Testing documentation

I got an email from our educational specialist (ES) today. She tested both kids last time she was here. The results both surprise me and don’t and I feel like a huge asshole.

I expected Future Middle Child to not do well because they aren’t reading yet. If we had tested Eldest Child before we left on the road trip… she would have been at a similar level for grade. My kids are late readers and that impacts their ability to take tests. FMC did so poorly on the reading test that I wasn’t given a result and instead I was told that kiddo needs to start remediation… which I’m unhappy about. Kiddo is where I expect them to be. I don’t think forcing them through not-very-effective “support” is going to help. I think it is going to make the process of learning to read shittier. They tested at the 65% for math and that shocks me because they stand behind their sister giving her answers to her math problems that are two grades ahead of them. I think it is because they don’t read and that messes up their ability to test in anything.

I feel like a huge asshole because I’m shocked by EC’s results. Uhm. She is higher than I expected by a lot. She is at the 98% for math and the 97% for reading. I……. honestly expected her to be at closer to the 60% for math. She complains all the fucking time about doing math of any sort for any reason. She tells me all the time how bad she is at math.

Uhhh… guess not.

She started out 3rd grade significantly behind. The Stanford evaluation proved that. She was way below grade level in every area. That was one fucking year of trying to do academic work.

I expect a similar dynamic from FMC and I’m seriously bummed that I put them in a charter school this year to fuck with my system. IT WAS WORKING.

Ok, I thought I wouldn’t tell EC her actual test scores. (I took a break right there to go talk to her while FMC is asleep.) I asked her how she thought she did. She’s all “Meh. Probably around 60%.” Ok, if you are going to underestimate yourself by that much… I need to tell you the score.

I feel bad that I have communicated my low expectations so accurately. I’m a shitty mother.

She is ebullient. We talked about how this is not about her being “smart”. One year ago she was tested as below grade level in every area. Stanford wanted me to get her into tutoring because she was so below grade level and I saw, “Naw I just haven’t started teaching that yet.”

EC attaining this is about the hard work she has put in. It’s not about smarts. It’s work. She has worked very hard for the past year and it shows. It has tangible results. FMC has not yet begun that work and it shows.

And that’s how it should be.

Before you are taught something of course you do poorly when tested on it.

But when EC is struggling with a math problem FMC stands behind her and rattles off the answer to the problem.

I think this is going to get interesting.

I told EC that I am very proud of her. She attained this on her own because she was willing to work so hard. Her face lit up like the fourth of July.

Err, if it isn’t clear from elsewhere in the post the scores aren’t 98% out of 100% of points earned. That’s the percentile for how the kids did compared to the expectations for their grade.

I wanted to get my kids caught up by 4th grade so that if they had to transfer to a school they wouldn’t be ashamed of being “stupid”.

Achievement partially unlocked. My 2nd grader is on track where I expect them to be. And my 4th grader god damn did it.

I didn’t do it. She did.

I mean… there’s this niggling part of me that says “I’m fucking brilliant and so is Noah so of fucking course our daughter is this fucking good at this shit.” And then there’s the bigger part of me that says, “You know how you’ve been underestimating her and acting like she isn’t that smart? You fucking suck rocks.”

More than one thing can be true.

I need to write Noah’s grandmother a letter. She will appreciate hearing this more than basically anyone else.

11 thoughts on “Testing documentation

  1. Shelly

    I have a thought… and feel free to ignore me.

    Let EC know that she’s smart *and* she works hard. I was in my 20s (and at least 5 years into therapy) before I would admit I was smart. It was always about me just working hard. A teacher or two tried to break me of it (why are you at this help session, you could be *teaching* this help session), but it didn’t matter. I had to show I was working so I could hide my smarts behind hard work.

    So yea… just my lived experience, but I wanted to share.

    1. Krissy Gibbs Post author

      That’s not a bad point to share. I think I also talk about how smart she is. I talk about how her dyslexia gives her a special way of looking at things, which is kind of like a super power but no super power comes without a cost. I’m also fond of saying, “You can be smart all day long… the difference between success and failure is how hard you work.”

      It’s an important point. Thanks.

      1. Noah

        The amount of math required for that is more moderate than it used to be. Amusingly, EC would probably do better with higher math like Calculus – it’s much less about reading lots of symbols very exactly and more about larger conceptual problems that you mostly hold in your head. And she’ll probably hate-hate-hate Linear Algebra. She is, at least, in good company on that one.

        1. Krissy Gibbs Post author

          She keeps asking me when we get to start trig together. I’m intimidated but I’m going to do it. I want her to get through a few more levels of Algebra first.

          1. Noah

            I loved LinAlg too. But I’m detail-oriented in a way that EC is not. I hated early DiffEQ, but love/hated later DiffEQ where everything is provably impossible and the interesting bits actually start.

  2. Michelle

    I have major math anxiety around arithmetic but loved geometry and multivariable calculus.

    I think i would have done much better in math if id found a different approach to learning it

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