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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A More Normal Week and Standardized Testing

I am so glad we homeschool.  The last 11 days would have been worse, if I had to worry about making up school work for the kids, and all that nonsense that goes with public school.  Homeschooling afforded me the flexibility at a trying time, when I needed it to be flexible.  You can not get that from public school.  So far, this week has been more normal, and we have achieved a lot.  I even got the laundry room all painted, and looking beautiful.  We will continue with home repairs, and updates through this year.  The major work that needed to be done, was completed three weeks ago, and that is a huge burden off my list.  Usually by now, I have started thinking about opening the pool.  I probably will not be doing that until April or May, this year.  We had planned on getting a state park pass, for the year, but now with all the rain and snow, up North I am afraid the springs are all going to be flooded for some time to come.  There are already flood advisories up for the Santa Fe River.  So, for now that will be placed on the back burner.  Of course there are other things than just the springs at the state parks, but that is one of the best things to do. 

I have decided to give both of the kids the CAT, California Achievement Test, at the end of this year.  It is affordable, and will give me a clear indication of where they are. It can be taken online, or you can have it delivered to your home.  Then I return it for grading. You also do not have to be a certified teacher, or have a bachelors degree to administer it.  It will be included in our school portfolios, for our annual evaluation.  It will be accompanied by our standard portfolio.So, yes I will do both.  DJ will take the PSAT in 10th grade, then the SAT in 11th grade.  We have already started preparing for those tests.  I will share some great resources for preparing for those tests, in the coming weeks.  Have I ever said I hate the Common Core?  Well, I hate the Common Core.  I know homeschoolers in Florida do not have to follow the Common Core standards, but as the past 11 days has shown me, if I ever needed to put my kids in public school, I want them to be somewhat prepared at least academically.  My 5th grader is no where near where the standards would like her to be, but she is improving every day.  My 9th grader is good, with the exception of Math, which is getting closer every day too.    My biggest complaint with it, is that it is not fair.  What do I mean?  If they want these harder standards, fine.  But, start them with the incoming kindergarteners, not kids who are already half way, or more done with their schooling.  I also think it is  harder for parents to help their kids with homework, because they were not taught that way, and I am hearing from public school teachers even, who are having a hard time teaching it.  I just think it is completely dumb the way it was done, and that is my opinion. 

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