Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Shhhh....Testing in Progress

My husband is constantly telling me how much my oldest daughter is like me. (I'll let you decide for yourselves if that's a good thing or not.) While it's kind of fun having a mini-me a not-so-mini-mini-me (she comes up to my shoulders and shares my shoes and socks, for cryin' out loud!) walking around here, there are of course areas in which the two of us clash because we are so much alike. Apparently, according to my husband, one of those areas is the one in which we know everything. Ie: we are know-it-alls. He says it endears us to him. I say she drives me nuts because of it.

It goes something like this...

Alex: Mom, did you know that the chartreuse dart frog of the Amazon has 5 legs and a 20-inch long tongue? It catches infrared 3-winged flies with that tongue.

Mom: Yeah, whatever, Alex. I'm sure you don't know what you're talking about.

Me: (Google chartreuse dart frog and infrared 3-winged flies). OK, Alex, I guess you're right. (And, by the way, I know I often tell you to Google stuff; don't Google that nonsense!)

Mark and I often call her Cliff Claven because of her propensity for storing trivial knowledge. Surprisingly, she doesn't get that reference, but since it only goes to show how old we are...

This week Alex is getting to show off some of her vast knowledge on the Iowa Test. I snuck a peek at it prior to our testing week (just to see, not to teach from; I am ethical!) and realized that there was no reason for her not to ace the test. I found very few questions I thought would even be difficult for her. That is, if you don't factor in her carelessness.

You see, part of our know-it-all'ness is that we are not patient with directions and being told how to do something. Because we know the best way to do something already. (Hey, isn't that supposed to be a man trait?) I knew this would be her one and only pitfall--not listening to how to approach the questions, not reading each question and the possible answers thoroughly.

Overall, despite her often rushed attitude to just get through it without paying close attention to detail, she has done well. She has indeed missed some due to her carelessness, however, and I have to make a huge effort not to hang over her shoulder, thus resisting the urge to say, "Come on, Alex, read that more carefully!" Surprisingly unlike me is that the test on which she has made the most mistakes is the punctuation test. I would lament the fact that perhaps she did not pick up my annoying proofreading/editing/correcting-you-whether-you-asked-or-not gene, but I know this too can be attributed to her carelessness. Next year we'll use Critical Thinking Co.'s Editor in Chief to work more on attention to detail in punctuation.

Before we think about next year, however, we do have 4 more days of this school year to go. And one more day of testing. I know Alex is anxious to be done with it. Wii have had some fun, though, taking testing breaks. I found a new Wii game I really like, and Alex loves to play it with me. I've been eyeing that rock band game you can get for Wii, and I may even write to Santa about it. We have a game that is like a micro version of it...there is the band, but you still use the nunchuks instead of actual faux instruments. There is also dancing. I enjoy the dancing, although the only dancing I'm good at is watching So You Think You Can Dance. Alex always creams me in the dancing game, even though she possesses about as little rhythm as I do.

But the instruments game is my game. I've always wanted to learn to play the drums. In fact, one of the reasons I had children was in the hopes that one of them would want to learn the drums, and I could learn through them. Well, not really. This game has drums, and I rock at it. So our testing days go something like this: One 1/2 hour test, play the dancing game. One 1/2 hour test and a 25 minute test thrown in for good measure, play the band game. Then play the dancing game again. One 15 minute test, play the band game and the dancing game followed by the band game.

Score one for homeschooling: I'm pretty sure real schoolchildren didn't get to play dancing and band games between tests this year.


CrossView said...

I remember that testing felt like it went on forever! I think a bit of Wii in between would have made it much better! And you described my daughter, too. Are you related?

Tisha S said...

I want to come over there for testing. :-)

Arby said...

Boss, meet General Mayhem. Frequently I see the trains approaching at high speeds on the same track and I sit back to watch the collision. It's spectacular.