I have been buried in standardized tests since bright and early Monday morning. The kids were supposed to have this week off from classes for Winter break, but I also am required to do standardized testing every other year for all the elementary school ages, so this is our week. It is grueling.
The tests shouldn't be grueling, in fact they are pretty straight forward and easy to administer.Grab your No.2 pencils, scrap paper, and you're off! Of course most 'proctors' haven't birthed the children, and nursed the same children, and spent countless hours in the classroom with those children, who now sit poised to give the real thumbs up or down on how the whole homeschooling project is going compared to kids in the rest of the country.
It's difficult to fathom how utterly exhausting it is to sit for two hour clips each with a first grader, then a second grader, then a fourth grader, then a fifth grader, and finally a seventh grader that you have solely taught- while reading directions and questions out loud to them and giving them choices to answer from which ultimately all point out if you are or are not a failure at teaching them. The exercise of practicing even tones in my voice so that I don't give away an answer by my pitch, gently saying "I am not allowed to tell you the meaning of that word, that is the question you are being asked- do your best", the utter indifference , and in fact lack of cringing, at the wrong answer they give is about as heroic as I can possibly get. I am mentally fried.
Honestly, they do just fine. But of course as their Mother, I feel every mistake much more keenly. Thankfully, there are just so many questions that pretty soon you just fall into the rhythm and lose track of how they do until the grading comes weeks from now. Fred came into the classroom at one point and after listening for a little while, broke into a cold sweat and walked out. He then decided we all needed to go out to dinner for pizza and blamed it on Mardi Gras. But I knew he saw that I was about to crack and was saving me from the demise. Tomorrow we finish testing and begin Lent.
I am really looking forward to Lent.