Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Once A Generation

Last week my 8-year old finished his CRCT, his standardized tests for the state of Georgia. This week, my 12-year old son is taking the tests for his grade level. And after it’s done, the kids will still study for school and tests, projects, etc. But the biggest challenge, worry, or whatever you want to call it, will be over.

On Monday, my son had his Reading test. Today, he has Language Arts. Given his language challenges, these two sections are easily his most difficult exams. Still, after helping him prepare, I wonder if those sections, particularly Language Arts, would cause problems regardless.

For starters, my boys did all of the practice exams on the state website, retaking the tests where they did poorly and discussing with us the wrong answers. For Language Arts practice, my wife copied the wrong answers from our 12-year old’s tests and placed them in a word document. She got confused when she went over the questions.

“Honey,” my wife asked, “what’s a predicate nominative?”

“It’s a noun in the predicate that renames the subject. Sort of like. ‘He is a middle school student.’ ”

“What’s a predicate adjective?”

“Adjective in the predicate that describes the subject. Sort of like ‘The car is green.’ ”

“What’s an appositive?”

“Not a clue.”

Last Saturday, we devised a plan for the final push. And on Sunday, laptop in hand, I took my boys to Sunday school. My younger son went to class.

My older son sat with me in the narthex while we discussed predicate everything, appositives, direct and indirect objects, etc. From there, we went home and had lunch. I went on-line and found practice sheets for everything that was throwing him. After church that afternoon, he worked on them. We then took a break, did reading comprehension, took another break, did some science and history, had dinner, and then went over his language arts trouble spots one last time before he called it a night.

Sometime after the kids had gone to bed, my wife asked the big question. “Is he ever going to need that stuff when he grows up?”

“Yes, some day, his kids will be studying the same thing he is now. He’ll have to go through it with them, However, it’ll be more difficult.”

“Why?”

“I learned it in 8th grade. He’s learning it in 6th grade. When he has kids, they’ll be doing it in 4th grade.”

Until the next generation then.

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