Looking for details on the homeschool testing requirements for North Carolina? I’ve got you covered! Today I’m sharing what you need to know about the standardized test requirements for NC homeschoolers and a resource that will keep the testing process from causing stress for you or your kids.
*This is a sponsored post; I received free access to Affordable Homeschool Testing Services for review purposes, but was not required to write a positive review. See my full disclosure statement here.*
North Carolina is considered to be a state with moderate homeschool regulation. All of that moderate regulation boils down to two main requirements: reporting attendance and administering a standardized test each year.
Most people don’t have a problem reporting attendance, but the homeschool testing requirement in North Carolina can be downright stressful for some families.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way! You’ve got lots of options when it comes to meeting those testing requirements; one of those is Affordable Homeschool Testing Services (AHTS), a seriously stress-free testing experience. Both of my kids did their testing through AHTS this year and it was great for all of us.
But before we get to that, here’s what you need to know about North Carolina homeschool testing and why it’s easier than you might think.
What to Know About North Carolina Homeschool Testing
The most important thing to keep in mind about North Carolina homeschool testing is that it’s required for any student enrolled in your homeschool. Meaning, if you list your child as a student in your homeschool, that child is required to take a standardized test each year.
That’s something to be aware of because compulsory age is seven years in North Carolina. You can certainly start homeschooling any time you wish, but an enrolled five year old, for example, is required to test just the same as an enrolled middle schooler.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind:
1. The Standardized Testing Requirement Is Intended to Help You
I’m not going to pretend I like sacrificing a week in my homeschool planner so that I can comply with my state homeschool requirements, but this sacrifice isn’t all bad.
In fact, the North Carolina standardized testing requirement is in place to ensure that homeschooling parents are paying attention to areas of growth and areas that need improvement.
“Annual testing allows parents to track their student’s progress and to identify areas of strength and weakness… The DNPE does not evaluate student progress through test scores and there is no minimal score which must be attained.”North Carolina Department of Nonpublic Education
So, while the testing isn’t usually convenient, it can be helpful. While it’s easy to assume this requirement exists as a way for the department to measure academic success or homeschooling in general, that’s not the case. It’s required so parents have the information needed to evaluate, make any needed changes, or to seek help if needed.
Also, this requirement is designed to help any parents who could potentially transition their children from homeschooling to enrollment in a private or public school. The testing is required for public and private school students also, which makes it easier for homeschoolers to enroll and be placed in those environments accordingly.
Bottom line: The test results are yours to use as you wish.
2. The Department of NonPublic Education Doesn’t Require Copies of Test Results
While it’s required to keep records of all standardized test results, most North Carolina homeschoolers will never share those results with the DNPE.
You are never required to report any results or file them with the department unless they contact you. Even then, you would only be asked to provide copies of the standardized test results if you’re being audited or investigated because of a complaint.
I had a voluntary interview with a DNPE representative last spring where I was asked to bring our test results for the year. I showed the results when she asked, but she glanced at nothing more than the date.
Once she logged our testing date, I asked if she needed to see the rest. She quickly informed me that she was only looking at our test date. She wasn’t there to discuss the results at all, only verify our compliance.
Bottom line: the department isn’t interested in your child’s scores.
3. You Have Lots of Testing Options
One helpful thing to keep in mind is that there are lots of ways you can meet the homeschool testing requirements for North Carolina. The main requirement is to administer a nationally standardized test that assesses achievement in the following areas:
That means you can test with co-op groups, hired proctors, or online homeschool testing. You also have the option of administering the test yourself if your chosen test publisher allows it.
Additionally, you can schedule your testing at a time that works well for your family rhythms and routine. You can test in spring this year, but schedule your testing in the summer next year if you prefer. You can literally test at any time during the calendar year; the point is to test every year.
Bottom line: there are many ways to satisfy the homeschool testing requirement. You have the freedom to pick what works best from year to year.
Affordable Homeschool Testing Services: Our Favorite Option for Standardized Testing
We’ve used several standardized testing services in past years and had decent experiences, but they were nothing more than a way to satisfy this North Carolina homeschool regulation.
The tests my kids took in the past were ideal for public or private school students: timed segments, questions better suited to spiral learning, and results that were more helpful for determining a school’s overall success rather than serving the individuals who tested. Our experience with Affordable Homeschool Testing Services was surprisingly different.
Both of my kids did their testing through AHTS this year and it was such a refreshing change. They offer NWEA MAP Growth Testing Services, a new test for us, and we loved this experience!
If you’re not sure where to turn for your North Carolina homeschool testing, here’s why I recommend Affordable Homeschool Testing Services:
- You know all those Mom, what grade am I in? homeschool jokes?
MAP Growth Assessment adjusts to your child’s ability while in progress, meaning it’s okay if you’re a homeschool family that lives within fuzzy grade level labels (like working two grades ahead in one subject, on level in some, and then a little behind in another).
- MAP Growth Assessment focuses on your kid, not everyone else’s. Since the test adjusts to your child’s abilities, you’re not at a disadvantage if you introduce specific skills or concepts at different times than most schools.
- No time limits! Tests usually take an hour or a little more, but this is untimed, which relieves lots of pressure for everyone involved!
- Breaks are allowed. It’s really fine if your kiddo needs to use the restroom or simply needs to get up and stretch in the middle of the test.
- Testing happens one subject at a time over the course of a few days, which amounts to a little more than an hour a day per child. We’re used to being done by noon, so testing didn’t interrupt our days at all.
- Detailed results. What I love the most about this test is that it’s more than just numbers. Sure, I received the percentile information, lexile ranges, and all the expected data for my kids, but it also comes with clear suggestions that identify areas that need reinforcement and skills that need to be introduced or developed further.
- There’s tons of information to help you understand the results and put them to work in your homeschool. This is incredibly helpful for defining learning goals for each child!
Get Connected with AHTS
You can schedule your MAP Growth Assessment by heading to Affordable Homeschool Testing’s website. You’ll also find what to expect, details on MAP Growth, and information for testing special needs and gifted students.
You can also enter the giveaway widget below to win testing services for your entire family this year! Keep in mind that the giveaway is only valid for USA residents since Affordable Homeschool Testing cannot serve families outside the USA.
In closing, I absolutely invite you to try NWEA MAP Growth Testing Services through AHTS for your next round of homeschool testing. Our experience with Affordable Homeschool Testing Services has been a gamechanger in many ways and has made stressful (and pointless) homeschool testing a thing of the past!