Monday, June 7, 2010

Testing sucks...

I have to test David to stay in compliance with our state homeschool laws. We are going through a test prep workbook this week. I know, we are homeschooling partially to avoid this nonsense, but a week is hardly detrimental and perhaps even helpful? The title of the booklet is "Testing Success." David said, "I know what that says - 'Testing Sucks.' " I try not to laugh when he says things without intending to be funny, but I could not control myself. Out of the mouths of babes.

That conversation keeps coming to mind today. I think there is something there beyond phonetic reading. I look at testing with grown-up eyes. I want him to succeed. I want our homeschool decision to be validated. He looks through the much more honest lens of childhood.

No test is going to show how excited he was when we read about Louis Pasteur. He made a microscope out of paper and pretended to examine poker chip slides.

Or what about when he decided he really wanted to know how to add and subtract big numbers. We read The Year of Miss Agnes, and the kids in the book taught their uneducated parents how to add and subtract. They were thrilled because now they would not be cheated at the market. David hates to be tricked, and that changed his attitude toward arithmetic. I had told him why he needed to know, but sometimes you need to hear it in a story. Jesus was on to something with parables.

I have no idea how he is going to test in reading. I believe he is on track for a first grader, but I don't really care, or more accurately, I don't think I should care. At the beginning of the year he could read phonetic words slowly and with much labor. Something flipped in his brain a few months ago. The process was exciting to watch. He can read independently now. He came home from kindergarten saying, "I'm not smart at reading." This year I've heard "Mommy, I am so loving this book." and "I'm a reading kind of guy." and "I'm good at reading."

Testing sucks. I know it's necessary, but it still sucks.


  1. I love the way you went about the arithmetic stuff . . . so fun.

  2. It was an accident. That's a great book. I had never heard of it until I saw it on our read aloud list for this year.


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