Tuesday, March 24, 2009

This Is A Test... It Is Only A Test

Had it been real life, you would not be given any instructions whatsoever.

Isn't that how the saying goes???

Here's the scoop: Chicago Public Schools has a series of Gifted Schools, places where you have to test to get accepted. Urban Dad & I are settled on the idea of starting out the U-Kids with homeschooling for as long as it best serves them. And as long as I feel no compulsion to walk them down to the Caribou Coffee at the corner of our street and trade them for a large non-fat chai.

But the test is free. My favorite four-letter-F-word.

So I went through the application process. You can apply for as many as six schools. They encourage you to do that so that you hopefully end up with something. I applied for two -- the #1 and #2 schools in the city. (the #1 place is supposed to be the best public elementary school in illinois -- la dee freakin' dah, as chris farley would say)

I took Urban Kid 1 to take the test. She came out less than 20 minutes later.

We got the results on Saturday. There are two scores. One is the SAI -- School Ability Index. It measures stuff like verbal & nonverbal reasoning, logical classification skills, sequencing skills, visual attention to detail, defining words and completing analogies. The highest possible score is 150. 112-150 is considered above average. 130 is considered "significantly above average."

She scored 145.

Then there was the percentile rank so that you can see how your kid did compared to the rest of the comparison group who took the same test.

She scored in the 99.7th percentile.

So, eeeeyuh, I guess this homeschooling thing is going ok for now. And I sat looking at these results for a long while thinking, "wait, am I reading this right?" Clearly, she got this from her father. Or there was a switch-up at the hospital. Or those Dora vitamins pack quite a punch. Or maybe those Orange Dream Machines with a VitaBoost from Jamba Juice that I lived on during the third trimester have some magic in them.

I'm also careful about with whom I share this news, lest I come off as a preening snot. (you, dear reader, choose to come to my little corner of cyber-space here, so i figure that gives me permission to be yammer on a bit about stuff going on in our little corner of life)

And finally, I'm not losing sight of the fact that testing well once does not mean a sure-fire ticket to a happy life. That setting her up with the skills to pursue that part of life will not automatically come with academic success. That testing well is not the same as being a kind, thoughtful, considerate, contributing soul. And that she better pick up her damn room already!

Urban Dad was over the moon, of course. And gives me all of the credit. And I let him, naturally (wink, wink). He quietly shared the news with the biggest gossip in the English Department at Great Big Urban High School. This way, everyone will know, but U-Dad can let someone else do the work. Yes, he can be a preening snot too. It's rare in him, so when it does happen, it's strangely cute.

Oh, and she was not selected for either school. Oh well. So much for the satisfaction of US turning down THEM. It's just as well. That would have been more snottiness than any decent soul deserves.

Now, how to convince her that Handwriting is fun???


Tonia said...

That is really great! It's so awesome when we can verify what we already know - homeschooling works! Great job!

Anonymous said...

CONGRATS!!! How is it that she was not selected at either school?

rita said...

Obviously you're doing great with the homeschooling. I'd just take it as a sign that it's not time for her to go to public school yet.

I'm a great believer in signs. "Alcohol sold here" is my favorite.

Jenni said...

Wow! Good job UK1! Those proud mommy moments are so much fun. You deserve a little bit of a brag. I love U-Dad's method, though.

Makes you wonder what it takes to get into those schools. I'm thinking it has to do with connections.

Janeabelle said...

Kudos! I'm not a home-schooling-mom (because I WOULD trade my kids for chai lattes, only full fat, because life is short), but have discovered that with just a little extra effort on the part of my husband and I it was fairly easy to teach our kid to write his name before he started preschool. He remains the only one in his class who can do it. He's also been showing a lot of interest in learning other words and I just spent $80 at B&N on pre-reading activity books, etc. Even someone who can't spend the money can teach their kids, it just takes extra effort. So bravo to your daughter, but mostly bravo to you. If there were more parents like you (and to a lesser extent, like me) our nation would be full of brilliant and successful people. (Who could hopefully get us out of the mess we are currently in...)

G said...

Obviously something is going right! Maybe the schools felt threatened by such a smart kid ;)

Jenny in Ca said...

wow, that is really cool. It's nice to know that you are doing such a great job, isn't it? Really, that is an impressive score! I am confused as to why the schools didn't offer her a spot? Any theories? Not that you needed it, obviously, you are doing a bang up job without the school..

good for you!