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Do Homeschoolers Have to take Standardized Tests?

Instructor: Jesse Card
Are you considering homeschooling but are not sure whether, or how often, you need to test your child? Read on to learn more about student evaluation requirements in some states and discover resources that can help you determine if your child must take standardized tests.

Standardized Testing Requirements for Homeschoolers

The answer to the question of whether or not your child must take standardized tests depends on where you live. As of yet, there is no national standard for the evaluation of homeschooled students. If you live in Utah, for example, no testing or proof of student achievement is required. However, if you live in New York, you must test your child annually. Still other states, like Florida, offer standardized testing as one of several alternatives for assessing student progress.

Researching Testing Requirements

Tracking down the requirements for your state can be a little onerous. Luckily, a quick internet search for your state education department and/or school district websites can provide answers to your questions about standardized testing requirements.

Homeschooling advocacy organizations for your state, such as the Texas Home School Coalition or the New Hampshire Homeschooling Coalition, can also provide you with plenty of useful information and community forums to help your search.

The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has copious information about homeschooling laws on its website as well. You'll find pages describing the requirements for attendance, assessments, curricula, and notices of intent for every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.

A Note on Jurisdiction

As stated on the HSLDA website, the state governing your homeschooling requirements is determined by where you live. If you live in one state but are a legal resident of or pay property taxes in another, it is the state in which you reside that counts. If you're unsure which state's standards you must follow, contact the related state education departments for a determination.

Helping Your Child Prepare

States with testing requirements for homeschooled students typically allow parents to use one of several nationally normed exams. These can include exams aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that have been adopted, to varying degrees, in most states, such as the Florida State Assessments. College admissions and high school equivalency exams, including the ACT, SAT, PSAT, and GED, have also been approved to meet testing requirements in some states.

To help your child prepare for these tests, Study.com offers courses that can be used to augment your home instruction. Each lesson is centered around a short video containing fun graphics and entertaining anecdotes to keep your child engaged. You can also check comprehension with the lesson quizzes, chapter tests, and course exams. Click on the links above to access these resources.

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