Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Last week I put my teacher cap back on to give the ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills) to several homeschoolers. For those of you who don't know, you can order ITBS tests from Bob Jones University Curriculum. A person has to be approved to give the test, and as a certified teacher, I'm approved. The ITBS is a standardized test given in school districts all over the country to students - it is an achievement test.  Some states require all students (home, private, and public schools) to take standardized tests - usually 3rd, 5th, and 8th grades. High schools usually have some sort of basic skills test that 9th graders take to assess the students also. Then they take the test again in the 11th grade and 12th grade as a exit test. That's a lot of testing.  I don't know what OK requires of public schools, but the state does not require home or private schools to take standardized test. It's a choice.

So why take it? Home schooled kids do not have the competition that public school kids have. Parents and kids do not know how well they are doing comparatively, and that worries some parents and kids. A parent may know they are finishing their curriculum and that their kids are competent in the subjects taught in whatever grade they are in, but sometimes they need to know more - reassurance. So they use the ITBS test to check themselves - find out their weaknesses and strong areas.  Also, taking the ITBS is a lesson in taking standardized tests. If students go on to college, they will take the ACT or SAT. Some homeschoolers take the GED just to have some proof that they did what they were supposed to do. Taking the ITBS gives them experience in test taking skills.

I gave the test to six kids from 4th grade to 8th grade. They were serious and did great. Then I gave the test separately to GB2 who is a second grader. I know she did great on the test. She is as smart as a whip. But boy can that girl talk. Several times I had to stop her from jabbering on and on about the questions. Since it was just me and her, it was not a real problem. But I kept telling her she was not allowed to talk or comment or eat or wiggle. It was hard on a 2nd grader. Later after finishing the whole test, my DIL texted a photo of GBN2 asleep on the couch. The test wore her out. I texted back that it wore me out too. Then I took a nap in the recliner.

On Friday night, we let the GGs spend the night. Saturday morning we picked up Mr T, and we all went to buy baby chicks to replenish our laying hen supply. We ended up keeping the GBs all day. By Saturday night, I was worn out again.

CetTexTim mentioned on his blog comments that I should get the GGs a puppy. So, I just wanted to show the GGs' puppy. Max LOVES the GGs.
 And of course we did a bit of painting.


Coupe said...

I'm all about naps! I often wonder if I would still do well on a 2nd grade test. There are a lot of concepts my brain no longer processes in the allotted time allowed.

"Do you want bacon with your eggs?" ooh, ummm, oh, well, umm, "BZZZT times up, here's your eggs!"

bag blog said...

Naps are good for you. I saw that on TV so it must be true.

bag blog said...
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Jo Castillo said...

That is a lot of work on you as a teacher, too. Good for you for doing it. Using my brain sure wears me out. Naps are sooooo necessary around here.

The kids are so cute and smart!!

Bag Blog said...

Those GGs are a laugh a minute. But when they go home, I take a nap.