We use Christian Light Education or CLE for our home school.
The children and I really like this curriculum. My daughter, Honey Bear, really struggles with Math though and we might be changing it up but that is a different story. The way these Lightunits are set up is that they are divided into 3 sections. After each section is a quiz, then self test, and lastly a final or over-all test to see what they have learned from the Lightunit..
The one thing I have learned and appreciated was that we as homeschoolers/stay-at-home moms have a unique situation. We can take the time to learn about our children. We can learn about their likes, their dislikes, their emotion. basically what makes them tick. That carries over to their school as well. We can observe them, ask questions and get a good feel if they are retaining and learning the work. If we do this are test necessary then?
My Answer: sorta 🙂 Yes, I know what kind of answer is that!! well let me list both reasons why they should or shouldn’t be tested.
Why they SHOULD be tested
- It is part of the curriculum
- It helps me see what they missed or are struggling with
- builds skills for later
Why they should NOT be tested
- nobody wants to do it
- If you attach a percent (for elementary levels) in could result in physiological problems for some kids 😉 example: instead of striving to do better work they strive for being the best.
- Personally I don’t think children need to be put through that kind of stress
Anyway those are MY PERSONAL reason. Let me tell you what I do: I do test the children on their quizzes. Simple 2 page easy quiz to see if they have maintained the info. Then we go on. As to the self-test sometimes they do, sometimes not -depending if we have time or not. Then comes the final. I usually give it to the child and have them do it. Sometimes they forget things and we will talk about it, prob their brain a bit. When they are done, I go through it but DON”T score it. I then take the wrong answers and discuss it with the kids. Questions like “do you really think this means this or that? ” Why did you write that” “Does x+y really =a? no? well let’s add together” Those question tell me more about what the child was thinking. It helps me know and understand what they are retaining and if they even like the subject matter.
I think tests give them skills needed to study information. It gives their brain a chance to remember stuff. Later when children are older(teenagers) I will definitely be making their work harder and will start scoring. But for now we will let children be children and work on skills more then the all-mighty score 🙂