The Joy of Giving a Standardized Test

13 Jul

Well, not really!  This is my first experience as a test administrator.  If you call stress, anxiety and doubt as “joy” than I am full of it!

Actually, the process of becoming an Iowa Basic Skills Test administrator was simple.  I called BJU Press ( and asked for a test referral, chose the one that I felt fit our needs and filled out the required paperwork.  I faxed the signed forms, along with a copy of my college degree, to BJU Press and within 48 hours I was approved to give the test to my children and/or other homeschooling children.  Because I specified the testing date on the paperwork, I didn’t receive the IBST too early or too late and the return mailing instructions and envelope were included in the package.  Clearly, BJU Press has their act together.

Unfortunately, the standardized test creates an aura of mild panic.  Did I teach her enough?  Did I fail her in some areas?  Will she feel my anxiety?  Will she do well?  Rather than feeling as if the test is merely a gauge of those academic areas that may need additional time and effort, the standardized test evokes fear and apprehension in me and causes me to question my decision to homeschool.  I am positive that I’m not alone in these feelings of self-doubt.

Guess what?  God knows exactly what I need to calm my fears.  Last night, we happened upon the local PBS station and the metro city school board meeting.  I witnessed the pomp and circumstance of the meeting, the alphabet soup behind the council members’ names, the formality of introducing each member and recording past minutes and agendas and thought to myself, “Yes!  I chose the right path for us!”  School boards and councils have no clue what my children’s learning styles or passions are – I do!  Board members don’t see the spark that I notice in their eyes when a question must be explored further and we jump into that topic with zeal and excitement.  I do!  Best of all, I can talk about our Lord God and teach how to live righteously for Him.  I relish that it is me who gets to learn along with my children.

So, while the required standardized test is similar to a dreaded visit to the dentist, I realize that it is temporary and soon we’ll be off again on our next adventure.


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