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Homeschooling: Determining Each Child's Current Education Level

The idea here is to get a relative baseline of where your child stands in terms of grade year. This will help you determine the topics you need to teach and the resources you will use to teach those topics; because teaching materials are rated by grade, such as first grade, second grade, and so on, it's important that you know what your students' grade levels are. Figuring this out depends on how old your children are and if they are currently involved in an institutional school.

If your children are just starting their education, this task is relatively easy – your target grade level will be kindergarten. However, you need to take into account if your child can already read by the time you start your homeschool program. If a child can read relatively well, you will most likely want to consider that child as being ready for first-grade level materials when you start.

If your children are already in school, determining their relative grade levels is also easy because you know the grade level they completed most recently. However, you really shouldn't stop there. To have the best understanding of their actual grade levels, you should administer a standardized test. This will give you a better idea of your child's actual education level because the results of this test will tell you if your child is ahead of or behind the norms for his current grade level. This information will help you know if your child is ready to advance to the next grade or needs more work at the current grade level.

When Does School Start?

For people who decide to homeschool their kids from the beginning, it can be difficult to decide when to start a formal homeschool program. In reality, you can start as early as you'd like (see the next paragraph). However, most people start at the age when children would start attending kindergarten in their state; this is usually at 5 or 6 years old.

Homeschool actually starts as soon as you begin reading to your children. Studies show that children whose parents read to them frequently when they are very young will learn to read earlier than those who aren't read to as much. In the years when your child is an infant and toddler, read to them as much as possible. Think of this as homeschool preparatory work....

Reproduced from Absolute Beginner's Guide to Homeschooling, by Brad Miser, by permission of Pearson Education. Copyright © 2005 by Que Publishing. Please visit http://www.informit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0789732777 to order your own copy.


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