To see that your efforts are paying off, and that your child is learning what you are teaching, you will need to develop some homeschooling tests for your children. There are four main types of test questions used in public schools: short answer, essay, multiple choice, and true/false tests. You can develop tests that use some combination of these types of questions.
Homeschooling Tests for Children – ages 3-6
In this age range, a child can typically speak in complete sentences, but has not yet fully developed the ability to read or write. So, for children in this age range, most of the main types of test questions listed above won’t be an effective measure of their progress. The good type of test for young children in this range are simple question and answer tests. You have a list of questions with simple, one word answers to test your child’s knowledge of these questions. You can make a quick and easy homeschooling test for your child out of virtually any children’s book that you read to them. It is common to read and re-read a child’s book several times, so you will have several opportunities to administer this test.
The same question and answer testing can be applied for other types of topics, like math, telling time, social lessons, spanish, and monetary value. Telling time is a good example of a question and answer test that would benefit from visual aids. So, when it comes to homeschooling tests for children ages 3-6, consider question and answer tests, and visual aids when appropriate.
Home School Tests for Children, Ages 6-12
At this stage, children are generally able to read and write, so when this happens for your child, your testing can take the written form. Multiple choice and true or false tests for you kids would generally be good for this age, since the questions are still fairly straightforward and can be used to test a child’s ability to reason and determine an answer with certainty. From the time that the child can write complete sentences, short answer questions can be used sparingly. As they age and develop their writing skills, more short answer questions can be introduced into the mix of test questions given.
Home School Testing for Children, Age 13-18
At this age, a heavy majority of their test questions can be short answer, only using multiple choice or true false testing when appropriate to the subject matter. Essay questions can be introduced at the time when your child can form complete paragraphs. Similar to the way that short answer questions were introduced sparingly when the child could form complete sentences, essay questions should be used sparingly at the time when they can form complete paragraphs. Here is a reliable test structure for children who have reached an age where they can answer essay questions.
- a small portion of true false and multiple choice questions to test basic concepts of the subject matter
- a moderate portion of short answer questions to test their understanding of slightly more intricate aspects of the subject matter
- an essay question or two to test their understanding of the most advanced concepts of their subject matter.