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Testing in General

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    Testing in General

    Hi Everyone!

    I am wondering how often you guys do testing for your special needs kids? My eldest has been to so many testing facilities and procedures including Autism screenings, Neuropsych, seizure disorder tests, genetic testing, IQ testing, etc... It was exhausting and everyone had a different answer. I finally gave up for a while. The year I decided to homeschool, I had both my oldest boys tested with a Neuropsych. That was 2 1/2 years ago. I haven’t done any testing since. I don’t know if it is fear of what will be said or just tired of hearing the same thing over and over again. However, I am considering doing another test just to see where we are at. I’m curious if anything has changed...hopefully not for the worse! I don’t think so, but my fear escalates easily and quickly. I wish that weren’t the case. Any thoughts on frequency? I have not ever looked at standardized testing either. Maybe I should? With accommodations, of course. Just looking for any feedback! Thanks!

    #2
    Re: Testing in General

    I administer a Christian Liberty Press achievement test at the end of each school year. For my special needs child I administer two tests...one at his assigned grade level and one at his working grade level. So, last year he did a 3rd grade and a first grade test. I spread them out over about two weeks. I give them untimed and I don't think it skews his results at all.

    Why do I give two tests? I give the working level test to see how he has mastered that years curriculum goals. Is his reading level increasing? His math proficiency? Etc.

    I give his assigned grade level to compare him to his fellow public school peers. True. I'm required to submit scores in 3, 5, 7 and 9th grade. But, I also like to see if we're maybe, just maybe, making up some time and 'catching up'. My husband wants to know what grade level his reading and math skills are at.


    Example, his 2016 reading score for his assigned grade level was at 53%, right at grade level.
    2017 it was 60%. When tested at his working grade level it was 71%. I can see noticeable improvement in these scores each year

    In math:
    2016 it was 29%, 2017 23% at assigned grade level and 32% at his working grade level. Without administering both, I would feel we had moved backwards. But I can look at both scores and see that yes, math is still a struggle spot, but we have made some progress.

    Hopefully that makes sense. It's very affordable. I choose the paper test so that I can control the timer.
    Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

    DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
    DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
    DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

    We've completed:
    Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
    Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Testing in General

      Originally posted by Colomama View Post
      I administer a Christian Liberty Press achievement test at the end of each school year. For my special needs child I administer two tests...one at his assigned grade level and one at his working grade level. So, last year he did a 3rd grade and a first grade test. I spread them out over about two weeks. I give them untimed and I don't think it skews his results at all.

      Why do I give two tests? I give the working level test to see how he has mastered that years curriculum goals. Is his reading level increasing? His math proficiency? Etc.

      I give his assigned grade level to compare him to his fellow public school peers. True. I'm required to submit scores in 3, 5, 7 and 9th grade. But, I also like to see if we're maybe, just maybe, making up some time and 'catching up'. My husband wants to know what grade level his reading and math skills are at.


      Example, his 2016 reading score for his assigned grade level was at 53%, right at grade level.
      2017 it was 60%. When tested at his working grade level it was 71%. I can see noticeable improvement in these scores each year

      In math:
      2016 it was 29%, 2017 23% at assigned grade level and 32% at his working grade level. Without administering both, I would feel we had moved backwards. But I can look at both scores and see that yes, math is still a struggle spot, but we have made some progress.

      Hopefully that makes sense. It's very affordable. I choose the paper test so that I can control the timer.
      We need to chat and text! I need to get my kids registered and know how it’s all done in CO. I’d also like this testing info for us.
      Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
      Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
      Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
      Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

      “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
      ~Pope St John Paul II

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Testing in General

        I am in Colorado, and we are not required to test our children if they are part of a private school that does not require testing. I am in one that is $15 a year per family. The administrator is fabulous, and since my kids went to public school first for a short time she jumped in and did the job of explaining to them that we do not have to report. She did it really well, since they stopped sending me letters immediately after she talked with them. That said, we had a really thorough test for my youngest done in order to figure out her learning disabilities. The doctor (yes, an actual person with a doctorate) told us that she will be able to give us the pretty precise (within a month or two, depending on if Clara was just being difficult for a few minutes for a test) grade level for her in all subjects. My oldest is gifted in reading and writing (I mean, truly gifted - she read Moby Dick at 9, and wrote papers for Classical Conversations Essentials so well that the teacher (a man who had been a professor of writing in a college) told me that she did not need to use IEW because she is way beyond it). She could take the SAT reading, writing and language, and do better than most kids in high school. I know my kids. I know where their strengths and weaknesses lie. I do not need a test to tell me that.
        JeJe Greer
        Mom to:
        Stella (8M with 9th grade literature)
        Clara (SC 5/6 and 4th new user)

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Testing in General

          Agree, kinda.

          My child that's on grade level and just moving along each day in her guide and getting 90 or 100 on her spelling tests...no issue with testing. I know where she's at, yes.

