Wednesday, June 1, 2011

8th Grade LEAP Test Freak-Out

Got a letter in the mail yesterday for Jojo from Connections Academy saying that she’ll have to take the 8th grade LEAP test before she can start 9th grade. Arghhh! I’m still on the fence as the whether or not to homeschool her for high school.

On my side for homeschooling, I think Algernon got a much deeper education in some area being at home. She certain read more classical literature (do you know of any other 21 year old who’s read The Brothers Karamazov twice?). She certainly did more writing than the average school student. Her math wasn’t too bad – she made it through advanced algebra with an okay understanding. She knows history better than a few people with history degrees.

On the side against homeschooling, I admit I was too light in science. Prepping them for standard type tests was nearly non-existent. Deadlines . . well, I need to figure those out myself.

I feel that I’ve made several mistakes in homeschool, and I don’t really know how to compensate for or correct them. Jojo is a special case: late reader due to dyslexia, about a year behind in math due to H. Katrina and many moves, but still very bright.

Having to take the LEAP throws a monkey wrench into the plans of her doing high school. Technically, she is old enough to be in 10th grade, but we lost a great deal of time moving as often as we did after the hurricane. I’m more comfortable having her in 9th grade next year, and she’s perfectly fine with the idea. 

All this LEAP stuff forces me to realize it’s my fear of failure, not hers.  I fear the LEAP because I don’t want to be seen as a failure of a homeschool mom. She’s certainly capable of passing, but she may need a bit of prep.  Writing can be honed a bit. She’s not a bad writer as far as concepts go, but grammar needs a bit of work. Her math skills aren’t bad, and she learns quickly.

OK, there’s no question on whether or not to LEAP. I just filled out the registration, and I’ll have it faxed tomorrow. So why all the worry? It’s in 4 weeks, and there is no make-up date.

There lies problem: time. We have two weeks of Hogwarts summercamp, and then she has a week long Girl Scout camp after that. The test is at the end of June, and most of June is eaten up with camps and other activities. This test must take priority though.

Terribly frustrated now! I asked both virtual schools about having to take the LEAP in order to start 9th grade, and I was told no that she would not have to take it. They both said that they would do their own assessment tests in order to place the children where they need to be. So this notification is kind of last minute.

I understand that the virtual schools have not been doing it long in LA. I understand that their hands are tied as far Louisiana’s regulations are concerned. If I had known about this a month ago . . . what? Would I have backed out of Hogwarts? No. Not registered for Girl Scout camp? Probably.

Calming down a bit. They are only testing her in English and math, and she only needs to score Basic in one and Approaching Basic in the other. That’s like a C and a D. OK, I think she should be able to do that.

The question is what I do if she doesn’t pass. Then I guess we are back to where we are right now: a bit behind but catching up via homeschooling.  That’s not really all that bad I suppose.

Taking a deep breath now and letting Jojo know. Oh she won’t be pleased that her next few weeks will be filled with LEAP prep, she won’t be able to work at Hogwarts and Girl Scout camp might be canceled, but life is as life is and not as I will it to be.

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