Not the time to plan for a Thanksgiving feast or put up a Christmas tree, though I miss that time of year during any month those activities are not on the agenda.
It’s testing time. I wrote last year about how conflicted I was with the idea of testing my kids. I have spent the past six years teaching my children my way and the materials I felt were most important for them to learn. To plop them down in front of a piece of paper with thousands of little bubbles and say, “Open your test booklet to page…” made me feel as if I were doing something wrong. Breaking some unspoken code of homeschoolers (at least in Germany under DoDS) because it’s not an actual requirement. Why put the kids through this kind of stress when they don’t have to endure it?
And at that last sentence I laugh. The boys are not stressed at all! In fact, last year I went too far in telling Hayden not to stress that he left more blank than he should have. I had to remind him this time to actually TRY his best because blank bubbles or sheer guesses won’t tell me anything, thus wasting the three days we spent testing. While I don’t want them to be stressed, I hope I appropriately explained how hard they should try to answer all the questions to the best of their ability. However, testing happens to fall while Nana and Papa are here, something I couldn’t have planned for. This will, undoubtedly, affect their results, which I will keep in mind when the results arrive at my door.
“At my door…” is another reason I’m testing my kids. The results don’t go to the coordinator of the tests but to me. The one responsible for their education. I read them, no one else.
But the main reason I am testing is because they will have to know how to test and be able to test well to get into college. The SAT sits there waiting five years down the road for Hayden and I don’t want that to be the first standardized test he takes. That would be unfair to him. Testing with the IOWA test will give him the practice and familiarity with standardized testing he needs so that, when the time comes, he’ll be more comfortable with that situation. (And, of course, that goes for all the boys… Hayden just happens to be the first one who will reach that milestone.)
So watch out No.2 pencils! We’re about to put you to the test…literally.