Care Bear has always gotten very good standardized test scores, and her 7th grade test was phenomenal. Just a few weeks ago, she took her 8th grade test. Now, don’t get me wrong, she did very well! She still got 91st percentile overall, but that was a disappointment for her compared to her 99th percentile for her 7th grade test (which she just took earlier this calendar year). Here’s why I’m actually glad it happened this way.
Higher levels require more effort
Care Bear has always done well in school, and hasn’t had to put a lot of effort into getting a great score. With this though is the lack of experience in having to work hard to get good grades. I want her to learn good study skills when she is younger and enjoy the challenge instead of getting frustrated by it and backing down. Also, sometimes it takes studying something more than once to really have it sink in.
Sometimes, things aren’t as easy as you’d think
I’ve noticed with the credit-by-exam test prep, Care Bear tends to underestimate how much information is actually in each subject. Given this, she doesn’t put in as much effort as is necessary the first time around when studying. Just because she’s studied some religions of the world doesn’t mean she knows a vast array of knowledge on the matter and can pass the DSST exam without breaking a sweat. Working through each test has helped, plus seeing her scores drop a little from one standardized test to the next shows that she still has to keep improving – she hasn’t learned all there is to know just yet.
Be disappointed gracefully
What happens when we face a disappointment? Do we back down? Give up? I hope by the end of our homeschooling years, Care Bear’s answer to that is that she comes back working harder than before. I want her to face challenges with grace and strength – not always an easy balance!
Look at things from a different angle
Too often I think we fail at something and then just try harder doing the exact same thing. Well, obviously that thing did not work for us, or at least as well as we would like. How can we do it differently? What are some other approaches? I need to approach reading comprehension in a different way because that was a lower score for Care Bear (though still relatively high). Finding new ways to attack an issue is both an exercise for the student and the teacher.
As I said, Care Bear does very well, but I’m glad she faced this small disappointment and I’m hoping she learns some lessons from it.