Where to assess homeschooler progress
First of all, let's get this out of the way - I'm not compensated or an affiliate of Varsity Learning tools. It's another one of those awesome tools I've tried and believe that you will benefit from it.
There are questions that constantly bugs any homeschool parent they are:
- Is my child progressing as he/she should?
- How well are they performing according to school and Varsity standards?
- Will they be able to go to Varsity?
- If I don't know the answers to difficult questions, how will I teach them?
At the end of this post are screenshots to help familiarize yourself with the program before you go there, just to be sure you know what to do.
In a hurry? I want to share a free educational resource with you called Varsity Learning Tools.
There are currently over 75000 professionally written problems and thousands of distinct practice tests for over 150 subjects.
This includes subjects like history, math, foreign languages, and science for all experience levels. There are also practice tests and problems for common standardized tests like the ACT, SAT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, ISEE, and SSAT.
To date, students have completed more than 40 million problems on the Varsity Learning Tools platform.
Each question is tied to a specific academic concept, which means your students can pinpoint their particular strengths and weaknesses in almost any area.
The Varsity Learning Tools platform also includes free digital classroom assessment software that you may find useful:
Let's handle each of these questions individualy
1. Is my child progressing as he/she should?
We teach, we test, we teach, we test......
What can be wrong with this picture?
We know what we taught them and we know their level of understanding, therefore the questions we ask are similar to the level of teaching.
What if the standard is not high enough, how will you know?
The best way to find out is to have them tested by someone else.
But how can you have them tested if you homeschool?
This is one of the reasons why I love the internet so much. You can do everything online these days, which make homeschooling allot easier than I think it was 15 years ago.
From the comfort of your own home, you can have them tested and receive the results immediately.
This is where Varsity Learning Tools is a resource to seriously consider.
2. How well are they performing according to school and varsity standards?
If your child is not even in Grade 6 yet, how will you know if he/she is performing according to regular school standards?
Again, testing them on what you taught them will give great results, because they know what you taught them, but is it according to standards?
Great news, at Varsity Learning Tools it's not just about Varsity.
You can test subjects like math or English even at kindergarten levels.
3. Will they be able to go to Varsity?
This depends on their level of education and there is one way to know for sure.
Once again, trying out this free learning program to test your child will help you know for sure.
4. If I don't know the answers to difficult questions, how will I teach them?
Even here, Varsity Learning Tools is an excellent option, because of the following 2 reasons:
1. Immediate test results:
When they do the test, they (and you) immediately receive the results.
Included in these results are the answers.
If you didn't know the answer either, even you can use this as a learning experience.
2. Hire a tutor:
The tutors are highly educated and have attended:
- Harvard Law School,
- Columbia Teachers College,
- UPenn School of Medicine,
- and many more top institutions.
You know that private tutoring is more effective than classroom or group learning, that is why your homeschooling, right?
WHY YOU SHOULD TRY VARSITY TUTOR'S PRIVATE TUTORS:
- Teaching style is tailored to the needs of each student
- One-on-one tutoring sessions are more engaging
- Quick feedback enables you to learn more effectively and avoid frustration
- Detailed session notes by your tutor shows you where you stand and what is needed to improve
How to use Varsity Tutors to assess homeschooler progress
First of all, you have to create an account.
This is free and you are under no obligation. This is to be able to use the learning tools.
Click on create a test:
Or if you want, you can click on take a test to go through ready made tests.
After you clicked on create a test, you have to put in a name for your test:
This can be anything for you to identify it by, eg. GR6 (or anything relevant to the test you want to create)
The subject line is optional, if you click on it and type math (for example) a drop down will appear and you can choose according to what you want to create the test for. But I would leave this open.
Click on create a problem set.
4. On the next screen you can choose to add questions
If you want to use your own questions, you can type them into the question body with your correct answer as well as incorrect answers. At the end you can add an explanation of the correct answer:
If you want to use already set up questions, which is the method I prefer, because Like I said in the beginning, testing for things you taught can have open gaps in things you did not think of:
For this, click on Question Library and you will get the following screen:
When you click on the drop down at select subject, you see a whole lot of subjects and tests you can create.
The example below are just a few:
Choose the subject you want to create a test for and click on search. This opens a whole lot of questions for you to choose from:
Now you can click on the eye to take a look at the question and answers or you can click on the + to add the question to your test.
When you have all the questions you want for the test, you click on the "I'm done, return to dashboard" button.
Now you can call your student to come take the test or choose any of the other buttons according to what you want to do:
The test is in monkey puzzle form where they choose the correct answer, see example below.
The time they take to answer the question is also "running"
When they are finished, they receive a report explaining everything. Below this summary, you can see the correct vs. incorrect ratio, time per question, performance per question as well as answers and explanations of the questions your students got wrong.
Test it for yourself
Just in case you missed the link, you can click on the link below to go create your tests:
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Must haves for homeschool
I was busy with this post when I received the linkup for IHomeschool network and thought that this is something perfect to share.
If you would like some more helpful information on homeschool must haves, you can go to the linkup (by clicking on the picture below) and find allot of helpful articles: