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Friday, 29 April 2016

SATS and Home Education

For fun I decided to try the SATS tests given to 11 year olds. I managed to fail the Maths one (despite having Maths GCSE, and being good at Maths) I got 50% in the English one.
Why such low scores? Well, to be honest the English one was a whole load of English terms I was not familiar with. How soul destroying to have to label words and phrases with such ridiculous terminology! With my 11 year old I am working with her to be able to write in a coherent, grammatically correct and thoughtful way. Who the heck cares if what she has written is a conjunctive clausal phrase blah blah?! Yes, they know their adverbial phrases etc, but to go into even more technical detail at this stage is unnecessary.
Maths? Well, finding missing factors baffled me. Probably more awkward trying on a tablet. I have done it before on paper, but the point is; what good will that be in everyday situations? More importantly though, it seems school are ever focussing on testing, and performance in those tests.
Learning should be fun. When I enjoyed what I was learning I learned more. I still do! We seem to be going back to Victorian ideas of learning. The mere knowledge of word labels, and significant dates are not enough in themselves; we need to be able to apply that knowledge, and use it!
If you want to test your children in home education, then I believe the Richmond tests are still available. That is what we did with ours. However, not ALL of them did it. That is the beauty of home Ed,you can treat each child differently, and tailor their education. No such thing as a ' one size fits all' especially not in education!

In the meantime, we are reluctantly sitting IGCSE's. Above is a picture of Israel's bedside charts. Bad enough having the stress of it at all, but it isn't every year! I think Israel's enthusiasm would have left him years ago.

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