Sunday, May 21, 2006

I fight the same old knot in my stomach each time, though I promised myself many times I will not fret the results. But I always do. Upon resturning from vacation, I spied the envelope among the huge stack of mail. I forced myself to sift through the pile sorting junk, bills, graduation announcements, magazines into piles before I'd allow myself to scrutinize the contents of the dreaded envelope.

Buck casually inquired, "Anything interesting in the mail?"

I gulped and mustered a casual tone, "Homeschool test scores are in."

He nodded, "Well?"

"I haven't the guts to open it yet. You want to?" as I fished the envelope from the bottom of mess of papers spread over my bed.

I steadied my nerves which crashed as his first reaction came forth, "Wow!"

"Wow, good, or Wow, bad?" I clenched my jaw to absorb my tension.

Hesitant pause.

"Buck, good or bad?" I impatiently asked again drumming my fingers on the new Family Fun magazine on my lap.

"A little of both. I don't know what happened with X* science scores, but they are awful. However his reading scores are terrific."

What?! Science of all things? These boys live and breathe science. How the heck could he mess up science?

Buck continued, "We probably need to hold X* back next year and let him catch up overall."

No surprise there, but still a disappointment. Every year I think he's going to make a leap to grade level and beyond, but not this year. Steady gains, but no jump.

X* has made significant progress in some rocky areas like SPELLING. He's at least somewhere near grade level now.

Just so you know, I am the only homeschooler on earth with average (and-gasp-some below average on some subjects) children. Everyone else on the planet earth who homeschools has children who test at college levels in kindergarten.

I think of test scores are my report card for the year. Did we choose the right curriculum? Did our approaches pay off or blow? What about next year? Do I need to work with anyone in particular over the summer?

Do your children's test scores undo you for a bit like they do me? I know many who do not test, but I like to know gains/losses for sure and tests show me whether I like results or not.

*names withheld to protect the innocent


Questing Parson said...

The only parents these scores would undo are the ones who are terrific teachers.

That's my theory.

truevyne said...

Questing, thanks. So much to do, so little time.