As a kid, I loved tests. It always felt like a game to me. While that does probably make me strange, the positive results could not be denied. With rare exception, I was at the upper end of the class.
Fast forward to now. Part of my has an issue with testing, as now it’s referred to as an “assessment” test. I already know the value of my kids, thank you very much. They are invaluable; unlike my car for example. What I’m interested in is my childrens’ education level. Thus, I ensure my children are tested three times a year.
Since we do the testing at home with an adaptive computerized test, I can see my children’s test taking techniques. My younger child takes after me: testing is a fun game. My older child is sullen, annoyed, and simply clicks boxes to get through the process. Let’s just say the results reflect their attitudes.
Homeschooling them as their teacher affords me a window into what they know, so I can compare their results with my insight. This has been enlightening to say the least. I pretty much just leave the little one to her own devices, as when she finds something she doesn’t know, she goes and researches the answer.
The older one shrugs her shoulders and goes back to whatever she was doing to begin with. I have found, however, a secret weapon. She has discovered she loves bees. (yes, the insects, but also of the spelling and geography types) It started with a spelling bee she begged to be a part of. She enjoyed the process and the event itself so much, that she insisted on doing the Geography Bee. This has motivated her to study in a way that a computerized test never could. Incidentally, the bee itself lends itself to a testing format that works better for her. It might be feeding her natural competitive spirit, but as long as she is a good sport I can live with that. So there you have it, our testing solution.