Tuesday, December 13, 2011

An Alternative Education

My son has taken exactly three tests in his 10 years of life. The first two were IQ tests. One because he had to be tested as gifted to get into this alternative school he goes to, and two because we were curious if at 10 years old he was still as smart as he was at 3. Wait. That didn't come out right; we wanted to see if his IQ remained stable.

For purposes of the point, and not to brag, according to the IQ tests, my son is very smart. Really smart.

When you are really smart, you can get into this alternative school where you can study whatever you want at your own pace, and there are no tests (you can't give test to 18 kids learning 18 different things), and you are taught by parents who ended up becoming teachers just because they hung out so much at the school on account of the fact that they can't interact with normal adults at regular paces of employ. But I digress.

My son took his third test last month, a standardized test required now for him to get into a normal school for 6th grade. And he tested below average in reading and math. Something to put in your pipe and smoke before you drool over that expensive alternative school for your child. For what we've paid for this school we could own our house, yet I still have to find someone to tutor my son about the concepts on and the process of taking standardized tests.

On the other hand, he reads and understands Popular Mechanics, can do computer programing, and could tell you about every Republican currently in the running for president and why they would be bad for our economy. He wants to be a patent attorney or an engineer and to study at the University of British Columbia. But the university and the law school - they require a standardized test.


  1. That's the trouble with schools today...they aren't set up for boys to succeed.

  2. This is useful and timely and is pretty much on my mind every single day.

    I'm struggling with the idea of getting Pea tested, because starting in first grade there is a public school for gifted kids in Portland (Yay!). BUT. If I test her and she doesn't get into the school (or we don't opt for it), she gets the gifted label, which is useless in the public schools because they're public schools who spend their resources on kids who aren't gifted. And I question whether or not it's even a good idea for kids to know if they're gifted or what their IQ is. It didn't do me any favors.

    Sigh. When you figure out the answers, please tell me! You are making me feel better for the time I've been spending with Pea teaching her how to do worksheets, which makes me cringe...but is necessary.