Testing time

It’s time to tick ticky boxes! Last year, Gilbert took his first standardized test, the California Achievement Test, online version. He did fine, scoring exactly where I thought he would. At that time, he tested at or above grade 6 in everything but math, not unexpected as he was in the middle of a 5th grade text at the time (I don’t start formal math until about age 10 or 11.) In math he tested at, well, halfway through 5th grade. Since then he’s finished 5th, skipped 6th grade math, and finished 7th, so I expect this year’s test to show at or above 7th grade for everything.

There is no testing requirement in Oklahoma. I do this to have an objective, if flawed, measure of the kids’ progress that anyone can look at. We are eclectic homeschoolers, very relaxed, getting more structured as the kids get older, then easing off again. The highest-tide homeschooling we do is between ages 10-16. I have four kids in that range right now, but one of them is Bede who is a horse of a different color. So, practically speaking, that’s 10yo Gloria, rising 5th grader, 12yo Trixie, rising 7th, and 13yo Gilbert, rising 8th. Since they don’t use a curriculum in anything but math I don’t know where they are in comparison to other kids, hence a test. I want to note – this is for my comfort. I am a worrier by nature and, while I have no concern that my kids need to be in lockstep with their institutionally schooled peers, I think some nosy busybody might. So, if I can show that they are doing just as well as their public school counterparts, I rest easier. Some people say “Live like school doesn’t exist.” I can’t do that. So, tests.

Gilbert liked it, last year. It’s fun to see where you stand. This year, Trixie gets a test too, since I start at 12. Gloria’s off the hook for two more years, which is best for her anyway since she gets freaked out by tests. More time to work though that.

Next week is Test Week! Cue Rocky theme!

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