finding the resources you need to be successful

How will I know where to start?

The best place to start is always at the beginning...
For each family though, that beginning place may be very different.

If your child has never been to a public or private school, you may already have a good idea where your child is academically. However, if you are coming to homeschool after your child has spent time in a public or private school, you may not be sure.

Here are some options available that may help you find the right beginning place for your child:

  1. Have your child take one of the many nationally normed exams.
    • Basic Achievement Skills Inventory (BASI) for grades 3–12
    • Brigance Diagnostic Inventories (Good for special needs children)
    • Yellow Brigance: birth to developmental age 7
    • Green Brigance: grade levels Pre-K through 9
    • California Achievement Test (CAT) – Version 5 or 6
    • Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills (CTBS)
    • Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS)
    • Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement (KTEA-II)
    • Stanford Achievement Test (Stanford-10 or SAT, not to be confused with the College Board SAT).
    • Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT) (Short but accurate; because of brevity, can be helpful for children with attention difficulties)
    • Woodcock-Johnson (Oral interaction/evaluation in addition to written work; must be administered by qualified tester, usually a psychologist or an education professional)
    • ***PASS test (Not a nationally normed exam)
  2. Utilize the free assessments available from the curriculum provider you are planning to use.
  3. If previously in a public or private school, speak with their teacher. Ask for their thoughts but also ask for work samples from the child’s year. Don't forget you have the legal right to receive copies of any assessments/diagnostic testing results the school may have. The school may legally have the right to charge you for making those copies.
  4. There are a few free online assessment websites available. While these may not provide the most accurate information, they could be used as a broad starting point.

Finally, you can also start at a lower level and use it as review to both clarify where your child may be academically but also to fill in any gaps you may be concerned about. You will notice, through their work and behavior, if your child is ready to move on or if you need to spend more time at the lower level.

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