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Friday, April 08, 2005


The paperwork is completed except for the blanks where the credit card information goes. All I have to do is fax the order and we're all set. But it's killing me to have to send $83.74 to Bob Jones University. It is from them, that rather racist and homophobic fundamentalist institution of higher learning, that I shall order the Iowa Test of Basic Skills for 4th and 7th grades.

When we first started homeschooling, my husband was very concerned that we should test the kids and see how they were performing. I was feeling rebellious and spouting off about teaching to tests, and all the other problems with standardized testing. We wouldn't be testing. Between the graded math and grammar, the inclusion of Latin and logic, and the chronological study of history, I knew we were doing fine, and besides, those tests didn't cover the particular subject matter we were focusing on. Why bother? He finally came around to my point of view.

But now, in our fourth, soon to be fifth year, I'm curious. Over the years I've seen lots of other homeschooled students, and while it's an apples to oranges comparison, I think my kids are doing better than most. (No thanks to me, in fact in spite of me.) I'd like to see exactly how well they are doing. A test of basic skills seemed to me the best diagnostic tool.

The tests are scheduled for May 23, 24, and 25. To get the tests to the Qualified Tester on time, I mustn't delay. I just need to complete that last bit on the form and send it off, but I just can't bear to pay Bob Jones.

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