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Unschoolers Ineffective

I read an article at Families.com about unschoolers and standardized testing the other day,

Unschoolers: At a disadvantage on standardized tests

I thought the article was very good and I agree with the author most heartily!

I HATE standardized testing! My background is in teaching, both public and private school (now I homeschool of course). I hate the idea of teaching the test. In the old days kids were taught things they really needed to learn, not what some bureaucrat who isn’t a teacher thinks they need to know. If it isn’t a bureaucrat making the testing guidelines, then it’s most likely a teacher or administrator who hasn’t set foot in a classroom since they were in elementary school….very out of touch.  No Child Left Behind is a disaster in my opinion. I think it is actually leaving kids very behind.

We have been unschooling the last several years and LOVE it. Well, I guess you might say, semi-unschooling really. We use Time4Learning as our core and supplement with Teaching TextbooksVocabularySpelling City,Vocab_Fun, and anything she shows an interest in learning about.  My daughter does test below level, however, her IQ is quite high and she has more common sense than lots of kids her age. I think that is a testament to unschooling.

So, what do you think? Weigh in on this.

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Progress or Problems?

My local newspaper ran an article last Saturday detailing Georgia’s yearly public school progress, specifically showing progress from 2010 to 2011 in regards to No Child Left Behind.

Overall the state was down. Some of the reasoning points to the fact that the stakes were raised on the percentage of high schoolers graduating. It was set at 80% graduation rate and is now at 85%. I suspect it is really a mix of several problems. Some kids are just not good test takers.  Some kids just can’t handle the abstract thinking required in some math problems or reading questions. Things like  math vocabulary terms, math procedures, or inference questions give them trouble, thus  they can’t understand the question let alone supply the correct answer. Some kids have not been taught to think or reason. Some kids have learning challenges that prevent them from excelling in testing situations (dyslexia, dysgraphia, CAPD…); they are special needs learners.  Some kids can’t think under pressure or they are distracted by the various noises around them. Sadly, some kids just don’t care. Then there are  teachers who truly consider their work as just a job, not an investment in the future. Some kids have no hope, no dreams, no support. Aren’t you glad you homeschool!!

 

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SAT, TAKS, ITBS, CSAP…

Test time is soon upon us all. Standardized testing is required for most kids in public, private, and homeschool situations. If you are not sure what your state requires, click here to find out. While glancing the page, you will also find helpful tips for you and your child.  If you have a child in high school, I am sure you have heard about the SAT. Some high school kids are getting ready now.  A fun way to prepare is by playing  online SAT practice games. Having fun while learning is a win-win situation, so go ahead and play games today!

 

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