If you have ever sat there wondering if it would be beneficial for your child to undergo psychoeducational testing for giftedness, you are not alone. Common sense seems to say that as a homeschooler you should just work at the right level for the kid anyway so what difference will testing make?
It can make a big difference.
Let me share a little story. A few years ago I had my two older kids go through psychoeducational testing with an educational psychologist who came to our home. As a parent who had no real exposure to giftedness, I had no idea what to expect. One child seemed like he might be gifted and I thought the other one might be twice exceptional or possibly very mildly gifted. As someone who used to do testing for speech and language difficulties, I am aware how helpful a trained eye and an impartial test can be to help sort out what is going on.
I wanted information; information that would help me figure out how to best educate my kids. My first year homeschooling was a wake-up call that told me I really didn’t know what I was doing.
As the examiner began to go over the testing results, I was quite shocked. I had been around my kids since they were born and here was someone who gave me great insight into how they think and how I could best educate them.
For one child, the testing gave me confidence that I could give him work at a high level. I no longer doubted myself. I also learned that my child’s thinking and learning style were different than what I had previously thought. Let me just say how helpful it was to know that!
The testing results for the other child ended up totally changing how I am homeschooling him. He had always been such a puzzle to me. Imagine my surprise when he had a “classic” profile for a certain type of learner. I learned that I had not been challenging him enough. I learned that I needed to approach things differently. I questioned whether he was gifted at all and found out that he was far from being mildly gifted. I learned so much from those tests and the time spent talking with the examiner. Testing saved me from more years of puzzlement. It helped me change direction in how I homeschool him. Not only did testing help me better understand and appreciate how he thinks, but it also helped me know my child more.
If you can do educational testing, do it. If you wonder about learning disabilities, giftedness, or just want to know how your kid learns best, the testing can be helpful.
It can be expensive, but call around. I found a guy who was willing to work with us on a price and payments. He wasn’t into it for the money, but he really wanted to help the gifted population. I asked about his opinion of homeschooling before deciding to go with him. I didn’t want someone negative to homeschooling who would just recommend a school placement no matter what the results. He said that he wasn’t against homeschooling, but pro the best placement for the child. After testing he recommended that we continue homeschooling.
Educational testing was beneficial for us. Maybe it will be for you too. If you have done psychoeducational testing for your child, leave us a note in the comment section. Was it helpful for your family?