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One of the reasons I decided to homeschool is that I didn't want my child to be tested. I didn't want to associate learning with being tested, and stress. I wanted learning to always be fun. So we never really tested my child. As I taught her, I could tell when she got something, and when she didn't. If she understood it, we just moved on. If she didn't, well, we kept at it. Sure she did lots of exercises, but they weren't timed, and we didn't stress her over taking them.
Then it happened. We had to move. And we had to move to one of those states that had mandatory testing. It was all of my worst fears come true.
My child had to go take a standardized test. Plus, she had to do it in a classroom, and I wasn't allowed to be with her. I think I was more scared than she was! I was the one who grew up being tested. I was the one who got stressed out around tests.
So the day came, and she had to go in. I drove her to the school. She didn't look scared at all, I was terrified! What if she choked? What if the state considered me unfit to homeschool? What if, what if. All the fears were racing through my head.
Then she went into the classroom, she flashed me a smile then went in. It seemed like forever. My hands were clenched so tightly, I realized my nails made indentations in my palms!
Then I heard them finishing. People shuffling, and the door swung open. Children started to pour out. I was afraid to see my child's face.
Then I saw her face come around the corner. She was smiling even bigger than when she went in? As she came into the hallway she blurted out, "Mom, it was easy, they even give you the answers!"
What? I asked her. She said, "They ask a question, then they give you the answers underneath. Three of the answers are wrong, but they give you the right answer too, it's was easy!"
This was her FIRST standardized test. She had never seen a multiple choice question before! It turned out she did really well, and I learned something myself. As long as I don't pressure her about taking tests, and since she's not part of the whole public school culture, there's no reason for her to ever fear tests. They're just another game to her!
"I am a midwife. It is not just what I do, it is what I am, and I grow in it."
Testing was one of the things that I was happy to get away from, but I still choose to test mine once a year with the homeschool group. It is SO different than their tests in school. There is no stress...it's like s social event. My kids did great and I have the reassurance that they are learning what they need to one day take the only test required...their ACT. I know it is a long time away, but I feel better knowing we are on track. It is amazing to me that one day they may be able to take it without all of the STRESS STRESS STRESS that the school system thinks they have to have to get there. Thank God for this option!!!
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