          My struggling learner? Different story. He's here. He's there. He's everywhere in multiple guides. Aack! Definitely tougher to assess. Progress is slow, sometimes very slow. Sometimes sloth-like slow. I can't accurately tell if we're moving ahead. Maybe we've moved backwards? Administering these tests helps to quantify progress for this particular student. When you spend three years on kindergarten material you need / want to see progress. These tests helped to show progress to me over the long haul. They encouraged me to continue down this road. It wasn't all for naught, it just took a year of work to acquire 3 months of material mastery. Just today, I was thinking, "Wow, his reading seems to have definitely improved. Maybe we should try that last Beatrix Potter book again."

          It's also nice to have a third party corroborate your thoughts. It's not just me saying my neurotypical child is reading above grade level. It's not just me saying my son might struggle to read the words on the page, but his comprehension is sky high. There are quantifiable data points that say the same thing.
          Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

          DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
          DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
          DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

          We've completed:
          Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
          Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Testing in General

            Originally posted by Colomama View Post
            Agree, kinda.

            My child that's on grade level and just moving along each day in her guide and getting 90 or 100 on her spelling tests...no issue with testing. I know where she's at, yes.

            My struggling learner? Different story. He's here. He's there. He's everywhere in multiple guides. Aack! Definitely tougher to assess. Progress is slow, sometimes very slow. Sometimes sloth-like slow. I can't accurately tell if we're moving ahead. Maybe we've moved backwards? Administering these tests helps to quantify progress for this particular student. When you spend three years on kindergarten material you need / want to see progress. These tests helped to show progress to me over the long haul. They encouraged me to continue down this road. It wasn't all for naught, it just took a year of work to acquire 3 months of material mastery. Just today, I was thinking, "Wow, his reading seems to have definitely improved. Maybe we should try that last Beatrix Potter book again."

            It's also nice to have a third party corroborate your thoughts. It's not just me saying my neurotypical child is reading above grade level. It's not just me saying my son might struggle to read the words on the page, but his comprehension is sky high. There are quantifiable data points that say the same thing.
            This is a very good point for my special needs learner. I am getting the testing results a week from tomorrow. This is all thanks to you for finding a place and sharing it with me. I will never be able to thank you enough! I will know exactly where Clara is. I also know where Stella is to the point that I can say that she is way above grade level in all but math. I am a basket case waiting for Clara's results, and the best thing I have been able to do is set Stella up with assignments that I do not have to supervise, and have her help Clara with some easy things while Clara absolutely refuses to do any FSR, writing, spelling, or math. Clara has been acting out so badly since testing that she will not do any real work. But the point here is that I really do know that Stella is way ahead. My goodness, the child read Moby Dick at 9 and then discussed it with her parents! Anyway, I do not think that she needs testing. She is like a high school kid already, and she writes almost as well as my husband and I do. I would love to have the money to have Clara tested at the Legacy Center every year. In fact, I would love to have Clara get counseling from Dr. Diamond. I do not know which doctor you had, but this woman is about 30 and so completely impressive that I have already told her that we will drive 2 hours each direction round trip to see her. I will never be able to thank you enough, Colomama! I also like your approach since the testing is for you to see progress. That is really important. I do not give a rat's a-- about what the state thinks of my kids. I do not want them involved at all, in fact. I think that you have been doing a marvelous and miraculous job with your kids. While you might want a 3rd party corroboration, I do not think that you need it. I do not know how to put a heart on this page, but just imagine one now. I also wish that everyone would have a child like Stella who does not need testing because that kid is ahead. It is so, so, so, so wonderful. Teaching her is a joy.
            JeJe Greer
            Mom to:
            Stella (8M with 9th grade literature)
            Clara (SC 5/6 and 4th new user)

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Testing in General

              Originally posted by Colomama View Post
              Agree, kinda.

              My child that's on grade level and just moving along each day in her guide and getting 90 or 100 on her spelling tests...no issue with testing. I know where she's at, yes.

              My struggling learner? Different story. He's here. He's there. He's everywhere in multiple guides. Aack! Definitely tougher to assess.

              It's also nice to have a third party corroborate your thoughts. It's not just me saying my neurotypical child is reading above grade level. It's not just me saying my son might struggle to read the words on the page, but his comprehension is sky high. There are quantifiable data points that say the same thing.
              Yes to all of this! It is also nice to assemble a strong team for our child, rather than attempt to address everything alone.

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Testing in General

                Originally posted by Colomama View Post
                Agree, kinda.

                My child that's on grade level and just moving along each day in her guide and getting 90 or 100 on her spelling tests...no issue with testing. I know where she's at, yes.

                My struggling learner? Different story. He's here. He's there. He's everywhere in multiple guides. Aack! Definitely tougher to assess. Progress is slow, sometimes very slow. Sometimes sloth-like slow. I can't accurately tell if we're moving ahead. Maybe we've moved backwards? Administering these tests helps to quantify progress for this particular student. When you spend three years on kindergarten material you need / want to see progress. These tests helped to show progress to me over the long haul. They encouraged me to continue down this road. It wasn't all for naught, it just took a year of work to acquire 3 months of material mastery. Just today, I was thinking, "Wow, his reading seems to have definitely improved. Maybe we should try that last Beatrix Potter book again."

