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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Confirmation

After starting homeschooling, Jeff and I decided to have our children sit through standardized testing every other year until Madison reaches highschool, when she will have to test every year for Topps. This was their year to test. Some say that I shouldn't dwell too much on the test results because so much, other than just their knowledge of the material, plays into the results. I'm not the type that can easily take that advice. I tried not to put too much emphasis on the testing as far as the kids were concerned. They knew that we were reviewing, to some degree, for it. While I told them that the results were a reflection of what they had learned so far, I also told them that there was no passing or failing it....low scores would only mean that we needed to change our curriculum or approach in that area. So, during the second week in May, my kids rejoined a classroom setting, along with others in our homeschool group, and took the Standford Achievement Test.
I tried to forget about the results, but every trip to the mailbox this summer was a reminder that they would soon be lying in there...waiting for me. One day last week they were there. I fought the urge to rip them open on the way back inside, instead sneaking them out to the pool deck to look at them alone. This was MY report card...proof that I have been teaching my children what they need to learn. No, a standardized test does not tell me any more than I already know, really, but I need to know that they are able to sit for one and do well. After all, they will eventually be required!
I was very pleased with the results...for Madison, Patrick, and Carter! They scored average and above average in everything except for Madison and Carter's Spelling. I have already changed their Spelling curriculum to Abeka for next year, so I'm hoping that will help their scores next time. Carter(3rd grade) scored 5th grade level for Reading and Math. Madison(6th grade) scored an 8th grade level for her English and 7th grade on her Math procedures. Patrick(4th grade) scored 6th grade and higher on every subject! All three of them scored very well on Social Studies and Science, which made me so happy. We spend so much time on Science projects and group time with Social Studies, and it was just very rewarding to see that it paid off.
So, another year of testing is over, and I feel like I have the confirmation I need to move forward. We will change Spelling for Madison and Carter and continue with everything else. That's one of the great things about homeschooling my children..being able to make choices for them based on their individual performances and needs. Sometimes I feel the weight of the responsibility I have in educating my children..making sure they are all getting what they need. That's when I have to remind myself to take it one year at a time...one day at a time....continuing with what works and changing those things that aren't. Just as I expect my children to trust in my leadership and follow me, I pray that I will always look to God and trust Him to lead me in making choices that will benefit them.

4 Comments:

Blogger Perri said...

Congratulations. I'm so glad you got the good report card. Sounds like a celebration time!

10:57 PM  
Blogger Rhonda said...

I am so glad that the results finally came in. It sounds to me like they did an awesome job! We use Abeka spelling in our homeschool. Melanie enjoys it, and Lindsay will be taking a full course in the fall, but I had to keep Hannah a grade below her level because in her ps they really did not teach much of it and never did they have to write vocabulary words,. My step-daughter has not had spelling classes since her jr. high year. I can't figure out for the life of me why? Children need this in their life, why take it away from them so early? I am not sure how much of the ABeka program you are using, but if you need any help with the spelling just ask and I am here.

7:15 AM  
Blogger Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

Awesome! Wha to go and good luck next year.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Darling said...

I know what youre saying about it being a grading of how well you are doing as a teacher. Sometimes we just need this sort of validation! Good for you and the kids!

10:50 AM  

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