Part of me feels like a traitor. If I use a standardized test for Hayden, I’m going against what I had ultimately decided was best for our family. Going against what I know to be right: That standardized tests are not an accurate measure of what a child knows. If I DON’T test, I go against the part of me, the trained educator, that really wants to see how my son compares to the rest of the kids his age. So, I figured that either way, I’m going to feel like a traitor, so why not test him and just not stress over the results.
I had decided that there was no need to do standardized testing on Hayden as it’s really not a fair assessment of what he has learned. Think about it: I teach History but not in the same order as the public schools. He probably knows more about history at his age than some of his formal-schooled peers, but most likely not the same stuff! He’s learned about Gilgamesh, Homer, the Olympics, Alexander the Great (he’s even seen a traveling museum tour of items from that era, see image below), and Hammuribi and his Code (we’ll get to see a portion of that this weekend in Paris at the Louvre!). But I can bet you that NONE of that was on the standardized test Hayden took last week. So, if he scores low compared to the national average, I won’t worry a single bit.
The reason I decided to go ahead and test him was for my own personal knowledge. I honestly don’t know what I’ll do with the information I will receive. I don’t foresee changing my curriculum at all as a result. And the only reason I did this particular test is because the results come back to me, personally. Not to a school or a homeschool group. To me. So I assured Hayden last week that he had no need to stress about these tests. If anything they were a reflection of what I’ve taught him, not how smart he is. I remember the stress my 4th graders felt when taking these tests. It wasn’t like this at all for Hayden. In fact, on Friday when he was finished he said that testing was actually sort of fun. That means I did a good job of reminding him that he didn’t need to feel pressured but I hope it doesn’t mean that he took the test carelessly.