At the beginning and end of each school year, you should perform assessment tests in at least the following subjects:
- Foreign Languages (if they are being studied)
By doing this, you will have a good idea of where your student is and how much he or she has improved over time. It will also help you to determine whether or not the curriculum level you are using is moving too fast or too slow.
There are some very nice reading assessment products available for consumers including The Blumenfield Oral Reading Assessment Test and the Comprehensive Assessment Teacher's Guides available at Rainbow Resource.
When it comes to assessing math, many of the math programs provide placement tests on their websites - especially Saxon Math and Singapore Math. These are free for you to use. Give the same test before and after a level is completed. Then, should your student need more help, have him or her focus on the specific areas where he or she struggled.
For spelling, simply turn through your student's book. Give pre and post tests. At the end of the year, you may want to randomly give your student words from the units in the book to review spelling rules.
Grammar and writing assessments are more difficult to come by. You may want to look through the grammar and writing text you are using for the year. Sometimes grammar curricula will come with tests so you can make a copy of the final test (so long as it is cumulative) and give it to your student at the start and finish of the year. For writing, at the beginning of the year, have him or her write out a short composition on an assigned topic. Look for the way sentences are put together, paragraphs are formed, and the general usage of language.
For foreign languages, you may need to turn to outside assessment testing as I did in the case of the National Latin Exam, have a tutor construct a test, or construct your own test. It's important to test for retention of the language.