Tuesday, March 27, 2012


We live in Colorado, in Colorado the homeschool law states that every odd numbered year starting in 3rd grade you must administer a nationally normed standardized test and turn the results into a school district in the state, or you can get an educational expert with a masters in education to evaluate the child and turn in the evaluation to the school board.

We choose the test route. First because it makes my husband feel better to have a test result that is given by someone other than the loving mother of his child. Second because while I know some people with the requisite masters degree in education they are all very busy people with jobs and things and I don't like to impose, and I'm cheap. I know how much their time is worth and it is cheaper to pay for a test and administer it myself than pay for someone who knows what the hell they are doing.

We just finished the testing. This was such a painful experience for him. Even the parts that were easy. This is so very different from my experience with testing. I LOVED testing. It is the place I felt comfortable in competing. I was nearly always the first one finished with a test, even in college. I likely could have tested better if I wasn't so damn cocky about finishing first but I never did poorly in fact I always tested as a smarty pants so there was no learning experience from taking it quickly, heh. I understand how to study, take, and do well on a test. Standardized test are a breeze, for me. Watching my child struggle is really hard. I want to put the part of my brain that just 'gets' testing into his and let him have it.

The thing is I really do know where he is at in his schooling. I know what his reading level is(low), I know how proficient he is at writing(not), how well he understands words(wow!) and the use of words (subject/predicate, easy). I know where he is in mathematics(hello pre-algebra I've missed you). These tests are nothing more than a hoop to jump through to appease the state. I get that, but the part of me that wants to test well and finish quickly wants my son to do the same.

I'm glad that we don't have to face this again for 2 years. I'm wondering if I shouldn't look for the 'qualified person' to evaluate him at that point rather than giving him sleepless nights and headaches from the stress and worry of testing. Yes if he wants to go to college he will most likely have to take a standardized test to get in, if he goes back to public school he will have to take standardized tests and I get that. College is a long way off (it is too!) and well, public school who knows where that is.

I'm glad we are done for now. Now to spring break, what should we do with the lovely weather? Watch the wild fires that are sprouting up all over the state because we have had no rain or snow? Maybe.


Valerie at Home said...

We have to test every year and it's the one thing homeschool moms around here gripe about every spring. Well, that and the pollen explosion. We're also not supposed to administer the test to our own kids, but it's acceptable to have another homeschool mom do it. We've done 3 different types of tests and my kids love the one we've used the past two years. It's the Woodcock-Johnson, which is given orally, one-on-one, takes about 1 hour, and let's them answer questions as high as they can reach. Awesomely easy to do test that can accommodate K's ridiculous intelligence (she maxed out a few categories) and still handles L's fairly average marks and absolute inability to sit still and be serious for any length of time. The tester is certified and can sit down with you immediately and go over the results. Just something to think about for next time.

Earthami said...

I'll look and see, that would be easier since the only thing that he can't deal with is the reading comprehension. Everything else on the tests I read to him.

Luckily there is nothing in the statue that says I can't be the one proctoring the test.

Indigo said...

Hugs to hard times mama. I'm glad you're done for two years.