Monday, August 30, 2010

Pleased Homeschooling Mama


I don't see homeschooling as some kind of answer to badness of schools. I think that the home is the proper base for the exploration of the world which we call learning or education. Home would be the best base no matter how good the schools were. The proper relationship of the schools to home is the relationship of the library to home, or the skating rink to home. It is a supplementary resource.
~ John Holt

Just in case you were wondering, other things in my life did go on during the fast, it was just that I was far more focused on it and the purpose for it. Because of that I did not do much homeschooling in the later half, and that worked out perfectly for I was considering taking a break after my daughter took the standardized test we are required to do this year. I really don't follow any standard curriculum, but I have kept my eye on what is standard for each grade in our state, just so I knew where they stood. From that I have told people that the Princess is mostly doing fourth grade work.

In my state, I must test every three years starting with the third grade. Now even though the Princess was doing mostly fourth grade work, actually spanning three grades, she is third grade age, which is how most interpret the law. Since the law does not specify which tests, we can choose. I chose the California Achievement Test (CAT) through Seaton.

I am thankful that I used Spectrum Test Prep for third grade because we had not covered the terms "complete subject" or "complete predicate" in our studies. My dear Princess has been sentence diagramming and knew what a (simple) subject and a (simple) predicate are. She can also identify nouns, verbs (helping, state of being, and action), adjectives, articles, conjunctions, prepositions (has a list memorized), direct objects, and sometimes she even gets adverbs especially if they end with "ly", but none of theses were asked on the test prep questions nor on the CAT itself! I realized that she is far, far ahead in grammar compared to the national standard.

So, I had to explain to her, when we were in the test prep stage, that a complete subject would be everything on the left of the vertical line that cuts between the subject and the verb, and everything on the right of that line would be considered the complete predicate...at this point, anyway. There were such questions on the CAT. Still she filled in the little circle with her #2 pencil next to her answers on the test wrong initially. I sat stoned-faced, without any expression whatsoever, not wanting to give her any clues at all. The CAT is a timed test and I think she was more worried about getting through all the answers in the time allotted. When she realized that she answered on the questions in a section in less than half the time, she would relax and look over the test questions again, often catching her own mistakes as she did on that very topic. But, when the results came back, it still showed she missed them, maybe because she did not erase the wrong mark well enough...? It was the only area she got an average percentage of 54. Most the sections were in the high 90's and...

Her overall was 96!


Yes, I am very pleased. She did very well.

However, I also just have to say this and I apologize in advance if someone reads this and thinks I am being presumptuous, but I am basing my opinion not only on what my daughter knows and knowing how little I felt we covered in the last year, but what I had to know when I was in third grade, which was...oh, mm, nearly 42 years ago, and this test would have been for a mid-term second grader in my era, except for some of the higher end math. The Princess could have taken this test over a year ago and still scored in the high 80's at least, even with the math we had not yet covered. I am sorry to say it, but it is the truth. If this is the standard in our public schools now...we have lost so, so much! The worst part is each new generation does not realize how much has been lost in our education standards from one generation to the next. It is terribly sad.

~ My Lord, thank you leading me to homeschool and this reminder that even when I think I am not doing enough, it is far better for my daughter in so many ways, besides the academics. ~

4 comments:

  1. Well girl, I am very impressed! You are doing a really wonderful job schooling your little princess ~☺~

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  2. Thank you, Persuaded. I think every homeschooling parent wonders, if only in secret, how their education program will measure up.

    For standardized tests, a score around 50 is considered average. All I could think is if any third grader, without mental challenges, could not get a score of 75 or greater that our education system truly is far more inferior than I feared! Just another reason to thank the Lord for homeschooling and that He called me to do it.

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  3. Congratulations to you and your daughter, and thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog!

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.