Many homeschooling parents are concerned as to whether or not their children are working at the same grade level as their "public schooled" counterparts and want to know where and how they can have their children tested. If you are concerned about how your homeschooled children are doing academically - or are just curious - here are some options:
Grade 3, 6, 9 Assessments and the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (given in Grade 10)
As stated in Policy/Program Memorandum No. 131 homeschooled students can access the standardized assessments/tests that are given to students in the public school system which are administered by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO). Parents must contact their local school board for information about the dates, times and locations of these assessments/tests. There is no fee for homeschooling children to take these assessments/tests. The results will be sent by the EQAO to the school where the test was taken and the school, in turn, will send the results directly to the parents. These results will not be included in the school and board reports generated by the EQAO or by the schools and boards.
To view samples of the various assessments/tests, visit the EQAO website at: http://www.eqao.com
a) Sample Units for Grade 3 and 6 Assessments of Reading, Writing and Mathematics;
b) Sample Items for Assessment Preparation for Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics;
c) Example Test Booklet for the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test.
Canadian Test Centre (CTC) Educational Assessment Services
The CTC is a wholly Canadian-owned and operated educational assessment service and publisher. CTC has developed three nationally standardized tests: Canadian Achievement Tests (CAT), Canadian Test of Cognitive Skills (CTCS) and Canadian Achievement Survey Tests for Adults. These tests are used by schools and colleges across Canada.
On the website there is a specific link entitled "Information for Home- schoolers". Homeschooling parents can purchase the CAT and the CTCS tests to administer to their children.
The CAT (for grade placement between end of Grade 1 through to Grade 12) indicates how the child is doing in comparison with others at the same grade level across Canada and provides a profile of strengths and needs in reading, language, spelling, mathematics and writing.
The CTCS (for grade placement from mid Grade 2 through to Grade 12) compares the learning abilities or cognitive skills of the child with others at the same age and grade across Canada and assesses learning skills in sequences, analogies, memory and verbal reasoning.
Canadian Test Centre
85 Citizen Court, Suites 7 & 8
Markham, Ontario, L6G 1A8
Telephone: (905) 513-6636 or 1-800-668-1006
Fax: (905) 513-6639
There are consultants who provide testing among many other educational services. Please check in your local area to determine if a educational consultant is located near you. Here are two that I am aware of:
Wise Choice Educational Services
Provides services such as professional assessments, reading therapy and tutoring, teacher and parent training, and standardized testing.
Scholastic Testing Services
7047 Jura Line, R.R. #1
Forest, Ontario, N0N 1J0
Telephone: (519) 786-5838
Provides testing in the following areas: reading readiness, reading, spelling, language, mathematics, reference skills, diagnostic tests for learning gaps. The test is mailed to your home; the parent administers the test to their child following the instructions given; the parent returns the test(s) to be processed; a report with recommendations plus the test results will be mailed back to the parent.
Sylvan Learning Centres
Sylvan Learning Centres provide personalized instructional services to students of all ages and skill levels. Visit the website or call the toll-free number to find the location of a Sylvan Learning Centre near you. A Sylvan Learning Centre provides many services such as - personalized instruction, reading, writing and math programs, study skills and SAT prep programs, homework support and testing services.
The Turnbull School
This private school (Kindergarten to Grade 8) provides educational services such as tutoring, testing/educational assessments and summer programs through the Turnbull Learning Centre.
Nelson Thomson Learning
Thomson Nelson carries the Canadian Achievement Tests (CAT) and the Canadian Test of Basic Skills (CTBS). The CTBS can be given to the child by the parent who would then interpret the results. The CTBS is a comprehensive test of academic achievement and is a Canadian revision of the widely used U.S. Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS). The CTBS tests in the following areas: Reading, Language Skills and Math Concepts. The CTBS can be used for grade levels 3 to 12.
Please note that Thomson Nelson will not sell these tests to individual families. They would have to be purchased by a group such as a homeschooling support organization. For example, I was made aware of a support group in Eastern Ontario that purchases a quantity of these tests and they, in turn, sell them to their members at a small fee to cover the cost of purchasing this test.
There are a wide variety of curriculum packages available for the various grade levels. Most of these curriculum packages contain tests that the child can take to determine if they are competent in the material they have been working on. Please visit the OFTP website under the heading "Resources" for more information on the variety of curriculum that is available.
Some educational stores stock sample tests, along with other curriculum material, that a homeschooling parent can purchase and administer to their children. For example, there is an educational store in my area that carries prep tests for the Grade 3 and 6 assessments that are administered in the public schools on a yearly basis.
A variety of sample tests can be downloaded from the Internet.