Wednesday J had his 3rd grade test. For confidentiality's sake I won't post his scores here. But I was pleased.
We had done some practice tests and he had worked in the "Spectrum" Test Prep series of books, so he knew what to expect. Still, he was nervous. The morning of the test he told me he had dreamed that "paper airplanes made of test papers were attacking me" but he was pleased to report that he shot them all down, "except the math ones."
And math - specifically subtraction and division -was his Achilles' heel, as I'd suspected. Also "language mechanics" which is basically punctuation and capitalization - also not a surprise. His superior vocabulary (sorry, but it's just true) and his ability with "language expression" pulled him up. I can only say that the years of reading aloud, and talking to him without talking down to him, have paid off. (If only I could get E to stop the baby talk.) His reading comprehension was higher than I would have expected, given his early struggles to read. Our abandonment of phonics surely helped this - though I should note that spelling was not included on this test; had it been, we might not have been so pleased with the results.
More important than his scores, his attitude was good after the test. He found it wasn't so horrible. He could see the value (so he said, anyway) of continuing to work on his skills.
And it is skills, after all, that these tests show, at least at the 3rd grade level. There is no measure of intelligence here. So no one really know about the vast amount of knowledge and number of facts he has amassed on his topics of interest: airplanes, predatory birds, plants, history, war, weapons. That can't be measured so easily, and certainly not on a fill-in-the-bubble test.