Tips for Standardized Testing for Your Homeschooled Child With ADHD... And an Online Homeschool Testing Resource That Will Help

I have to admit that I’m not a fan of standardized tests. When I taught in a traditional school, I saw the negative impact that standardized tests could have. Kids would be stressed and overwhelmed. They took away from valuable teaching time. Teachers were teaching to the test instead of teaching what kids needed to learn. Teachers and administrators sometimes had a unfair, negative view of kids’ abilities after seeing the results of a single standardized test.

Online homeschool testing

Because of my views on testing, my homeschooled kids have rarely had any experience with standardized tests. They aren’t required in our state. My oldest two each went in first grade to our church’s Christian school to take standardized tests. But when I had four children to potentially arrange testing for, I just didn’t think it was worth the hassle. And, honestly, I didn’t feel as if I needed the results of a standardized test to know how my kids were doing with their schoolwork.

As my two oldest neared the end of high school, however, I discovered one flaw in my no-standardized-tests plan. To get into college and qualify for scholarships, my kids needed to take the SAT or ACT. And this seemed to them like a huge ordeal…because they didn’t have any- or very little- experience with standardized tests.

My oldest daughter was overwhelmed, but, with SAT practice sites, she managed to take the tests and do fairly well. My son opted not to take the tests at all. He’s at a community college where they weren’t required. But I wanted to do things differently for my younger kids who have just started high school. I wanted them to have some exposure to standardized testing before the need to take the SAT or ACT.

This isn’t always easy for homeschoolers, though. Do I go through the school district? Do I try to find a Christian or private school that they can test with? And for my middle daughter- who struggles with ADHD- how is testing going to work for her?

Thankfully, we have had the opportunity to try out a service that was perfect for us. Through this service- and the tips I’m including here- my daughter with ADHD was able to take a standardized test and begin to get a taste of what they are like. This service was perfect for us, and I hope to use it again to give my girls practice and preparation with standardized testing before they need to take the tests for college admission.

Disclosure: I received free services and compensation for this post. All opinions are always my own.

We received free NWEA MAP Growth Testing Services through Affordable Homeschool Testing Services. Here are some tips that got my daughter with ADHD through testing and the reasons why this service was perfect for her.

Tips for Standardized Homeschool Testing For Your Child With ADHD

Know the laws about accommodations.

There are some accommodations that kids with ADHD can get when taking standardized tests, including the SAT and ACT. If you think your child will qualify, you can talk to your child’s doctor or call your local school district. Our school district will provide testing and even an IEP for homeschooled students, so this is a great option if you think your child needs accommodations.

We did learn that you need to have all of this ahead of time, however. If you think your child will need accommodations, it’s best to begin looking at that far in advance.

Prepare your child.

Make sure that your child knows what to expect about how the test will work. This will give her an idea of what will be expected during the test. How long will it take? Will she have to sit and take the test without any interruption? Can she get up and down while the test is going on? What is she allowed to have or not have while testing is going on? Can she hold something to fidget?

The testing we were able to do with the Affordable Homeschool Testing Services was perfect for this because they sent an email with a sample/preview of what the actual test was going to be like, and my daughter was able to see exactly how it was set up and how testing would work.

Minimize distractions.

This is a standard recommendation, I know, for any child with ADHD. But it was especially important for testing. This is one of the reasons that accommodations may be necessary- because taking a test in a classroom with a large number of other people and all the noises and movement that go along with that can be too much for a child with ADHD to handle.

The testing from the Affordable Homeschool Testing Services is done online. My daughter was able to sit at her computer with earbuds in. This helped her to be able to solely focus on the test and not so much on what was going on around her.

Online homeschool testing

Online Homeschool Testing With Affordable Homeschool Testing Services

My girls took the NWEA MAP Growth assessment. This is an online test that adjusts to the child’s performance as they proceed through the test. This means that even if your child is performing above or below grade level, the test will be able to measure their performance.

I signed the girls up for the test, which has two parts- reading and math. They took the tests on a Monday and Tuesday of the week. The tests are not timed, so kids can take as little or as long as they need. My girls took between an hour and a half to two hours on the tests.

Before our testing dates, we received an email with instructions as well as a place for the kids to login and see what the test would look like and do some practice problems. This was helpful because it allowed them to see the setup. There were instructions for me as well, informing me how to start the tests and what kind of help was and was not allowed during testing.

To begin the tests each day there was a phone number to call. We were then remotely logged in. As I mentioned, the tests are untimed. Kids can also take breaks throughout the test as needed. If they were away from the computer for more than fifteen minutes, they would be logged out, and we would need to call the number again to get logged back in. My girls didn’t need more than a stretching break here and there, but I loved that we had the option for a longer break if needed.

Because we were testing at home, the girls were more relaxed. They were in a familiar environment. They were able to move freely and fidget when necessary. I was able to limit distractions because they each worked at their own computer with earbuds. (The testing can be taken on a laptop, iPad, or Chromebook.)

I was curious about whether or not I would actually get results that made sense to me. I know from experience that standardized test results aren’t always straightforward, and I had never given the MAP Growth assessment before. I didn’t need to worry, however. On Friday after the testing, I received detailed reports for each child. They gave me the percentile level and grade level of each child on each test as well as suggestions for growth and improvement.

If you’re looking for a way to introduce your children to standardized testing, if you want to get a big picture look at what they know and where to go from there, if your state requires standardized testing, Affordable Homeschool Testing Services is the way to go. Why?

~ It really is affordable which is important- especially when you’re testing more than one child.
~ It’s testing done in the comfort of home, which means the kids- and you- are less-stressed.
~ It’s very simple. It was super easy to register and then to get logged in on each testing day.
~ You’ll get results that really mean something. With the detailed report you get on the Friday after testing is complete, you’ll be able to really have a good understanding of where your kids are performing and what you need to do next.

You can register your children for the NWEA MAP Growth Testing Services here. 

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