Saturday, June 14, 2008 in Them kids o' mine

No school, no harm

As many of you know, Sarah is our oldest child who has never had any type of formal schooling. She has been educated at home from the beginning. Since this was her final year had she been going to school (and we felt she was “done”), she decided that she would like to take a standardized test. This was mostly to have a simple piece of paper from a third party as “proof” that she has an adequate education. It should make college application simple.

I mentioned back here when we got the test. For the curious, we ordered the CAT tests from the Canadian Test Centre. They were easy to administer, and slightly amusing. We took the $75 option to do the Canadian Achievement Tests (CAT) and the Canadian Test of Cognitive Skills (CTCS). These are the only options available for the home educated, and should be enough. The homeschooling-specific order form will not let you order anything else. (They have cheaper supplemental tests for teachers, which is why I mentioned it.)

When we were done, we sent them back to the Centre for scoring. The tests themselves are not purchased, but leased, so you send back everything.

On Friday we recieved the official results. Sarah has completed the equivalent of grade 12.9+ overall. She is in the 69th percentile for her age, and the 70th percentile for grade level. The percentile ranking means she did better than seventy percent of students in her grade who also took the test. Her highest scores were in Language/Writing & Vocabulary, where she got a 93 and 97 respectively. Not surprising for someone who spoke in full sentences at two, and currently reads a book a day with interests ranging from Gossip Girls to Goethe.

On the CTCS, she got just above average. It’s like an IQ test but not quite. She was dissapointed it did not include the usual logic problems which she’s fond of and very good at.

Overall, not too shabby, and we were quite pleased. So now she’s officially graduated. (and apparently will accept cheques 😉 )

Friday, April 18, 2008 in Them kids o' mine

Overheard at the birthday dinner table

We were discusing the incredibly difficult puzzle Ron got.

Sarah: Well I didn’t think it’d be a piece of cake.
Emma: Speaking of cake, can we have it yet?
Sarah: Segue!

Meet Bobby

This is Bobby. Bobby came to live with us last weekend.

Meet Bobby

Bobby is a result of taking Emma (and the others) out for a wee bit of shopping, where we did not aim for the Dollar Store for a treat, but bumped it up a notch. This is what happens sometimes.

Now Bobby has made friends with Mr Bones and the Visible Woman. Sometimes I find Bobby and his parts in odd places, but mostly I’m just glad the CSI team has not stopped by.

Emma tells me that Visible woman and Mr Bones are an item, and in fact the parents of Bobby, but Bobby himself looks at us haughtily out of his one good eye, and Visible Woman already has a plastic fetus to take care of.

Yeah, I know. We ARE weird.

Reader’s Digest – am I in it?

I almost forgot to mention. I haven’t had a chance to actually look inside February’s issue of Reader’s Digest Canada, but there’s an article in there on raising A+ students. I was interviewed for it shortly after my surgery last year. I read it before it went to print, but sometimes things change. 🙂 I won’t have a chance to see it before Thursday, and it doesn’t appear online, so if you see the issue while oot and aboot, flip to the article and see if we’re there.

They made us sound pretty awesome, I think.

Saturday, November 17, 2007 in all about me, Them kids o' mine

How did I ever do this again?

Today, Ron took the two older girls over to our old house to rake up all the leaves. Apparently every deciduous tree in a two-block radius depostited leaves on our lawn and homebuyers don’t like seeing it. Or something like that.

Anyway.

That leaves me here with Emma. Alone.

Now, I am a mom of four. My oldest is twenty. I have looked after other people’s children. I know how to do this. I have even told wary children under my care not to worry, it’s my job. I’m a professional.

But there’s just one of her and one of me. Everyone else will not be home for at least four hours.

“Mom? Can you get me…?”

I get up. No one to hand off to. No one else is next to the fridge / cupboard. Nobody that might want to do whatever she wants to do.

“Mom? Wanna watch this show with me?” Thanks again Teletoon for showing Space Jam for the eleventy billionth time. Double thanks to Teletoon West and timeshifting. I get to watch it twice. Again. Even though it impresses Emma to see her mommy mouth along to words to a movie Emma is seeing for the first time, the novelty has long since worn off for me.

Or I’m getting old. I don’t think I can fly, either.

I used to be able to muster up the energy and cheer to watch child #3 discover all these things for the first time, but somewhere between there and here I think something went missing. That is, aside from my uterus, the use of certain parts of my brain, my natural hair color, the occasional use of my left knee and the inability to spring up from the floor without the use of something to haul up on.

“Mom! Wanna play a game?”

Somewhere back in time I did all those things – crafts galore, story after story, cool thing this, awesome thing that, let’s take this apart to see how it works. Now I am just tired.

“Mom?”

I think there’s a reason I had 3/4 ths of my kids all at once and all when I was younger. I could handle it then. I had energy. I was young.

“Moooo-ooo-ooom!”

In some ways, this getting older thing is pretty darn good. I mean, by the time said 3 older kids are, well.. older… I’m still quite young and have all this free time to pursue all kinds of interests.

“Hey Mom! Wanna hear a joke? What do goldfish grow in their gardens?”

Theoretically that is. Last night, Emma was telling Sarah of all the fun things she and Mommy were going to do today. She even said we have to write up a schedule. I’m afraid to ask what’s on it.

“Mom! Come see this!”

Last year, someone got me earplugs for Christmas. I wonder where they are?

“There’s hyenas in the playroom, Mommy, but I closed the door so they won’t get me.”

That’s nice honey. As long as they don’t make a mess in the rest of the house.

I should probably wrap this up. I’ve got a tea party to attend with Nemo, a lion and a stuffed zebra. Later, Barbie and Ariel will put on a fashion show. There may also be a fine-motor skill challenge involving exquisitely tiny plastic dolls and their stretchy rubber clothes. At some point, I think I’m supposed to whip up pajamas for a cuddly toy and make the pattern myself naturally, then stretch my brain to think up something for supper that both Emma and I will eat. Meanwhile, I am going to try and convince her that folding and sorting laundry is ~*~*~*~SO ~*~*~*~ FUN ~*~*~*~ !!!

It sounds full of awesome, doesn’t it?

I also have some computer and website issues a-plenty I am trying to fix, and in the middle of a sporatic conenction, I let out an “ARRGH!!”

“You should find your happy place Mommy, and stay there until you calm down.”

I just might try that. I’ll start with more caffiene for me and a computer turn for her.

Friday, November 9, 2007 in humour, Them kids o' mine

How to wake a surly teen

First, make sure the house is good and quiet.

Then, get the younger sibling to dress up in an obnoxious furry costume you got off the clearance (75% off!) rack. When in full Kitty mode, suggest she go wake her sister.

After the screams have died down, poke your head in and go, “HEY! IT’S CAPSLOCK FRIDAY! YOU’RE MISSING THE FUN!”

And people wonder why teenagers are surly.