Standardized Tests

My children – and about a zillion others – are preparing to take their yearly standardized tests. Call me strange, but I used to love those test days when I was a kid. After all, on those days, the teachers were extra nice to us. They didn’t want us to be stressed out. And on those days, we didn’t have to do our regular “work.” At the end of test days, we were rewarded with special snacks and treats.

I’ve been working with both of my children to get them ready for their tests. My son is in the first grade, and I’m happy to say he’s passed all of his practice tests with flying colors. So have I.

My daughter is in the sixth grade. She’s done well on her practice tests, too. I wish I could say the same. My word, I don’t remember ever learning some of the things she’s expected to know!

check it 1

Which size box should be used to mail a package that is more than 130 cubic inches but smaller than 160 cubic inches? Why are they asking me this? Hand me the package. Hand me the box. I’ll see if it fits. That’s my answer.

And why do I need to divide 3.192 by 0.42? I thought that’s what calculators were for.

And where in the world is Kampuchea? I don’t know. I just don’t know.

I seem to do well in the language sections of the tests, though. After all, I was an English major.

You do the math.

It makes me wonder how I’d score if there were a standardized test for adults. Life version. I have no doubt that I’ve been taught, in lesson after lesson, how to get along in this life. Still, there are some sections that I always pass with flying colors, and other sections I fail miserably. Time and again.

For example, give me a deadline, and I’ll meet it. I’m pretty good about owning up to my responsibilities. (Pass.) But then again . . . if I don’t have a deadline, I’ll probably never get it done. (Fail.)

I also do well when I have to meet new people. I know how to smile, shake hands, ask about the other person’s interests . . . (pass). But I have this annoying little need for everyone – and I mean everyone – to like me. When someone doesn’t like me, I tend to spend hours trying to figure out what I did wrong (fail). I can’t seem to learn the lesson that when people don’t like us, quite often it has more to do with them than it does with us. Maybe we look like someone who was unkind to them. Maybe they don’t care for blondes, or women, or humor columnists. Maybe they really do like us, they just don’t know how to express themselves.

Why can’t I just learn to say, “Oh, well,” and move on? That’s a life lesson I’m still learning.

We all succeed at some life lessons, and struggle with others. The good news is that we have a Teacher who is patient and kind. He believes in us, and He will never give up on us. When we have difficulty, all we have to do is go to Him, and He will give us all the help we need.

And with His help, we will always pass with flying colors.

2 Peter 1:3 “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him . . .”

8 Responses to Standardized Tests

  1. March 23, 2009 #

    Hi Renae,
    Just visiting via your comment on Amrita’s blog Friday.

    My wife and I have six children, all grown now, but we went through all those test days. What a pain! I could not pass any of those things. Poor kids. But,here in Jacksonville, they get out of high school without knowing how to make change for a dollar!

    I hope your son and daughter do well on their tests. Afterwards take ’em out for ice cream as a reward. But tell them what they really learn that will be useful in life, they’ll learn in spite of school.

    John Cowart

  2. March 23, 2009 #

    Thanks, John! I will do that – ice cream and all. 🙂

    Blessings to you!

  3. March 24, 2009 #

    Renae, there are still some of those “life tests” that I continue to fail, too. I’m sure thankful that one day the Lord is going to complete the good work He began in me! Heaven knows, I can’t seem to do it on my own!!

  4. March 24, 2009 #

    I hear ya, Cheryl! Me too.

  5. March 25, 2009 #

    These tests are big in Autralia too. I have two sisters who are teachers and the tests are a big stain for teachers as the results are a measure of how ‘good’ the schools are too. I like the idea of tests because we have them all through life not just at school. I did far better in exams than class assignments. Something about the pressure obviously. I hope your kids do well and yes, they deserve a treat when it is finished. And dont forget treating yourself too, given the training you have done. And no, I would have no hope in anwering the questions either.

  6. March 25, 2009 #

    Thanks, Lilly, for making me feel better. It’s good to know I’m not the only one who would struggle with those! I used to teach, too, and though I do see the value in those tests, I sometimes feel that too much emphasis is placed on them. But I can’t offer an alternative, so I suppose we’ll be doing those standardized tests for generations to come!

    I will absolutely take them (and myself) for a treat!

  7. April 4, 2009 #

    I just discovered you from Blog Catalog and I WILL BE BACK!

    Love this post. My grandkids have just gone through those tests.

    I too always looked forward to test days when I was in school. Special pencils. Special treatment, as you say. We didn’t have practice tests. We just learned stuff, and then were tested on what we’d learned.

    Funny thing is — today the kids’s regular tests resemble these standardized ones. Seems the teachers teach for the test, rather than teach kids how to think and solve problems and ask questions and figure things out like how big a box to use! 🙂

    It’s so nice to find you…

  8. April 4, 2009 #

    Hi Barb! It’s great to see you here. Glad to hear I’m not the only one who liked those test days! 😉

    Blessings to you!

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