Home school Week 65: Beaver Holes, Effort Tests, and Ill-Fitting Shoes
It was an unusual week of home schooling, mostly because Alan insisted I spend a large part of it teaching standardized test-taking skills. I made a go of it, but you can’t teach someone how to have a type-A go-getter personality. Either you have it or you don’t. My second child does not.
“Caleb, you missed every single question about this story. You did not read the story. You absolutely did not.”
Caleb replied, “Well, it had a picture, so I just used that.”
“Go read it, and then you are starting over again. Don’t ever do this on these standardized tests, Caleb. You HAVE to read the stories.”
(Oh my goodness. When I was a kid I loved taking those tests, and I always scored well. I cannot even imagine not caring!)
He read the story, and then he answered 4/5 test questions correctly. That’s a vast difference from 0/5. Caleb has no problem reading and comprehending on the 3rd grade level. Sigh.
Now they could call it “Standardized Effort Tests,” and that’d be accurate. It accurately displays who puts forth great effort on standardized tests. Although even that wouldn’t be quite right, as some kids might put forth great effort but simply have not been taught everything on the exam. So I’m not sure these tests are useful at all.
I wonder how many schools full of Calebs have lost funding because their students just wrote something down and then ran outside to play. I think we all need to stop letting these tests carry so much weight, especially when you’re talking about eight-year-old kids. Gracious.
Daniel spent his Christmas money today. He bought a new Nerf gun. It came with eight bullets. He’s been playing with it for about two hours. He has 3 bullets left now. He explained it to me:
“Mom, it came with five ‘bullethts’, and now I onwy have thwee. See? Right there. Thwee.”
“Oh no! Already?? Where are the others?”
“In the beaver holes. I lost them in the beaver holes.” (He’s referring to the hundreds of gopher holes in our yard. Apparently he and his buddy Carter were trying to shoot the gophers with their Nerf guns.)
Daniel should give lessons on how to be absolutely, ridiculously adorable.
I had a morning full of phone calls to make, in preparation for our big move, so this was just the trick to have the boys all learning quietly. I made them write and illustrate two things they learned from the video to keep them engaged in watching it and deter movie time from turning school into a party. It worked! I’m going to remember this trick, for sure! I have four more of these videos on other topics.
This week I shared my favorite childhood snack/lunch with my little people: peanut butter cracker sandwiches. Of course, we have a red hot peanut-allergy kid here, so we made ours from Sunbutter. MMMMmmmm, sun butter!
You know remembering to do things or take medicines was never my strength, so owning this is essential with my newly discovered heart problem. This week I realized that if I’m going to keep going downhill in a hurry, I should do it with more grace. What do I have to fear?
And why am I not more happy? No, I’m not stellar at home-schooling. It stresses me out, y’all, it does. But I only have to get through eight more weeks of it, so I will try to enjoy it. I promise I will try. I love the boys, but teaching…..ohhhh groooooaaaan mooooaaaan….
Only 8 more weeks!
You know we are all designed differently from one another. Some of you are paintbrushes, and you wouldn’t use a paintbrush to hammer the nail on which to hang the painting. You could try, but you might break the paintbrush. You need a hammer for that job.
But what about when you are painting? Well, you wouldn’t want a hammer for that. A hammer is not capable of the beautiful strokes that can be rendered with a paintbrush. We each have a time and a place to feel needed and useful, and when we try to fill someone else’s role, it just isn’t pretty. People get hurt. Expectations are left unmet. It’s disappointing. While it can be done in a pinch, let’s not live in a pinch when it is not warranted.
I’m more of an ink pen, and it about killed me trying to be both an ink pen and a chalkboard. Sometimes I was more like nails screeching on a chalkboard. Let’s not have any more of that here. For me, home schooling was like walking around in ill-fitting shoes. Only eight more weeks, and then I’m simplifying. I’m going to just be mom again for a while.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, fulfilling your own God-given purpose.
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Pet. 4:10)