Northwestern University's Midwest Academic Talent Search has been in place since 1981. It is not aimed just at students in traditional schools, but is a great tool for homeschool educators as well. It is a way to identify gifted/talented students in grades 3 through 9 so that parents can make wise educational decisions as they homeschool. It gives us, as homeschooling parents, a roadmap of which academic studies, extracurricular activities, distance learning, and enrichment programs will benefit our children the most. It not only gives us insight into what our children are capable of, but also empowers us to provide our homeschooled students with more resources than just the basics so that their talents can flourish.
"NUMATS combines above-grade testing---using the EXPLORE, ACT and SAT, tests usually given to much older students---with guidance as to the appropriate academic follow-up for individual students based on their test scores."
Students who participate in the NUMATS get valuable practice taking the same tests used for high school placement and college admissions, which can boost self-confidence when they take placement tests for college later on. Parents whose children participate in the program will receive:
- a Statistical Summary of their child's scores,
- a Long-Range Academic Plan which will help families plan their homeschool students' coursework through the end of high school,
- a Planning and Resource Guide with suggestions for choosing coursework and extracurricular activities in math, science, social science and the humanities matched to students' scores
- an Educational Program Guide, which has a listing of schools and programs for academically talented students throughout the U.S.
- an opportunity to apply for summer programs and online learning programs through the Center for Talent Development
- a newletter that contains articles and research geared toward gifted students and their parents
- The College Guide, which is for participants in 10th grade and features articles on college admissions to help them get started with college planning
- mailings from summer programs
- invitation to participate in future talent searches
- access to Center for Talent Development (CTD), an onsite and distance learning program