Who was the school administrator that came up with the plan to conduct mid-terms just before Christmas? Is it the same one who decided that teenagers (night-owls each) would begin taking SAT tests at 8AM Saturday mornings? One of the most important tests of all begins two-hours before teenage brains are awake? Cruel!
We homeschooled our three kids six years — NOT the easy way out. We will never regret it, and if you decide to do likewise, courage! Then we took it a step further putting our show on the road, through thirty-plus countries. On the road education took on a 24/7 aspect which kept us all on our toes. But there were invaluable lessons on the road.
On the road education is usually reserved for after college graduation — from the testing ground to the proving ground. It’s where you discover why you suffered through Algebra, Physics and Chemistry. Our kids were not finished suffering when we took them abroad, but the things they saw in foreign schools gave them a real sense of the importance of education which has haunted them each a time or two since. The wake-up call on the importance of education was fully realized in China. They each attended schools for their particular ages – long hours spent in unheated, cold rooms, minus the technology we take for granted in America.
No matter how hard kids study, occasionally test scores go south. Poor test results are more palatable in the US of A, than they are in China. Under-achievers there don’t have much hope for good lives. Doing their best is not always good enough. Students must out- perform each other. Our guys have not forgotten, and this in itself is a motivator.
Still, I wish the exam timing were different. December crunch time in my mind should be about Christmas break, and days spent with the family dressed in winter gear, smashing around in deep snow. And yet . . . we live in Alabama. Go figure.