Q: My son is 7 and doing work at the
4th/5th grade level right now. I haven't had him tested for the mandatory
3rd gr. testing yet, as he isn't school aged. Should I test him next year
at 3rd or 5th, or wait till he is the age of the avg. 5th grader? Thanks
for the help!
My advice would be to look carefully at the
purpose of the testing. If the purpose of the testing is to fulfill the
homeschooling law, I would test him at age level next year. He'll max
out in the 90+ percentile (just like my kids and many other hs kids I
know do), and you'll have a tool to help make sure your district doesn't
harass you about anything.
If you actually want information from the
testing, you need to carefully look at your testing options and decide
what you want to learn, and choose a test that will help with that.
To de-mystify the tests, take a look at some
of the "prepare your child for the test" materials, such as the Scoring
High series or the Spectrum test-prep workbooks. You may find that these
multiple-choice tests will not tell you anything you don't already know.
Having been down this path before, I
recommend that you tell your child he is in the age-appropriate grade,
and not make a big deal about being "ahead". This will help him socially
-- he will be able to answer that "what grade are you in" question
without sounding arrogant.
So what grade do you put him in? I've found
that grade level is not particularly important for homeschoolers until high
school. Students can work on "above grade level" material while still being officially in their age-appropriate grade. At age 11 or so you can begin to look at the high school
choices available to you; you may wish to have your student begin earning high school
credits early. Until then, continue to choose ability-appropriate
materials and don't sweat the grade thing.
You may find the TAGMAX e-group useful - it's
for homeschooling gifted kids, and this type of question comes up all
the time. Find the details