Uncategorized

August 1st Testing Insecurity

Henry H. Goddard, former head of the Psychology Department at Princeton and father of standardized testing, said in his book, Human Eficiency (1920) that government schooling was about “the perfect organization of the hive.”  He said standardized testing was a way to make lower classes recognize their own inferiority. Like wearing a dunce cap, it would discourage them from breeding and having ambition.

For those of you who may not know, in Virginia homeschoolers are to turn in”proof of progress” by August 1st.  If you are a new homeschooler, and this is your first year homeschooling. August 1st is more than a date…. its a deadline, looming in the back of your mind like a sledgehammer.  However, it doesn’t have to be.  When did our obsession with “testing” begin I wonder? There was a time when a test was just an assessment.  A determination of weaknesses and strengths; not an indictment of inferiority and lack of ability.  Should your child do poorly on a “test” are they then an inferior human being not worthy of your further investment time and materials?  Ever notice that on most standardized tests, that there is a constant comparison of your child’s ability with other children of the same age. If all children are unique and individuals in talent and ability why would this matter so much?  I believe that the notion that all children of the same age should all know the exact same information at the same time is ridiculous. We are all different and inherently we will learn at different rates.  I recall being in 3rd grade and I could not learn my multiplication tables. I just couldn’t do it. I just didn’t understand the lack of calculation required. I didn’t like the memorization of it,  and I just resisted learning it.  I remember the teacher telling my mother that I was just not good at numbers, and it was really going to hinder my 4th grade progress and how I would never be good at math… because I had not learned my multiplication tables “on-time”.  I didn’t really “learn” my multiplication tables until I was well into 4th grade, and I would have to say that it didn’t “hinder” me at all. I just learned them in my own time.  I still see that 3rd grade teacher.  She still lives in the town I grew up in, and when I graduated from engineering school, she couldn’t help but marvel that I must have finally learned my multiplication tables 🙂  I tell this story because I pray that you and your homeschooled student will see tests the way they were meant to be used… as assessments and nothing more. They will not determine your child’s love for learning or their ability to learn… no test can do that.  Do not allow the labels of standardized tests to infiltrate your homeschool and pollute the love of education and learning you are striving to build for your children.

Blessings always,

HomeschoolNewbie

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curriculum, homeschooler, new homeschooler, Uncategorized, virginia, Worry

Transitional Anxiety

We Love To Worry!!
We Love To Worry!!

I’m in Virginia, and today it was an absolutely gorgeous day! My kids and I spent the day enjoying nature and each other. We took a break from homework and curriculum and seized the moment. I remember my first few months homeschooling. Oh, I would have never dared to stray from the many lesson plans I had charted for my kids. I had so much anxiety about making sure they passed the end of the year test; that they were as smart as the public and private school students; and that my relatives didn’t think I was just a slacker. I had to try and get to everything everyday. Oh, perfection is soooo exhausting. Nobody told me that sometimes all your children needed was your time, not your curriculum. I could have saved myself so much anxiety and many anxious moments. Since then my children have miraculously tested well above their grade levels. I cannot take the credit. I delight myself in the Lord, and he has given me the desires of my heart. More than anything, I have learned that anxiety and anxiousness are sure signs of my weak faith and have no bearing on God’s awesome ability to answer prayer even when I am less than deserving. Are you having a bit of transitional anxiety today? I challenge you to cast your cares to God and start enjoying your children and your family.

Blessings always,

Homeschool Newbie

homeschooling, Uncategorized

A True Leap of Faith….Making the Transition to Homeschooling!

Such A Small Word.... For Such a BIG Problem
Such A Small Word.... For Such a BIG Problem

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

Okay, so I’ve been thinking about all of the reasons I had for not wanting to pull my kids out of “school” five years ago when I first began homeschooling.  I’ll call them “fears”, because really any reason I had, was rooted in a fear. Fears are terrible things… They keep us from being able to truly live life.  They freeze us in place and take away our ability to move forward boldly.

These were some of my fears:

  1. I was not smart enough to teach my children.
  2. My children would not be able to get into college.
  3. I would not be able to afford all of the “stuff” schools have to educate my children.
  4. People would think I was crazy.
  5. We would not be able to live without my second income.
  6. I would be home all day with my children, and they would be come weird some how.
  7. I would do a terrible job.
  8. My kids would hate me for doing this.
  9. My husband  would think I was crazy.
  10. Maybe the “school” was right about my kids, and I should just let them make it/fail on their own. {Except, the teacher had the principle, the superintendent, and the teacher’s aid on her side… all my kid had was me.}

What’s amazing is that over the last five years, with God’s help, I’ve confronted every single one of these fears with Victory.  If you are struggling with fear right now. Don’t let it overpower you. Write up a list of your fears and confront them. Don’t allow fear to rule your life.

Blessings,

HomeschoolNewbie