• Jeni Kelsch

Meeting the Standard

Updated: Jun 20, 2018

My children are homeschooled in the state of North Carolina. As students of the state, I am required to give them a standardized test at the end of each year to prove they are not dummies, or I am not. I am not sure which is really being tested. I remember standardized tests from when I was a kid. They haven't changed much, The teachers didn't want us to get nervous so they emphasized that these tests would not count against our grade. That did put me at ease. In fact, I was so relieved I discovered that by turning the test sideways I could fill in the little bubbles to look like rain on a field of flowers. The next year, my friend and I decided to race to see who could fill in the bubbles the fastest, sometimes we even read the questions. I don't think I really got the point of meeting a standard. But to satisfy the state, my children will be testing to see if they are standard enough. Even so, despite my best efforts, my children are not taking the same test as their peers. Although I read the same instructions and set the stopwatch to the same time as the school children, my children will not have the advantage of a silent classroom or a day designed around testing. They are still required by life to assume normal duties around the test. For example, I am pretty sure the school children were not required to wrangle five hungry goats into a pen between vocabulary and reading comprehension. I find this to be a very valid test of my children's problem solving and teamwork skills. The school children, I suspect, are also at not required to perform the daily Easter egg hunt my children have had to go on since the hens abandoned the henhouse for greener pastures. The challenge here, to think like a bird, is definitely a test of my children's creativity and patience. I know school has it's own tests outside the classroom and my children are largely exempt from these. My children would fail the latest trending Youtube video test and would preform pretty poorly on the video game of the moment test as well. As far as social tests, I think we all are subject to those, no matter where you go to school. My children do great with making eye contact, speaking to adults and small children, and not annoying the general population around you. I don't know if my children are standard enough to please the state or not, but I do know in some wonderful ways, they are exceptional. That, and my oldest daughter's bubble test turned sideways looks suspiciously like a goat standing in a field of flowers.

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