                It's also nice to have a third party corroborate your thoughts. It's not just me saying my neurotypical child is reading above grade level. It's not just me saying my son might struggle to read the words on the page, but his comprehension is sky high. There are quantifiable data points that say the same thing.
                So my question is this:

                Do you do standardized testing or Neuropsych testing? We have done the neuropsych testing to look at diagnosis and such. However, I’m wondering if we need some level of standardized testing as well.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Testing in General

                  We live in a state that requires standardized achievement testing every year. I have the Woodcock-Johnson administered. It costs about $100 per child, as to be administered by someone trained to do it, and takes about an hour. They go over the results right away. So that is the negative I suppose. But it allows the child to be in different grade levels for different subjects. I just do the one that covers reading, spelling, and math.

                  There are plenty of grade specific tests that you can administer yourself and are cheaper.

                  For deciding between neuropsych and achievement, I guess it depends on what information you are trying to get. Maybe neuropsych would help understand certain struggles (especially non-academic ones) and hopefully give you strategies to help in areas of struggle. In my mind achievement test can give you a way to gauge academic progress, determine if there are areas that need further work, etc. Maybe unexpected achievement test results would lead me to want a neuropsych eval.

                  For the public schools you have to have evaluations (besides standard achievement tests) every three years.
                  Susan

                  2019-2020
                  A (11) - R&S math 4, Mash up of MP 2/3 & SC 4
                  C (10) - R&S math 3, Mash up of MP 2/3 & SC 4
                  G (6) - Simply Classical C

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Testing in General

                    Originally posted by sfhargett View Post
                    We live in a state that requires standardized achievement testing every year. I have the Woodcock-Johnson administered. It costs about $100 per child, as to be administered by someone trained to do it, and takes about an hour. They go over the results right away. So that is the negative I suppose. But it allows the child to be in different grade levels for different subjects. I just do the one that covers reading, spelling, and math.

                    There are plenty of grade specific tests that you can administer yourself and are cheaper.

                    For deciding between neuropsych and achievement, I guess it depends on what information you are trying to get. Maybe neuropsych would help understand certain struggles (especially non-academic ones) and hopefully give you strategies to help in areas of struggle. In my mind achievement test can give you a way to gauge academic progress, determine if there are areas that need further work, etc. Maybe unexpected achievement test results would lead me to want a neuropsych eval.

                    For the public schools you have to have evaluations (besides standard achievement tests) every three years.
                    Thank you Susan. I believe the psychologist we saw did administer the Woodcock-Johnson. He did many other additional tests, but I think that was one of them. This is my third year of homeschooling and I haven’t done any testing as of yet. I want to get some scores this year especially if we continue on his path. I know there has been growth and progress. I just want a way to prove it if I am ever asked. I am not required to submit anything here in MI. I am not even required to test. I just really feel it would help me highlight areas of need.Thanks for the reply!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Testing in General

                      Originally posted by empokorski View Post
                      Thank you Susan. I believe the psychologist we saw did administer the Woodcock-Johnson. He did many other additional tests, but I think that was one of them. This is my third year of homeschooling and I haven’t done any testing as of yet. I want to get some scores this year especially if we continue on his path. I know there has been growth and progress. I just want a way to prove it if I am ever asked. I am not required to submit anything here in MI. I am not even required to test. I just really feel it would help me highlight areas of need.Thanks for the reply!
                      I just saw you're in Mid-Michigan -- we're in Indiana, about 10 minutes from the border (1-1/2 hours from Kalamazoo). Are you close to that side or more towards Lansing?
                      Jennifer
                      Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                      DS16: MP, MPOA, HSC, Breaking the Barrier French
                      DS15: MP, MPOA, HSC
                      DS12: Mash-up of 6/7M
                      DS11: SC 4
                      DD9: 3A with First Form Latin (long story!)
                      DD8: Mash-up of SC 1/2
                      DD5: January birthday, using SC B and C as a two-year JrK

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Testing in General

                        A neuro- psych will show ability AND achievement. So, a fuller picture. Disparities between the two would point towards a learning disability.

                        An achievement test just shows what they know compared to same age peers.

                        If you suspect a learning disability, just go for the full neuropsych to start. It is more expensive. This will give you the full picture. It will show strengths and weaknesses. A good proctor will tell you how your child learns best. After you have that base, you could follow up with standard achievement tests for a few years before you may want to pursue another fuller evaluation.

                        Most colleges will want a pretty current eval in order to offer assistive services. Cheryl also recommends in her book that you get a new one before they turn 18 and then they can legally reject participation or share results with you.
                        Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

                        DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
                        DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
                        DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

                        We've completed:
                        Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
                        Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

                        Comment

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