With the convenience of online testing and the ability for parents to test at home, one may wonder why anyone would test at a test center. Here’s some background as to why choosing a test center may still be a good option.
In years past, most testing was done at test centers. Parents were not allowed to administer tests to their own children, and only someone with a 4-year college degree could become approved to administer to others. Test Center Coordinators worked to find approved administrators so that parents did not have to find someone on their own. During this time, the two or three days of testing actually became one of the highlights of the school year for many homeschool families.
What did they look forward to so much? Community. The test centers had a built-in sense of camaraderie. Moms connected with each other, discussing things like curriculum choices, learning styles, and organization tips. They encouraged one another through casual conversations about child-training, marriage, and more. Those moms knew they were not alone in the homeschooling adventure, and it helped many of them to stay the course. The children were of course excited to connect with their friends every year.
The test center atmosphere was also a nice change of pace from regular academics and the routines at home. At many centers, moms would bring snacks to share with everyone during breaks. Often, groups would lunch together at a park or a restaurant with an indoor playground at the end of each day of testing. Some even had a cookie or pizza party at the end of the week!
Not every test center is the same, but they all share the sense of working together for the good of the community. Other benefits include becoming familiar with group testing in preparation for college entrance exams later, learning to follow directions given by another “teacher,” and being considerate of others during quiet test periods. But being part of a group of like-minded people is the best. You may be surprised at how much good it can do for you and for others.