects he struggles with. I will add more later. Right now the kid is getting there, minus spelling. That is a biggie.


When I asked how testing worked for a child who did not advance I was given many replies. Some said to go ahead and test him a level up so he is compared to his peers. Fact is, in so many ways he is nothing like his peers and comparing him in the beginning is what hurt us. Others were like retest him on second if your doing second work. I know if I give him a test above his head it is unlikely to be done with any ounce of reality. I decided to test him Second come April. I did not however see us going up in a few subjects like we have. But we have put a lot of focus just on needs. Remember, he does very little History and such at the moment. I needed to get the basics and spend time there. I would not place him actually being at a 9 year old level in any area, including behavior etc.


Now he will have done about 2.5 months of 3rd Language Arts and Math before the test is given. Am I in my right mind to stay where I had settled, test 2nd and continue to play catch up. Perhaps use some extra time to visit other areas like some books on History (basic) and such? This way I have time to explore his growth a little more in his subjects?


How would you test based on my child? If I test re-test 2nd I think it would give him the best op for staying on track. If I test 3rd then he would lack a lot of material and fail. If I do 3rd, then I am back to taking next year day to day all over again. I do admit the record keeping and testing stresses me out, but I do not want to fail my child by treating him as another child instead of an individual.



TIA, means a lot.

I shared this on the main board and someone suggested to ask here, hope that is ok!

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Given his birthday, he is a 3rd grader. So if he is struggling, you repeat and he's a 2nd grader. I suggest you think more long-term about where he's going and what's realistic for him. If his reality is he needs to be a grade behind, then be brave, call him a 2nd grader, and get the pain over with now. So he's a 2nd grader this year, a 3rd grader next year, and so on. There are NUMEROUS people here on the SN board who have held their kids back, and sometimes it's just the right thing to do.


Once you figure that out, the testing level is obvious. Do you need the test scores for state purposes or is it just for yourself?

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How would you test based on my child? If I test re-test 2nd I think it would give him the best op for staying on track.


Test DS at the level that he is at. Also, congrats Mom!!! It's great to read that your DS is improving. Don't feel the need to rush ahead to catch him up. Focus on the foundational skills.


You mentioned history a couple of times so I'll add this. A friend of mine has her DS watch Liberty's Kids for history. Never done that myself; however, it worked for her family and may work for you.

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I am assuming, from your signature, that your ds has autism. If so, when did he have his last major psychological testing? If he hasn't had an individual achievement test recently, you might think about doing something like the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement III (W-J III) or Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT-III). These have to be administered by a psychology or other qualified professional but they can more accurately pinpoint your child's grade level function. Depending on your state's requirements, these are likely to be perfectly acceptable tests for reporting purposes. My thinking is that doing an individual achievement test this year will give you some good information for planning for next year. Then you could do it every 2 or 3 years after that in place of the group-type achievement test in a given year.

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