June 18, 2024



Reading in the home school: What is the role of standardized testing?

Reading opens the door to a host of tools and adventures for every child. However, the value of reading is often evaluated professional astrologer for personal chart reading for the homeschooled child than it is for the traditionally-schooled child. Traditionally-schooled children are regularly tested on their reading ability because traditional teaching methods rely heavily on a child’s reading ability as a way for children to learn other subject matter. As a matter of fact, teaching reading is so important to the traditionally-schooled child that such children rarely achieve academic success without first mastering basic reading skills.

Early Reading Skills vs. Developmental Readiness

The reading picture has evolved somewhat differently for the homeschooled child. Homeschooled children have advantages that make the development of reading skills less pressing than they are for traditionally-schooled children. As a matter of fact, some homeschooling experts insist that there is no need to worry about forcing the development of reading skills in homeschooled children and that many homeschooled children don’t master reading until several years after the traditionally-schooled child. Many homeschooling educators believe that teaching reading is something that happens naturally.

The primary reason why homeschooled children may not require early mastery of reading skills is because they are taught in different ways than traditionally-schooled children. The traditionally-schooled child must adhere to a set standard designed to ensure that all children develop at the relatively same pace. Teaching dozens of children the same material requires that those children be at the same basic level of preparation. A public school teacher faced with teaching ten, twenty, or even thirty children at varying learning stages is likely to be unsuccessful at such an endeavor. Ensuring that children learn certain skills by a certain age simply makes teaching large groups of students more efficient.

Maria Montessori and Teaching Reading

The work of Maria Montessori changed the face of teaching reading and opened the door to a new homeschooling movement. Dr. Montessori uprooted traditional teaching theories by presenting research that children learn at varying rates and that hands-on activities enable children to learn better and more completely than traditional rote memorization teaching techniques. Her work in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s also proved that mixing multiple learning levels in the same classroom actually benefits children rather than hindering them. Children, regardless of age, learn from each other. Older children inadvertently teach younger children. And, younger children give older children the opportunity to learn by doing. However, because of the somewhat individualized teaching present within the Montessori classroom, employing this method within the public school environment is not always feasible. More about Dr. Montessori’s work can be found at www.montessori.edu.

Intentionally or unintentionally, homeschooling is rather Montessori-like in the practical application of homeschooling teaching methods. Like Maria Montessori’s theories, homeschooling emphasizes the individual learning style of the student over the need to teach certain skills by a certain age. The child who is a weak reader might be verbally advanced, and vice versa, meaning that the home school teaching partner plays on each child’s strengths to teach each individual child. This format is far easier to implement within the homeschooling environment than it is in the traditional school setting.