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Sitting in on your child's test session

I’m happy to have parents sit in on testing sessions. I think it often helps you to see where a child might still be struggling or which kinds of questions are challenging. A couple of points I need to make though:

  • You may sit in as an observer only. Please refrain from making remarks, giving prompts or rephrasing the question. There are certain ways the questions must be asked and a number of things I’m not allowed to say. If you have questions about this, we can discuss it during the scoring portion of our meeting.

  • Don’t indicate whether the child’s answer is correct or not, through your posture or nodding or any commentary.  I don’t want the child to be overly concerned with whether or not every answer is right, or to be nervous about your scrutiny of each answer given.

  • Please don’t make notes of any kind during the testing. If your child answers a question and you start scribbling something, it’s pretty obvious that the answer given was wrong. I’ll give you a listing of material (reading, spelling and math skills) showing where your child began to stumble. This will help direct a review of those skills, if you so choose. Please don’t write down questions from the test.

  • It’s best if you sit slightly behind your child as he/she faces the testing materials. As long as you’re out of the child’s peripheral range, it will be easier to forget that you’re there and not be distracted or self-conscious about being observed.

  • Please resist the temptation to review your child’s errors after the testing session. Its important that each child feel proud of their performance. Focusing on errors puts the whole experience in a negative light. You can review skills in the days and weeks ahead without it being directly tied to testing. Nothing sours an experience like having all of your mistakes pointed out to you.


Thank you for observing these guidelines. I know its hard to sit quietly through this process, but the test is designed to show what your child can do alone in a room, without prompts or reminders or redirection. There will always be a few items that escape a child when on the spot, as in a testing situation. This happens to all of us and isn’t anything to be overly concerned about.

Kim Jaworski, Homeschool Resource Specialist

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