Our first meeting with our ES.

This year we opted to enroll in South Sutter Charter School. It’s a homeschool charter program here in Northern CA. They assign you an ES – educational specialist – to help in your teaching. With their help – or just with their approval – you purchase books and stuff through the school (I get $800/semester). Then you use the stuff in your homeschooling.

So I have spent my money – Math, German, Science, and karate have eaten most of it up, plus a few odds and ends here and there.

And we had our first meeting with our ES last week.

It went horribly.

Not so much on my part, I had everything together for her. But Nicholas was a mess. He was supposed to take a Scantron test – and he did it on the iPad – but he decided he didn’t care so much. The test is supposed to measure their learning and where they are right now. So my kid who can read, and do 2nd grade math, scored a zero because he didn’t like taking the test.

The first 10 minutes weren’t so bad, he actually paid attention and did what he was supposed to. It was helped along by having a “read me the instructions” icon on each page. But as soon as that icon went away – his desire to finish the test went away too. He’d think out loud about which answer was right, and then he’d choose the wrong one. Purposefully. It was a bit weird. And then he totally didn’t want to do the reading part so he picked the wrong answer all the time.

Now, the Scantron was supposed to be a smart test. I can’t imagine it needed 10 minutes to figure out where he was supposed to be, but it did. And to remove the “read me the instructions” cues made it so that kids who are asymmetric learners wouldn’t be able to show how well they can learn one subject, because they don’t know how to read the instructions for the other. It was a weird test, but I imagine it will get better over the years.

So now I’m going to have to bribe him to do the test. I’m thinking a penny per question that he tries. Or have him to di in a library and not at home – without me there.

It was an interesting day. Not so much fun, more exasperating than anything else.

But interesting.

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