Today my kids took an impromptu reading assessment. They were less than thrilled but since today was a short school day they did not complain too much. I like to have them take the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, or TAKS, because it gives them the free test online and spits out the scale scores to me which makes it super easy to see where we are. I hate standardized testing even though I see it as necessary for college bound kids at the vary least to be ready for test taking. This being the case I prefer to give it in my home in this way so they learn to concentrate and take tests even with distractions.
I sent my DS8 up to his room to quietly do something so as to minimize those interruptions (I don’t expect them to take a test during a 3 ring circus you know) that do occur. DD2 was napping in her room so we were all set. So I thought. Soon I hear talking from upstairs and thinking “What in the world” went to investigate.
This is what I find.
I did not disturb him and left him be listening to his talk radio, how cute is that right. About 5 minutes later he comes hopping in the kitchen to inform me of something he just learned. “Did you know this thing called El Nino has made like 50 tornados this week?” he says. I tell him no that I was shocked at the number and we talked about what El Nino was. Later we will check on the NOAA site. So he goes back up to his radio and a few minutes later back he is again with “Mom, did you know that Obama was born in Hawaii ?” When I told him I did he went back to his room and began to put together his Lego aircraft carrier and listen to some music on his radio.
Did you notice I keep saying radio? My boys are 7 years apart and share a room. They love all things tech so we never thought to put a radio in their room before now. They needed an alarm clock and I got a great deal on one that had an IPod port. My initial thought was “Oh no they will fight over who gets to pick the music, one wants it on when the other doesn’t,” you know all kind of squabbling would happen right? So I installed the alarm clock with the strict instruction of no music at bedtime. They complied but they have thoroughly enjoyed it during their free time and I am thrilled.
Wanna hear my other shocker? My oldest who was testing tells me as I pass the room on my way to do the laundry, “Hey mom, did you know that an accordion is just basically 2 harmonicas on each end?”
Now that I didn’t know! I do know however that had my children been in school (any school, public or private) they would have 1. never remembered what was on a standardized test (or cared) long enough to tell me something the learned from the text of that test and 2. never have listened to the radio during downtime long enough to actually learn some very interesting information.
Did I mention how much homeschooling has blessed us? God is showing me everyday his plans for our lives. For that I am thankful everyday. Most days may be a struggle but God gets us where we need to be. Did you know that?