What is the point of Standardized Testing? The name alone is offensive. Do we really want to live in a world where every person has exactly the same level of knowledge? These tests do not measure the quality or even breadth of one's education. They are a joke, really.
Homeschoolers in New York are required to test, using one of several options approved by the NYS Education Department. The one my family uses is the California Achievement Test. It is a format with which the kids are comfortable, it goes in 20 minute increments, and is relatively clear in it's instructions. I do not mind the test itself, honestly. I think it is a great tool for gauging where a child should be and seeing where you should be heading. However, using this tool as the be all end all to quantifying the value of a life's worth of education is ridiculous.
I want my children to be thinkers, problem solvers, creative reasoners. I want them to be pioneers, inventors, artists! Yes, I do believe it is important for them to know how to formulate an intelligent sentence and solve simple math equations. I think they should know important historical events and have a general understanding of geography. But who is to say what is important? Half the contries I learned about in middle school World Cultures don't even exsist today. And my kids have a whole new technological world that I could not have even imagined. How much of my education do I use in my daily life? To be honest, not a whole lot. Most of the skills and talents for which I am employed I learned on the fly in my adult life. Truly, in my return to the work force after kids adult life!
I do not care if my kids can identify a hanging participle or an indirect object. I care that they can coherently articulate their thoughts and enjoy good literature. I am not interested in torturing them into memorizing multiplication facts. I care that they know how to findt he answers they need. I care that they are curious about how things work and how to make their daily lives more fun!!
There is nothing better then seeing the look on a child's face when they discover something for the first time. There is no greater joy than seeing a dream brought to fruition by their own determination. These are the lessons I want to teach my children. Dreams can come true, and they can make it happen. I will be here, cheering them on and hopefully providing the inspiration and the courage to try.