We go out for milkshakes and I ask a few questions. Where did you grow and where did you coast? What was your favorite part of the year? What do you want to be different next year? They each ask me one question: Did I pass?
Good question. We actually live in a very homeschool friendly state. The only requirements, for better or worse, are to keep immunization records, track the number of teaching days, and have the kids take a standardized test yearly. Ideally, I’d have that bad boy scheduled for mid-May because truthfully we’re all tapped out by then. But I failed to schedule it early enough and landed the never-coveted end of June date. Sad.
That means that just yesterday we FINALLY finished the school year. We’ve been on cruise control for quite some time but finally tested and could fully exhale into summer.
There are lots of testing options, but for years we’ve preferred the Woodcock Johnson. Rather than use a scantron type test I could proctor at home, we’ve opted to drive across town to a home-office for individual testing for the girls.
These tests aren’t grade specific, but instead, the student continues answering questions that increase in difficulty until they can’t answer anymore. The test runs the gamut from reading fluency, spelling, reading and oral comprehension, grammar to math fluency, calculation, and also some general academic knowledge.
Walking out I have a snapshot of the kid’s strengths and weaknesses (which I already know generally) and can see the holes we need to address for the following year. So I might find out that my girl spells at a lower grade level but is killing it in math.
To be honest, I can get a little nervous. I talk a good game (“you are not your test scores”) but I feel like the testing is often times a reflection on how well I did as a teacher for this child for any given year. Thankfully, we passed the year and will keep on trucking.