What about having them tested?
Do you happen to remember the link for that website or what the name was? At the age of 8 my dd was reading at a 5th grade level and I am curious to know how she has progressed. Thanks!
What if she isn't reading 2 levels beyond her age any more? What if she's at grade level?
Or what if she's reading below grade level? What will you do? How will you feel?
It's comforting to know our kids are beyond some arbitrary measurement. But even though it's totally natural for them to be behind, it's unsettling to find out they are. The artificial measurement is like a ball and chain that ties our thinking and our actions to the school. We can't not look at our children differently than before the test if the results say they're "ahead" or "behind".
Kids need to read at grade level in school because the textbooks are written "at grade level". In real life, what's important is whether the content is meeting their needs.
If we're taking a leisurely whimsical ramble through the woods and realize someone set up milestones for a "proper" walk, what would be the reason for checking our "progress" on the milestones if our walk was suiting our needs? If we recognize that what we are discovering and exploring on our walk is what is meaningful and someone else's milestones are meaningless, then there's no reason to check our progress against someone else's. Our progress is how well our exploration is meeting our needs. If we decide someone else's milestones are important -- and why would we check if we didn't think there was some importance to them? -- then how possible is it to continue meeting our own needs without being conscious of there being a "right" or "more important" or "better" agenda?
I think I've talked about how I have tried to get Adam to LIKE tests. I keep telling him tests are great because they make you look good (that was my experience -- I test better than I am -- I LOVED tests). And he said yes but tests can make you look BAD too can't they?
And he has a right to feel very differently about tests. And TV shows. And math. And broccoli. And bike riding. And Stephen King.
I really do like to see where he stands in comparison with all the other little 9-10 yos in the country.
Think of the world divided into column A and column B. Column A is what's taught for the test. Column B is everything else in the world. Tests test only what the child knows from column A. They don't show what the child knows instead in column B. A child could know 100% of column B and 10% of column A and the test would say he's stupid. But a child could know 100% of column A and nothing from column B and look really smart but be really dumb.
A test only shows how well someone takes a test. It says nothing about who that child is. (Remember Einstein did really poorly in school!)
Last updated: April 2009