Movie Review and Standardized Testing

Last night I took my daughter and her friend to see "How to Train Your Dragon". I must say it was a really cute movie - probably would be a bit too scary for the younger set (6 and under), but overall the message was heartwarming and it was a couple of hours of good entertainment. I like to check out what Common Sense Media has to say about a movie, and this one got a pretty good review. The girls didn't know what Vikings were, so we talked a little bit about that.

Yesterday the California Test of Basic Skills arrived in the mail for Anna. We have to take this test within the next two weeks and then send it back to be scored. After I perused the test, I was again reminded WHY I decided to homeschool. These tests test such a basic level of knowledge, with no deeper thinking required. For example: we have spent the last month talking about the Pilgrims/First Thanksgiving, etc... The only question on the test about this wanted to know where the Pilgrims landed. Plymouth, California, Pittsburgh, or Pennsylvania. Hmmmm..... I think Anna will be a bit insulted by this. I could be wrong, though. I also remember proctoring such a test when I was teaching in public school and one of the pictures was of a phone booth. Many of my students had never seen a phone booth in their lives (think about it - how many have you seen recently??). I could go on and on, but it is pointless. We will test because we have to every three years according to the homeschool regulations in the state of Georgia. Period. When I think back on my time earning my Masters in Educational Leadership I almost feel sick remembering how much time we spent talking about assessments and standardized testing. I am thankful I have the option to not expose my children to all of this nonsense.

Change gears. It is finally raining a little bit here in Georgia. The pollen levels have been ridiculous these past few days, and it's good for all of it to wash away. Then we may all be breathing easier.