I don’t know who’s more nervous: Rocketboy, or me. Actually, yes I do. I’m more nervous. Today he’s taking his first-ever standardized test. Homeschoolers in Missouri aren’t required to take these tests like some states are, but I figured with him skipping eighth grade this fall and starting high school level work, it’d be as good an opportunity as any to get a baseline of where he’s working and what gaps (if any!) we need to fill. Besides, the last thing I wanted to do was to send him into the ACT test in a few years without having any prior standardized testing experience! At least he’ll have the one, as odd of a contrast that will be to his publically schooled counterparts!
I won’t get into the politics of how often publicly schooled kids these days are being tested and whether that’s a worthwhile thing or not, but my heart goes out to them every time I drive past a school sign that announces a testing week coming up!
I went to public school as a kid, and I remember test days were days of great stress and lots of trepidation for me. We were always warned to fill in those little bubbles exactly, and if there were any little stray marks of any kind on the test sheet outside of the bubbles that all our answers, (and time, and effort!) would be completely invalidated. One year, I was probably a second or third grader, I remember that somehow some crayon from the desktop I was sitting at transferred off onto my test sheet. I remember being so upset about it, that it affected the rest of my work on that test, and predictably, my scores were less than stellar that year. Not a great memory! *laugh!*
Last night, to my surprise, I had to explain to Rocketboy what “Finals” are. Last night at Youth Group, they had been praying for everyone having to take Finals, and as a homeschooler, Rocketboy had only a vague idea of what that actually entailed. Struck me as funny. Homeschool mom fail! We’re in the habit of working to mastery, so an end-of-semester final is something we have yet to do. That will probably change once we get to the high school level, but for now, he has a newfound respect for the trials his peers will be facing these coming weeks. 😉
As “grown-ups,” we too face our daily “tests.” Whether it’s the furnace or a/c breaking down at an inconvenient time, pets needing veterinary care, vehicles breaking down, health worries, or losing a loved one, (rather than just having to completely fill in the correct bubbles!) it’s always good to remember that we don’t face these trials alone. All things, eventually, work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.
These tests aren’t just meaningless negative things that randomly happen. For someone who believes that nothing happens in this world without God’s direct knowledge and forethought, it’s easy to see that God uses these tests to strengthen our faith, to bring us closer to Him. No matter how difficult the tests we’re facing are: God is on his throne. Our sufferings are “for a little while” a very little while in the light of eternity. Thankfully, those scantron bubble tests don’t last that long either. 😉
Check out these other posts: