In Which I Teach to the Test

Posted: March 20, 2010 in Aengus

I hate tests. Hate ’em. I was never good at the damn things, because I’m one of those people who see many different ways of looking at the question, thereby reducing myself to guessing which answer the testers are looking for, not which one is right.

Noah is much like his mother in this. He has, at least, outgrown his severe test anxiety, and he handles our annual CAT test just fine. We’re in the throes of what is becoming a spring tradition: quick review time, to knock the rust off his math skills before test time.

Aengus is another matter. He’s really been stressing over the test this year, and nothing I say seems to calm him. Today, I gave him an easy math section of a test prep book, though, and his confidence has been juiced up sufficiently: He breezed through it, getting every answer correct (with only occasional explanations from me). I also gave him some questions from the vocabulary section, and he breezed through that, too.

He then asked for homework.

(No worries. I’ll wait for you to pick up your jaw . . . .

Got it? Let’s continue.)

His homework was a worksheet of fact families. Easy stuff, but this was the first time he’d ever gotten homework, and he was excited. When I looked it over, he insisted on a grade (100% A+), and I congratulated him.

It really gave me the creepy-crawlies to 1) stoop to worksheets and 2) give him a grade. These are my hangups, though; if he wants them, he can have them.

We also started reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid, as per his insistence request. So far, I fail to see the appeal, especially for Aengus: it’s all about this kid’s troubles in middle school. Aengus is nine and homeschooled. o_O He insists it’s funny and, regardless of my opinions on the book, he’s asking me to read to him — so of course I will!.

I’d read the Bible to him if he asked.

  1. Stephanie says:

    I bought Diary of a Wimpy Kid for James, and I wasn’t sure he would like it. After all, except for a year in preschool, he’s never been to school, so I wondered whether he’d get the whole middle school humor thing. He loved it. Apparently 11-year-old boy humor is universal. 😉 I hope Aengus loves it too. I am looking forward to the movie.

    The Bible … hmm. Sarah picked up a Bible once and started reading. Sadly, it was enough to put her off religion forever. 😛 I told her she hadn’t opened it to one of the better parts — it was something about prostitutes deserving to be stoned to death or some such craziness. I love the good parts, like where Jesus tells people off for judging others. But nevertheless, it made a lasting impression on Sarah.

    Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

    The Old Testament is responsible for more atheism, agnosticism, disbelief—call it what you will—than any book ever written; it has emptied more churches than all the counterattractions of cinema, motor bicycle and golf course.
    – A. A. Milne, Recalled on his death: January 31, 1956

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