Thursday, April 28, 2011

So This Was My Day

Today the kids had standardized testing for four long hours. And that was just the math portion! We go back tomorrow for the language arts portion and another four hour ordeal. We've been prepping for this test since January. I am not a believer in standardized testing, but I wanted the kids to be prepared and not surprised by anything. Princess O was so nervous! Professor X seemed more interested in seeing his friends and reading his Pokemon book on his break. I reassured them both that the most important part of the test was just showing up. I seriously doubt the validity of these tests and the accuracy of measuring what one knows based on the questions given. For instance, the practice tests included questions about encyclopedias and phone books. Really? I had to explain what those are! Shouldn't the questions be about search engines and the proper way to conduct a Google search? At any rate, the math is over and after tomorrow's test, there are only four more weeks of school. Yay!

When I signed the kids into their classroom to take the test, I asked the teacher, "Are you guys going to review the procedures and locations of the fire exits?" Bah? I asked the same question last year. Shouldn't this be on the agenda, especially considering these are homeschooled students who are not accustomed to being in a classroom and probably have never participated in a fire drill? Both sets of teachers gave me a blank stare. Great. I showed my kids the fire exits. I quickly reviewed what to do in the event of an earthquake, a common occurrence here. The teachers' blank stares concerned me. I am pretty sure none of them even knew where to take the children or what the protocol should be in the event of an emergency. We were in a three-story building with over 400 students present for a lengthy testing session and not one person thought to prepare for the potential of an emergency!

One of the most important things I have ever learned was to think ahead. If you picture a situation actually happening, put yourself in it, go through the motions and options, you are much, much more prepared if the situation comes to pass. The people who have never thought about such things are the ones who panic, who stay in denial and stay in the building too long, who focus on saving things instead of saving their life. This book is a must-read. The author interviewed survivors of catastrophes and learned why these people were different, why they lived when so many died. It's an interesting perspective.

On a lighter note, here is my seat in the lounge with all the other homeschool parents. It felt like we were at the airport waiting for someone to arrive. I love being around my people, the homeschool crowd. Of course there was a serious lack of bras, but I think I'm getting used to that. There are always people reading, discussing curriculum and learning styles, and just savoring the time that they are not responsible for what their children are doing, but are confident that the kids' time is being well-spent. I was the only knitter, but that's okay with me. I tried to space out my activities so I didn't get lost in one thing all day, which is why you see my Kindle. I got some reading done, book one and book two, were both excellent choices.

The day passed quickly at first, but then slowly as I got weary of waiting and antsy to see my sweet redheads. Tomorrow Mr. M will accompany me and I will be happy for the company.


  1. I didn't have quite such a long wait this week during testing and the first day I spent with my head throbbing and trying to keep my eyes closed and not listen to a couple of waiting sibling toddlers squealing and running around like crazy.

    Great point about fire exits and procedures!! I am going to bring that up with our e-school leaders!! I think they'd need to also educate the parents about what will be done with the kids as so many of the older kids are dropped off/signed in so parents will know where to find their kids afterward in event of emergency. Also due to the number of parents waiting that they don't flip out and panic and would know where to go also.

  2. Ang, it's always good to hear from you! I know what you mean about the waiting siblings. The lounge area for the parents was FULL of babies and toddlers. There was free wifi, but it just wasn't worth having to sit in the midst of all the noise.

    I am so glad you agreed with my safety mentality! I hope your e-school listens to you and establishes some procedures. We'll see if my charter school does, too!