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Embrace The Test
Volume 114, Program 56
Originally Aired: Monday, April 5th, 2010
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Please note: today’s interview is a rerun that first aired on April 5th, 2010.

Few of us probably remember tests in school with much pleasure. So if your student is struggling, you may be tempted to skip testing. But this week on Home School Heartbeat, host Mike Farris and his guest HSLDA Special Needs Coordinator Faith Berens will examine why that might not be the best plan for your child.

Mike Farris:
This week, HSLDA Special Needs Coordinator Faith Berens joins me on the program. Faith, thanks so much for being here.

Faith Berens:
Hi Mike! I’m so happy to be here!

Faith, parents of struggling learners may cringe at the thought of testing their student. But there are times that assessments, I guess, can be a parent’s best friend. Would you explain why assessments may be helpful for struggling learners?

Sure! Assessment is simply measuring success and finding out if we’re on target. So they can be helpful to us as parent-teachers to track progress over time, reveal strengths and weaknesses in our children. They can also help to reveal if we need to adjust our teaching or modify our curricula. They also provide us for verification and protection for our homeschools.

The first step in teaching should always be to assess where our children are, take a look at their skills and their functioning levels. Next we plan and set goals based on those assessments. We need to make a plan specifically designed for our children as individuals. A plan just helps us get to where we want to be. Third, we instruct and guide our children by modeling and teaching them to be independent learners. And finally, we re-evaluate, find out what they’ve learned, what skills have they mastered, what do we need to re-teach, and then the cycle continues throughout the year.

Faith, thanks so much. I’m sure that was really helpful for our listeners. I’m Mike Farris.

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Homeschooling a struggling learner or a child with special needs? HSLDA’s Special Needs Coordinators provide answers about evaluations, IEPs, finding a consultant, and more. Request this free booklet.

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