Math! A dreaded subject. Indeed, both parents and teachers sometimes have “math anxiety” when teaching the subject. Some may be due to uncertainty about where a student performs in math. After all, we never want to present material that is so frustrating and overwhelming. However, material that is too easy can be demeaning or simply just boring. In either case, loss of instructional time and a decrease in a child’s self-confidence and motivation can result when the math instruction doesn’t fit.
Why Use A Math Assessment Test
Homeschooled children typically test less than traditional school children. In fact, some states do not require homeschoolers to test at all. Check your state’s homeschooling laws to determine its standardized testing requirements.
Regardless of standardized testing requirements, you may need a math assessment to decide where to start. A homeschool math placement test may be the way to go.
Math Grade Level Placement Tests
What math is on a math placement test? Math placement tests cover a range of topics across levels of difficulty. Typically, they offer questions spanning several grade levels. Some will be on topics your child has never been exposed to. Your child cannot fail a math placement test because the point is only to determine where your child is performing. Your child takes the test knowing the questions will be too easy and too hard. Then the test is scored to determine “placement.” The result is better information for you to choose where your child is starting and what to do to help your child succeed in math.
|Free Math Grade Level Placement Tests|
|Math Level Assessment Resources|
*This post contains affiliate links. Items purchased through our links may earn us a commission.
Math Level Assessments At Home
You can assess your child’s math levels at home in several ways. Here are a few types of math assessments for your homeschool:
- Diagnostic Assessment: This is a pre-test you give your child before learning a topic. Diagnostic assessments capture strengths, challenges, prior knowledge, misconceptions, and skill levels. This could be a formal pre-test. However, in your homeschool, this can take the form of brainstorming or trying a few sample problems.
- Formative Performance-Based Assessment: You may want to know whether your child understands the current instruction. In formative performance-based assessment, you ask your child to do exactly the task to be measured. Things such as weighing and measuring objects, constructing an example to prove a math concept, making change, etc. You can observe, take notes, and score the accuracy for that particular type of problem. Then you can determine whether or not to move on to the next topic.
- Rubric Assessment: Rubrics are good for grading “hard-to-grade” assignments. Things like artwork and projects. In math, rubrics can involve observing your child’s use of mathematical reasoning to solve problems. In fact, a rubric can help you determine your child’s ability to identify the proper operation, perform calculations, follow procedure steps, and self-check.
- Summative Assessment: Want to know whether your child has mastered all the problems in a particular lesson or unit? You can design (or find) a summative assessment that will measure the extent of that mastery.
- Authentic Assessment: This assessment measures real mathematics mastery in a specific application type. In your homeschool, this could be done in many ways. You might give your child a unit rate problem at the grocery store. Or a measurement problem as you prepare to buy a carpet for your living room. Then watch them work it out.
Free Math Grade Level Placement Tests
Sometimes, you want something designed to show you where your child is concerning a particular curriculum or grade level. Fortunately, there are some free math placement tests out there that can help you both assess your child’s math performance and target specific skill areas.
Here are some resources to get you started:
- Assessment Test Resources | Internet4Classrooms: You can find links to practice tests for grades 1-8, end-of-course, and gateway tests for high school math.
- Free Math Placement Test | Learn Math Fast: Use the online version as a homeschool math placement test and receive instant results or print the test and answers to keep test results confidential.
- Mathematics Assessment Project: This is a collection of formative and summative lessons, tasks, tests, and rubrics.
- Mathematics Assessment Supplement | National Center on Intensive Intervention: Browse this collection of worksheets, teacher instructions, and answer keys that you can use to determine your child’s levels of performance in counting, basic facts, place value concepts, whole number computation, and fractions as numbers.
- Math Mammoth Placement Tests: Free diagnostic end-of-the-year tests to determine where your child has gaps in math. These are useful from grade 1 to pre-algebra.
- Math Rubrics | Exemplars: Assessment rubrics for you to use to evaluate your child’s math performance and student rubrics for your child to use to self-assess.
- Math Year-End Tests and Assessments | K-5 Learning: Included here are publicly-released state math year-end tests for grades 1-5.
- Singapore Math Placement Tests: Use these free math placement tests for your elementary homeschooler to help determine a relative grade level for math.
Math Level Assessment Resources
Here are some other math placement tools and resources to help you determine your child’s math levels:
- Assessment and Rubrics | Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything: This is a collection of resources on assessment and rubrics for all kinds of subjects. Additionally, you may find something—like an existing rubric or rubric builder—that you can use as a homeschool math assessment test for your child.
- Easy TestMaker: Make your own formative or summative assessments to determine how your child is doing in math. The basic program is free, but you can upgrade for more features.
- Resource Guide for All Types of Homeschool Testing | Homeschool.com: Find out about homeschool placement testing, diagnostic testing for learning disabilities, IQ testing, standardized testing, and more.
- State Testing | EDinformatics: This is a collection of past standardized tests from each state. Some are just sample questions, while others are partial or full tests. You can also use these to help determine your child’s mathematics proficiency.
Math Assessment Test Follow Up
So, you have determined the math level of your homeschooler… Next, you need to find a quality math curriculum that fits your homeschool budget and your family’s needs. You also want to continue monitoring your child’s performance in math and make adjustments when necessary. Here are a few resources you can explore to find math curriculums and help fine-tune your instruction:
- Curriculum Finder Tool | Homeschool.com: Search through this extensive collection of homeschool curriculums by choosing your homeschooler’s grade level, the subject area you need (e.g., math), the category (e.g., faith-based, non-faith-based, special needs), and format (e.g., books, online curriculum).
- Online Homeschool Math Curriculum | Time4Learning: Time4Learning’s pre-K to grade 12 curriculum allows you to move flexibly through grade levels to assess your child’s current math performance continuously, adjust for gaps in learning, and accelerate when possible. In addition, your student can work at a different grade level for each subject, and you can change at any time, as often as you like.
Indeed, teaching math can be overwhelming because you know it is important, and you may not know what skills and strategies your child has mastered. Hopefully, these resources will help you get your math instruction on track, so your child can succeed and be confident!
Additional Homeschool Resources
5 Effective Resources for Middle School Math
Homeschool Help For High School Math
How to Help Your Child Tackle Math Anxiety