I hate standardized tests. As a homeschool mom, I think they’re one of the most useless things on the planet- right up there with cockroaches and mosquitoes.
Yet, just the other week I had a conversation with someone about homeschooling that went something like this:
Them: Oh, you homeschool?
Me: Yes, we do.
Them: Well, how do you know your kids are on par with public school kids?
Me: Oh, well my kids always score higher than their public school peers on their standardized tests. In fact, homeschoolers score an average of two grade levels higher than their public school peers.
When I realized what had actually come out of my mouth, I was horrified.
How could it be that I- the one who champions against these sorts of bureaucratic wastes of time- had somehow also fallen for the idea that standardized test scores actually mean something?
The sad part is that I know how futile they are. I know that they aren’t even close to being a clear indicator of what a child does or doesn’t know.
And yet, here I am, equating the success of my decision to homeschool with my kids’ test scores.
The fact is, as a society, we’ve been conditioned. No matter how we feel about these tests, all we hear time and again all over the news is about standardized tests, standardized tests, gotta get those scores up if you want funding, blah, blah, blah.
Plain and simple, we’ve been brainwashed. And for those of us who are honestly awake to the fact that these tests mean nothing more than a way for the school system to label our kids, slap them in a group, and move them down the assembly line, we need to be ever so vigilant. We need to keep our heads clear in order to be the voice the children in this country need.
Children aren’t car parts. They are individuals created by God to serve His purpose.
So the next time you are questioned about your homeschooled children’s abilities, I beg you to rethink it if your standard response is their high test scores.
True learning can’t be defined in this way. It’s defined by their innate curiosity in the world around them and the conversations you have while sitting around the dinner table. It’s evident while you’re listening to your older kids patiently explain something new to a younger sibling. It’s perfectly illustrated as your child excitedly shows you a clutch of frog eggs he’s discovered.
Learning looks different for every. single. child.
But that doesn’t take away its value.
True learning is defined by your child’s output- not by what you put in.
And there is no test that can measure that.