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View Full Version : Test Taking Anxiety...for me, not the kids



Shoe
05-11-2010, 09:18 AM
So my son is about to start standardized testing today (the PASS test) and will be doing a portfolio evaluation by a certified teacher in a week or so, to meet this state's evaluation requirements, and I'm the one with butterflies in my stomach :( ...has he learned enough under my tutelage to satisfy the requirements? Did I do the right thing pulling him out of the public school system this year? Have I ruined his chances for post-secondary education?

Yes, he's been doing his work (and we've used a pre-packaged, out of the box curriculum this year, so hopefully it should be enough), but we've had to spend a lot more time on math than I had planned, so we've gotten a bit behind on a few other topics. The public school wasn't working for him this year and it sure seemed like the right thing to do. Yeah, I know he's only in middle school and there is plenty of time for college prep...

All these (hopefully) irrational fears...I'm not sure how I'm going to survive the 4-6 week waiting period to get his results back. Time to take some Maalox or Pepcid AC, I think...

Thanks for letting me vent. I hate testing...

(By the way, my son seems fine with it...go figure.)

leav97
05-11-2010, 09:41 AM
He's taken tests before so it's not something new for him. When he's taken tests before it has been an evaluation of the schools teaching. Now it's an evaluation of your teaching. Makes it personal. He'll do great. Even if he is a little behind making sure he understands math will be good for the long term.

Teri
05-11-2010, 09:43 AM
I hope it works out great for you guys!
I would be just like you if we had a testing requirement here. After 4 1/2 years of homeschooling, I don't really care where they are in relation to their public school peers but Texas doesn't have any accountability requirements for us.
I am sure you will find that he is above the state requirements. How often when we were in school did we not come close to finishing a textbook? I think that the actual teaching time in a public school is so dismally low that even a rocky homeschooler can cover more information.

Snoopy
05-11-2010, 10:15 AM
I feel for you, Shoe! Let us know how you both did, lol!

We don't even do a portfolio evaluation here since we went the umbrella school route, but I test Noah informally using the Brainquest 2nd grade game to see exactly what he knows (that doesn't even correspond to what we're studying!) and he does great. I'm always amazed at how much he actually knows that I didn't teach him. He does freeze when he knows it's a TEST and I'm thinking I should probably have him take the FCAT (Florida's standardized test) next year so he gets used to tests because at some point he'll encounter one. Well, maybe we'll do a timed practice test at home for elementary school and try the real thing at the public school in middle school... I haven't decided yet.

Shoe
05-11-2010, 10:29 AM
Thanks for all the support.

Nathalie,

New Hampshire requires either standardized testing or a portfolio evaluation, but I decided this year to do both (though only one will be submitted formally for legal purposes) since I think that I will get some valuable insight into the quality of my teaching and my son's progress by having these different kinds of evaluations. I guess I need some assurance that I'm on the right track...but the process is excruciating for me.

Teri,

Thanks for your comments-I'm sure you're right and that he will do fine.

leav97,

He's taken tests before so it's not something new for him. When he's taken tests before it has been an evaluation of the schools teaching. Now it's an evaluation of your teaching. Makes it personal. He'll do great. I'm sure he'll do fine...but I had hoped that I had finished with evaluations when I finished school. "Makes it personal"-does it ever! Nail-bitingly so. Thanks for your reply.

BPier12
05-11-2010, 11:14 AM
Hi Shoe,

Having just spent part of the morning looking at Florida's laws regarding evaluations for homeschoolers, I'm feeling anxiety and we haven't even started yet! :p I think your concerns are very understandable, but given what I have read from your posts about what you have done with your son this year and what you are planning for next year, I'm sure he will do very well.

Take a deep breath! Let us know how it all turns out.

hjdong
05-11-2010, 12:55 PM
I totally understand that anxiety. I felt a lot of pressure. And then when we were practicing, the things he got wrong were thing he knew, but didn't because of the format of the test. For instance, he confused a penny and a dime because they were in black and white. He never had really examined them for the differences, no need since the color difference was so obvious.

I'm sure it will all be fine.

Topsy
05-11-2010, 01:37 PM
Sending out peaceful thoughts for you, Shoe!! I'm with the others...I have a feeling you are going to be quite pleased with the results!!

reversemigration
05-11-2010, 05:19 PM
Hang in there, Shoe. Remember, the thing to take away from the test isn't a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, but to identify any areas (if any!) upon which you might need to focus. Or you might learn that he gets the jitters with tests as much as I do. Even though standardized tests are annoying, it can be a useful skill to learn in and of itself, given how college entrance exams (and MCAT, LSAT, etc for postgraduate) are pretty ubiquitous - so this will be learning a skill that might come in useful down the road. So hopefully everything comes back as it should, but even if not, you've just got a (fairly limited, albeit useful in conjunction with what's more important - your own assessment!) tool to use to think about where to head next.

Finally, when it does come to college entrance exams (and standardized testing), while they're important, they're not the end-all and be-all. My wife serves as the local interviewer for prospective students for the college from which we both graduated. One of her prospies last year (I think it was last year) had near perfect scores on the SAT and ACT, but wasn't accepted. While she isn't provided the reasoning for the decisions, it doubtlessly was due to the fact that the student wasn't particularly well-rounded.

pandahoneybee
05-11-2010, 05:29 PM
Ok breathe, in and out:eek: I tell myself this every year! I am sure that you will find out that he did fine and the things that he didn't do as well as you wanted him to,will be on the list for next year! Thats how I make it thru each day, week ,month and year;)

We just did our test (WCJ) in April, but NC doesnt have us meet with anyone. But I know what you are saying I get nervous just taking them and waiting for the instructor to go over the results with me.

Wishing you a "Calm Blue Ocean" state of mind;)

Shoe
05-12-2010, 09:38 AM
Thank you everyone for the support.

I've always hated taking tests, even though I was always a straight "A" student (well, until I reached university level...but that's a different story). My son doesn't seem to share my anxiety for tests, which is great. We should have the results in 4-6 weeks, so I'll keep everyone posted.

Snoopy
05-12-2010, 10:38 AM
Remember, the thing to take away from the test isn't a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, but to identify any areas (if any!) upon which you might need to focus.

Ben, I love that you reminded us of this. I think too many times we lose sight of this very important fact.

Also, can my kids apply to the college for which your wife recruits now that I have an "in"? LOL. It would be soooooo helpful for us all (and particularly those among us who have high schoolers right now) if she could share what she and other people in her position consider important in a candidate and her advice as to what activities/classes kids should be exposed to. Do you think you could ask her to write an article for our group?

reversemigration
05-12-2010, 11:10 AM
Also, can my kids apply to the college for which your wife recruits now that I have an "in"? LOL. It would be soooooo helpful for us all (and particularly those among us who have high schoolers right now) if she could share what she and other people in her position consider important in a candidate and her advice as to what activities/classes kids should be exposed to. Do you think you could ask her to write an article for our group?

Nathalie, she's not really a recruiter - just an interviewer. It's a volunteer position, and it's as much a dialogue as an interview, I think. She finds out about them and they find out about the school...she tries to answer whatever questions they might have. I'd be happy to ask her to write about and discuss her experiences.