I have to ask myself: if [a good private school] was available in my area, would we choose to send our kids there instead of homeschooling?
My husband and I have had a few interesting conversations about this sort of thing -- since we homeschool for academic, rather than religious or social, reasons -- we have to put our money where our mouth is, so to speak. We need to provide a better education than what is available "out there" -- and the proof will be in the pudding to see if our gamble paid off.
Or maybe this is on my mind because my oldest has her yearly standardized test this afternoon. Heh. And she took it last year, so we'll have a delta to look at: just what did we learn last year, in our first "official" year of schooling?
We currently use Peabody. It's an oral test, the licensed test-taker comes to the house and it takes about an hour or so. I think it is structured like those new-fangled computerized tests where what your next question is depends on how you responded to your last question. We did it last year, as well, and seems to be a particularly good fit for younger kids.
OK, you'll just have to indulge me for a moment, because, hey, I'm a mom. I get to brag a little. We got our Peabody results.
Our traditional method-taught Kindergartener's grade equivalence:
Reading Recognition: 5th grade, 6th month
Reading Comprehension: 8th grade, 1st month**
Math: 4th grade, 0th month
Spelling: 4th grade, 2nd month
** She said possibly even higher. A. was starting to get bored and fidgety as they kept going and going and didn't want to answer any more questions.
So, THANK YOU Singapore math and Math-U-See combo, and THANK YOU traditional phonics!
ktm: How old is your daughter?
I don't have her exact grades from last year in front of me, but from memory, she went up almost 2 years in Reading Recognition, 3 years in Reading Comprehension, 2 years in Math and almost 4 years in Spelling. Also, I didn't mention "General Knowledge" above, it's supposed to be an amalgam of Science, Soc. Studies, etc -- she went up 3 years in that, to 4th grade, 9th month. (And a "Thank you!" shout out to Sonlight, which provided a good chunk of the general knowledge bump this year.)
Last year was our first "official" year of schooling so we had her tested at the beginning of the year to get a baseline to see how much she learned during that year.
Apparently, a whole heck of a lot.
And, again, I apologize for the prideful mom-puffery here, but ... well, you guys know how this is. The choices you make for your kids *are* a gamble -- and homeschooling is a big one.
As Andrew has said -- sending your kid to public school is the educational equivalent of "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM." So we're -- and especially me -- sticking our necks out here. And the stakes couldn't be higher -- our children's education! -- if we lose.
So high standardized test scores? Yeah, that's a huge deal to me.
And it's a big relief because it solidifies my husband's support for our choice. As the tester said to him, the school wouldn't have any idea what to do with A. if she was a Kindergartener this year. Well, any ideas that taught her academics, at least.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
the homeschool advantage
from Terri W --