School is finally out and my older children have taken their CAT, I must say that I am truly impressed. It is unfortunate that the education system has developed the model of learning to take tests instead of learning to increase knowledge. The CAT nonetheless provided a bit of clarity for us as parents into the realm of our children’s test taking ability and found both of my boys scored well above their academic grade levels. Unfortunately their high scores put me in a bit of a dilemma. My wife and I were considering changing their language arts and reading for an all in one curriculum, but given their high scores, we are not certain it would be a good idea. I am a true fan of CLE (Christian Light Education). My boys have CLE for Math, Language Arts, and Reading. In my opinion each of these courses have been well thought out and provide a tremendous opportunity for learning. My 10 year old has never enjoyed Math and for the first time, he is actually doing well and is half-way enjoying himself. The language arts has some lessons that are a bit lengthy, but the concepts that are covered are well explained and easy to implement. CLE reading is the easiest of the three, and is adequate when it comes to the level of comprehension required to complete the workbooks.
The Academic Excellence CAT offers a timed and non-timed version. We chose to administer the non-timed version. It seems any time we attempt to time them at something, there is more pushback and pressure than we would like. I understand there are deadlines and time limits for most things in life, but since we are not teaching them to be test takers, we did not want to approach it with a time limit in mind. For anyone concerned about homeschoolers taking standardized tests, it went well for us.