Monday, August 1, 2011
It has been really hard for me to let go of the idea of 'standards'. It is so ingrained in me, from my years of teaching, that I started out constantly comparing Kylah and Jazzy to the standard that they should be working to, as dictated by the curriculum.
Now that I have seen the light, and no longer worry about what other kids their age can do, I feel so free and liberated. In fact, the very idea of standards seems so ludicrous to me!!
Kylah and Jazzy work at their own pace. We don't have to rush through things to keep up nor do we have to hold back so we don't go to far ahead. I make sure that they get every single concept before we move on to the next.
I have a few friends who have had to put their 7 year old's in tutoring classes, because they can not keep up with the other kids. I have also witnessed children bawling over homework or parents stressed because their child isn't achieving.
I used to be the same. Kylah was behind in her reading to start with and I was in a huge panic about it. I am extremely diligent about making sure we get all our work done each day and I couldn't understand why she wasn't making the progress that she should. She was one on one with a qualified teacher. Why couldn't she read????? Then one day, out of the blue, something finally clicked in her head and she was ready to learn to read. Rather than it being this massive chore that took hours of our time each day, she picked it up extremely quickly. Obviously she hadn't been ready to learn when I started with her.
It made me wonder what would have happened to her if she had been in school. I'm quite positive she would have been aware that she was behind most of her classmates and I think she probably would have ended up in learning support. These two things would have lowered her self confidence and hampered her ideas about her own intelligence that could have lasted a lifetime. Because she hadn't gotten things at the same rate as the rest of the class, they would have moved on without her and she would be even more lost.
It is quite a shame that this happens and makes me very thankful that I home school. I no longer even entertain ideas about whether the girls are behind or advanced in different subjects. I am just pleased that they are both working to the best of their abilities and mastering each concept.
I have been wondering whether or not I will get Kylah to sit the year 3 test next year. Part of me would like to so I can see where she is at compared to the rest of the state. But the other part doesn't really give a rats arse.
I would like to know what other homeschooling mums are planning to do about the standardized testing. Is it worth it to put my child through a mind-numbingly boring experience just so I can pat myself on the back?? And if I did put her through it, should I spend months in advance giving her practice tests so she is not at a disadvantage??? I know for a fact that schools spend an awful lot of time preparing the kids for these tests. Is that not a waste of Kylah's and my time???
Big questions... but really... it is just a grade 3 test, which in the grand scheme of things is nothing.