Mom-to-Mom Support/Are midterms and finals required for 7th and 8th graders?

Are midterms and finals required for 7th and 8th graders?

Preteen girl studying for a test


Do you recommend midterms and finals for 7th & 8th graders? I prepared my own midterms for my 7th grader for religion, grammar and history from the CHC textbooks. It was a lot of work, but before I do the same process for the end of the year—should I even be doing this for his grade level? This is my first year homeschooling and he is my oldest so I am unfamiliar with what is customary. I’m pretty sure that in the Catholic school we used to attend, the 7th & 8th graders were given midterms and finals but I’m not aware if this is customary for all schools—Catholic or public. Are midterms/finals that the students take in high school enough preparation for college work? My state of NJ requires nothing—I have been doing all my testing on my own just out of concern for “doing the right thing” for my son for the long term. My main concern is on testing for college, like the SAT’s, will he be required to know exact dates and events for which studying/testing is the only way to prepare? I guess my overall fear is that while, yes, we’re learning and having fun – will it be all forgotten without rigorous review & testing? Thanks again for any thoughts you might have.

Also, were you yourself homeschooled until college & how did you fare on SAT’s/college admissions? (Unfortunately I have no local Catholic homeschool support. I don’t personally know anyone who has homeschooled through high school in my area).

Dear Parent,

Thank you for your question!

The main reason that teachers give midterms and finals is to assess their students’ knowledge on an individual basis. Because you are already teaching on an individual basis, you already have a really good idea as to what your child does and does not know. Ideally your student will be doing weekly assignments and tests that show what he/she is learning on a daily and weekly basis. Because of this fact, you do not need to worry about midterms and finals to test your students’ knowledge if you already know what that is. It does depend on the school, but some high schools don’t give midterms and finals.

Remember that what is learned now is foundational to high school and then to college; the student doesn’t have to master everything in seventh grade, but simply needs to get the foundation. Subjects are presented in a spiral fashion throughout the grades. That is, more and more information is gradually added to the knowledge bank. This won’t be the last year that your son will see those topics. Even if he forgets a little, you can be sure that it will be re-taught in high school.

However, occasional testing, particularly in science and history, is useful to the extent that students learn how to study for tests. This is why CHC includes tests in science from 5th grade on up. My suggestion would be to teach the student how to study for a chapter test, first by telling him exactly which material will be on the test and then helping him prep by oral quizzing, so he can see what he knows and doesn’t know. Give him about a week to study, then test. [Don’t grade the test, but rather let it be a trial of how well he is learning to study.] His score will then reveal to him whether or not he is studying enough. You can teach him various study tools that will help him prepare for the tests, such as the use of index cards, highlighting important material, outlining, taking notes, etc.

When it is time to prepare for the SAT’s, you can use a SAT prep program with your son. You can do this online or check out books at the library that will give you an idea of what is required on the SAT. Your son can also take the pre-SAT, which will give him an idea of how well he might do on the SAT. The SAT doesn’t ask for factual questions except in the Math section.

The average SAT score amongst homeschooled students is high. They have a very high success rate. I was homeschooled through high school and did well enough to receive a full tuition scholarship to a local college, but turned it down to attend Franciscan University. Homeschoolers across the country are regularly being accepted into Ivy League schools. Have confidence that you are your child’s best teacher!

God bless you and your family!
Laura Corrigan

About Laura Corrigan

Laura Corrigan is a mother of five. She was homeschooled through high school and received her teaching certificate from the Franciscan University of Steubenville. She has also homeschooled her own children.