Tuesday, May 12, 2015

FREEDOM or Fear....

I've been hearing a lot of fear revolving around standardized testing.  It seems like this is the hot seat topic in education right now...  there's always "something" sitting in that seat, don't you think?

I admire all you amazing public school teachers (many whom I call friends!) for what you put up with to try to teach precious children with the gifts and talents you are blessed with while being constrained by the confines of these silly tests.

All that being said, I'm really not "anti" standardized test.  I actually test my children starting in KINDERGARTEN - shhh...don't tell the Coop, they might take away my volunteer position ;-)

Learning to take a standardized test is just another skill we need to teach them, just like reading, writing and arithmetic.  These tests don't even test for the most important things: Can they share?  Do they help others?  Are they kind?  Do they love GOD?

What I am opposed to is making taking a test into a high-stakes, high-stress activity that actually kills learning!  Children should get to have fun taking tests, not be filled with fear.  Here's how we do it at Bentz Academy:

  • No big build up to "test day" - when the box comes, we open it and go!

  • Test with friends, when possible...  this year we were on our own (Yeehaw for TX Freedom!)

  • Pray before we start - that we can use this as a means to help mom make wise curriculum choices and for us to love God with all our minds.

  • Mandatory jelly bean breaks after each section

Once we get the scores - we celebrate and call Grandma (who still thinks that tests tell us if they are learning...) I'm happy to report, all my children usually rock these tests and have fun doing them!

Little Bit taking her first test... she was begging for more!!

So... let me encourage you to choose FREEDOM to test, or not to test! 

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