Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Homeschool and Standardized Tests

I hated standardized tests when I was school. I always did well on them, but I hated the pressure and the importance that was placed on them. No one cared if I actually learned anything, they just cared that I scored high enough (even if my correct answer was nothing more than a good guess).

When we started homeschooling, that was one thing I wanted to make sure I didn’t do…put SO much importance on testing. I wanted them to study to learn, not study to test. Retaining what they were taught, rather than cramming for a test then forgetting more than half of it right after the test was done. So whenever we have a test we need to do, it was just another lesson. No worries. No announcements that it was test day. No pressure.

Homeschool standardized tests are handled no differently around here. I hate that we have to do them, but the law requires it. Even so, they know it’s a test, but because we haven’t made tests such a big deal, they aren’t nervous or anxious when they start. They treat them as any other lesson (albeit a more boring lesson, lol) and they do their best.

If you are homeschooling family, how do you handle tests (standardized or otherwise)?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Too Early for a Cell Phone?

This is a question that I think every parent has on their minds. Everyone has one nowadays. Even though my children are homeschooled, their desire for a cell phone is no less than those of public school kids, lol.

I think the fact that they are homeschooled gives me a good reason to wait a little longer than parents of public school children. I can see a child, even an elementary aged child, having one in case they need to get a hold of their parents after school or something. Without my children being away from me all day, I just didn’t see a real need for them to have one.

That did change when my oldest (now 12) turned 10. We ended up getting him one because he was starting to go on overnight Scout camping trips and such without us. We wanted him to have a way to call us if he needed to, even if because he was a little homesick but didn’t want to say anything to anyone else.

Ultimately, we made the choice not because it was something cool that he wanted. We made the choice because I felt it was a safety net, for both he as well as for myself.

Do your kids already have cell phones, and if so, what made you decide to go ahead and get them one?