Homeschool Assessments

Homeschoolers often wonder how they will know if their children are learning what they should be learning and if they are progressing academically. If this is you, assessments may be the answer.

Placement Tests

You'll find many schools, curriculum publishers, and test development companies offering free comprehensive and subject-based placement tests. Although their tests are specifically designed to help parents place their children appropriately in their schools or to purchase level specific course materials, parents can use their tests to get an overview of where their children are academically. Placement tests can help parents evaluate what their children know, identify skills they haven't mastered, or confirm that they are ready to advance to the next level. See our General Placement Tests section for a list of free online and downloadable placement tests.

Standardized Tests

There are many reasons why parents do not want their children to participate in national or state standardized tests. In fact, many parents homeschool because of standardized tests. But there are also reasons parents do. One reason is because they have to. Some states require parents to have their children tested as condition to homeschooling. To see if your state requires standardized testing, take a look at our Homeschool Laws section. Students who receive state scholarships oftentimes have to participate in standardized testing as well.

Another reason parents have their children participate in standardized testing is for self-assurance. Some parents want to know that they're teaching in accordance with state and/or national standards and that their children are learning everything public schooled children are. Some school districts allow homeschoolers to participate in state standardized testing, so check with your local district if this is something you are interested in.

If your state allows you to administer standardized tests, or if you are interested in purchasing them for personal reasons, you'll find our Standardized Tests section helpful. It's a catalog of nationally normed, standardized test providers, test administrators, and websites designed to help students prepare for standardized tests. Many evaluators offer testing services as well, so you may want to browse our State Directory.

A Note About Test Anxiety

No matter how young or old children are, it's perfectly normal for them to be anxious before a test. Anxiety effects children (and adults) of all ages.1 Your child may be worried about doing poorly, concerned about taking too long, or mindful of a less than positive past test taking experience. A little anxiety can actually be helpful (stress-induced adrenaline can keep you on your toes2), but too much can be overwhelming.3

Test anxiety isn't something you can eliminate for your child, but it is something you can minimize. If your child is worried about doing poorly, tell your child that the test is testing you to make sure you're doing your job as a teacher. If your child is concerned about taking too long or not finishing in time, break the test up into multiple sessions or, if possible, avoid timed tests altogether. If your child has had negative test experiences in the past, assure your child that the results of the tests are only to help you plan and prepare future curriculum.

  • Sources:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • Published 20 May 2011
  • Updated 09 January 2022

We do not publish content that discriminates based on personal attributes such as age, gender, gender identity or expression, sex, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, national origin, family status, marital status, disability, or medical or genetic condition.

© 2022 All Rights Reserved.